Красикова Екатерина Николаевна. Виды исследований в изучении иноcтранных языков: международный опыт



Виды исследований в изучении иноcтранных языков: международный опыт

Красикова Екатерина Николаевна, доцент кафедры романо-германского языкознания и межкультурной коммуникации, Гуманитарный институт, Северо-Кавказский федеральный университет, г. Ставрополь, Россия, Данный адрес e-mail защищен от спам-ботов, Вам необходимо включить Javascript для его просмотра.

Аннотация. В данной статье описывается понятие исследований в изучении иностранных языков в диахроническомаспекте, проводится анализ самого понятия исследование. Автор рассматривает насколько колличественное исследование соответствует настолько широкому понятию как исследование и какова разницамежду качественным и колличественным исследованиями

Ключевые слова: исследование; изучение иностранного языка; колличественные исследования; качественные исследования.

Types of researches in Second Language Studies: International experience

Krasikova Ekaterina Nikolaevna, Ph.D., associate professor of romano-germanic and intercultural communication chair, Humanitarian institute, North-Caucasus federal university, Данный адрес e-mail защищен от спам-ботов, Вам необходимо включить Javascript для его просмотра.

Annotation: This article deals with researches in the field of second language studies, explores it in diachronically. Also it analysis what research is, how quantitative research fits into that broad definition of research and what’s the difference between quantitative and qualitative researches.

Key words: research, quantitative research, second language studies, qualitative research.

Introduction. The purpose of this article is to examine where quantitative research in the field of second language studies (SLS) has come from, where it is today, and where it is likely to head in the future. Being chosen as Fulbright Alumni I had an opportunity to explore what research is, how quantitative research fits into that broad definition of research, then zero in on SLS quantitative research by looking at what it is, what books have been written about and what guidelines are available for quantitative researchers in our field at Saint Michael’s College, Vermont, USA.

The aim of my research is to explore the nature of research, how comparative reviews of quantitative research methodological books can serve as research on research, and then turn to research on quantitative research methods SLS. I will conclude by considering what the future may hold for quantitative research in SLS and by suggesting issues that future research on SLS research might profitably investigate.

What is Research? Brown reported the results of a survey of the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) membership. When asked to define research, the respondents produced a wide range of answers from brief, idealistic responses such as "the search for the truth" to longer, cynical responses like "something that professors at universities that grant advanced degrees do because they don't teach and need to publish." Generally, the respondents gave four types of definitions that (1) listed the types of research; (2) listed the topics of research; (3) covered the purpose of research; or (4) listed the steps in the research process[1, p. 111].

Given this variety of definitions for research, it may be quixotic to even attempt to find a single definition specific enough to be clear, yet general enough to include all options.

Major distinction is between primary research and secondary, research is based on original, primary data, and secondary research is based on the writing researchers. Thus, primary and secondary research studies are largely distinguished by the strategies used to gather the information. Primary research includes research that have classified elsewhere, survey, and quantitative. This three-way distinction can be a continuum with qualitative research on one end and quantitative research on the other. Research is situated in between because it typically draws on both the qualitative and quantitative research methods.

What is Quantitative Research? I suppose in the simplest sense any study that counts things could be considered quantitative. So, quantitative research can be defined as any research that focuses on counting things and on understanding the patterns that emerge from those counts. I have divided quantitative research into descriptive, exploratory, quasi-experimental, and experimental studies. These are not mutually exclusive categories, though some research papers will fall into only one, two, or three categories.

The qualitative-quantitative distinction has been widely discussed in SLS having placed case studies, introspection, discourse analysis, interactional and classroom observations under qualitative research. Quantitative research includes at least four categories: descriptive, exploratory, quasi-experimental, and experimental.

