Research Methodology 2: Research in ELE

Home/ Research Methodology 2: Research in ELE
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreNA4

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 2

Course Coordinator and Team: Prof. Amol Padwad (C)

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: pre-doctoral


The focus of the course is on research in applied linguistics in the context of ELE in India. It includes a thorough exploration of the history of ELE, linkages with ELE across the world (especially with the UK and USA), change and innovation, current status, policies and provisions, methods, materials, assessment practices, and the contexts of teaching and learning. There exist well-trodden research paths and emergent new perspectives through current investigations (for example, translingualism and use of L1 in English teaching and learning), for exploring English language education. This course aspires to introduce the scholars to research traditions, types of research, nature and purpose of research, features of research, contexts of research, research design (sampling, controlling, measuring, observing, exploring, analyzing, inferencing, research perspectives, theory generation, ethical issues, etc.) in ELE. It also involves hands-on-experience of researching with limited data sets or qualitative information and extensive reading in ELE research.

The objectives of this course are:

  • Develop students’ in-depth understanding and critical analysis of current literature and research methodology in the field of ELE.
  • Provide students with a critical awareness of current problems and debates within the field and enhance their skills in critical evaluation of theoretical and empirical literature relevant to ELE and their area of specialization.
  • Provide students with the research skills and competencies to be able to undertake an original and significant research project that merits publication in the field of ELE.
  • Develop students’ skills in communicating ELE-related research knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Enable students to make a significant and original contribution to the field of ELE through the advancement of scholarly knowledge and professional practice.

Course Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate understanding of core ideas and principles of research, including an understanding of how to conceptualize ELE/applied linguistics research, formulate researchable problems, and construct and test hypotheses or research questions.
  • Identify and critically explain potential researchable issues and areas in ELE
  • Conduct research autonomously and disseminate research in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the normal principles of research ethics.
  • Show ability of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, and challenge current assumptions and accepted practice within areas of ELE.

Main modules:

Module 1: Research in ELE

This module is aimed at acquainting the scholars with the existing corpus of research methodology in ELE research to facilitate critical analysis of existing literature and research methodology. The key areas include evaluation of theoretical literature, philosophical positions, areas frequently investigated, research methodologies, contexts of research, and application value of research to practice for mentioning a few.

Core Readings:

  • Aydar-Kayī, H. (2019). Positioning Theory in Applied Linguistics: Research design and applications. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (Chapter 3: Positioning theory in applied linguistics.)
  • Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research Methods in Applied Linguistics: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Chapters 1 and 2)
  • Phakiti, A., De Costa, P., Plonsky, L. and Starfield, S. (2018). The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (It contains chapters on approaches to and methods of research, data collection, analysis, etc. The scholars are expected to treat this resource as an encyclopedia.)
  • McKinley, J. and Rose, H. (2020). The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge. (Part 1 and Part 2)

Module 2: Themes and Trends in ELT Research 

This module is aimed at exploring themes and trends in ELT research and its associated philosophy and epistemology. The themes and trends included in this module pertain to the broader issues in the domain. A few key themes explored include acquisition process, assessment, learner psychology, teaching methods and materials. The exploration will be aimed at analyzing methodology used.

Core Readings

  • Grabe, W. (2010). Applied Linguistics: A Twenty-first-century discipline. In Kaplan, R. B. (Ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Shuy, R. W. (2015). Applied linguistics past and future. Applied Linguistics, 36 (4), 434-443.
  • Mohebbi, H. and C. Christine (2022). Research Questions in Language Education and Applied Linguistics. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Swan, M. (2018). Applied Linguistics: A consumer’s view. Language Teaching, 51(2), 246-261.

Module 3: Themes and Trends in ELT Research II

This module aims to facilitate acquaintance with the emergent research themes and trends in ELT under the impact of globalization. The themes include SDGs, ecologically-aware language education and ELT, gender, race, native speakerism (native writerism ?), decentering processes, critical pedagogy, etc.

Core Readings

  • Duff, P. A. (2008). Case Study Research in Applied Linguistics. London: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Heigham, J. and Croker, R. A. (2009). Qualitative Research in Applied Linguistics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hadley, G. (2017). Grounded Theory in Applied Linguistics Research: A practical guide. London: Routledge.
  • Kubota, R. (2015). Confronting epistemological racisim: Decolonizing scholarly knowledge: Race and Gender in applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 41(5), 712-732.
  • Lamb, G. (2019). Towards a green applied linguistics: Human-Sea turtle semiotic assemblages in Hawai`i. Applied Linguistics. DOI: 10.1.1093/applin/amz046.
  • McNamara, T. (2015). Applied linguistics: The challenge of theory. Applied Linguistics, 36(4), 466-477.
  • Pennycook, A. (2018). Post-humanist applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 39(4), 445-461.

Module 4: Dissemination of ELE research

The focus is on helping scholars in communicating their research with peers, the larger scholarly community, the profession/practitioner community and with society in general and promote their areas of expertise. It also includes orientation about academic writing for various types of publications at the national and international levels.

Suggested Readings

  • Becher, T. and Trowler, P. R. (2001). Academic Tribes and Territories: Intellectual enquiry and the culture of disciplines. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. (Chapters - 1. Landscapes, tribal territories and academic cultures. 3. Academic disciplines. 6. Patterns of communication.)
  • Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary Discourses: Social interactions in academic writing. University of Michigan Press. (Chapter – 1. Disciplinary cultures, texts and interactions. 8. Power, authority and discourse change.)
  • Hyland, K. (2009). Academic Discourse. London: Continuum. (Chapters - 1. Points of departure. 8. Wider worlds.)
  • Phakiti, A., De Costa, P., Plonsky, L. and Starfield, S. (2018). The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (Chapter 10: Writing research articles.)

Assessment Details with weights:

Term Paper – 50%

  • The scholars will write a term paper on a theme from a selected area pertaining to the topics covered in the modules of the course.

Portfolio – 50%

  • The scholars are expected to compile, reflect on and present a portfolio of their semester-long process of learning. The portfolio will be drawn on classroom discussion, classroom notes, readings, reflection, interaction with peers and teachers, etc. and will be accompanied by a reflective note.
  • [*Assessment plans may be revised if necessitated by circumstances.]

Assessment Plan

  • Review paper – 50%
  • The scholars will select an area aligned to their topic of research and identify and read relevant key texts. Post reading, the scholar will attempt a review paper considering ontological and epistemological aspects of issue(s) through reading.

ii. Research question formulation – 30%

The scholars will identify issues or aspects which may be potentially researched, and develop at least five research questions related to them. They will also write an accompanying note commenting on the process.

iii. Academic writing tasks – 20%

The scholars will complete tasks related to various aspects of academic writing such as summarizing, paraphrasing, synthesising, note-making, referencing and citations.

[*Assessment plans may be revised if necessitated by circumstances.]