Descriptive studies are those that describe behaviors, outcomes, scores, etc. using statistics such as frequencies, percentages, descriptive statistics (including the mean, mode, median, midpoint, range, standard deviation, etc.). All quantitative studies should be at least descriptive, that is, researchers     think about and report descriptive statistics in any quantitative study because descriptive statistics provide the basis for understanding any other analyses that may follow.

Exploratory studies are those that examine relationships and correlations in the data.

Quasi-experimental studies primarily differ from true experimental studies in that the latter are based on random samples from a population, while the former are not. Given that very little SLS research can be said to be based on random samples from a population (unless that population is defined very narrowly), most SLS research of this general type is quasi-experimental. Such studies are typically designed to understand differences in means or medians within and between groups with great concern for accurate p-values (values that indicate the probability that the findings in the particular study are due to change alone).

I’ve made much of this continuum by describing 12 research characteristics qualitative and quantitative research vary. These 12 characteristics essentially define differences between qualitative and quantitative research:

  1. Data type: qualitative vs. quantitative.
  2. Data collection methods: non-experimental vs. experimental.
  3. Data analysis procedures: interpretive vs. statistical.
  4. Degree of intrusiveness: non-intervention vs. high intervention.
  5. Degree of selectivity. non-selective vs. highly selective.
  6. Variable description: variable definition vs. variable operationalization.
  7. Theory generation: hypothesis forming vs. hypothesis testing.
  8. Reasoning: inductive vs. deductive.

Similarly, I identified four differences in the standards against which qualitative and quantitative studies are compared in deciding if they are systematic and principled [2, p. 480]:

1.  Consistency: dependability vs. reliability.

2.  Fidelity: credibility vs. validity.

3.  Verifiability: confirmability vs. replicability.

4.  Meaningfulness of results: transferability vs. generalizability.

What is research on research? One sub-area of SLS examines how we do research in the field. I think of this as research on research. For example, there have been a number of published papers focused on qualitative research methods [3, p. 607]. A steady stream of papers has also been published over the years on quantitative research. Some articles promote critically reading statistical research [1, p. 112]. Still other articles explain and promote quantitative survey research methods. More focused articles take on specific studies in quantitative research such as designing statistical studies, experimental research, Likert scales, correlation, factor analysis and simple components analysis, as well as the cluster of s surrounding sample size, power, statistical precision, effect size [4, p. 180].

Conclusion. Does the Future Hold for Quantitative Research? A number of quantitative researchers have argued in various places for careful evaluation of the assumptions underlying all statistica1 procedures [1, p. 112] for adequate maintenance of experiment-wise alpha and the importance of reliable measurement to quantitative research.

Since many quantitative researchers in SLS continue to ignore these issues, I hope the importance of checking assumptions, maintaining experiment-wise alpha, and reliable measurements will continue to be mentioned, argued for, and perhaps attended to by most SLS researchers in the years to come.

However, here, I am more interested in trying to determine new directions that quantitative research might head in the coming years. Glimmerings in the current literature on research and statistics in SLS as well as more pronounced trends in other field may foreshadow things to come. I am no soothsayer but based on what I am reading in SLS and in allied fields such as education and psychology, I can predict with a certain degree of confidence that the following issues will play a big part in the future of quantitative research in SLS: ethics, the inadequacy of alpha, power, effect size and confidence intervals; mixed methods research; replication; and meta-analysis.


  1. Brown, J. D. Designing a language study. In D. Nunan & D. Griffee, Classroom teachers and classroom research. Tokyo: Japan Association for Language Teaching, 1997. pp. 109-121.
  2. Brown, J. D. Research methods for applied linguistics: Scope, characteristics, and standards. In A. Davies & C. The handbook of applied linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004 pp. 476-500.
  3. Davis K.A. Validity and reliability in qualitative research on second language acquisition and teaching: Another h comments. TESOL Quarterly, 26(3), 1992. pp.605-608.
  4. Lazaraton, A. Current trends in research methodology and statistics in applied linguistics. TESOL Quarterly, 34 (1), 2000. pp.175-181.