Course instructor information:
School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences
Heath's contact information:
Office: Room 3040, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin
Course codes: LI7881
Part of the research dissertation requirement for the MPhil in Applied Linguistics, MPhil in ELT, MPhil in SLP, MPhil in Linguistics.
Michaelmas term - 6 weeks; Hilary term - 6 weeks.
Wednesday 4-5pm, Arts Building room 3106
Wednesday 5-6pm, Arts Building room 3106
Classes start on the hour and finish at 10 to the hour
The module is an obligatory part of the preparation for the dissertation and has three principal aims: (i) to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically evaluate published research and to explore different ways of translating research questions in quantitative or qualitative studies (ii) to introduce the basic concepts, experimental designs and statistical procedures needed to execute research (iii) to provide hands-on experience in using the statistical package SPSS to carry out data analysis in linguistics, ELT, applied linguistics and speech and language processing. Training in SPSS will include data entry, presentation of results and the use of the package to conduct statistical tests to check for relationships among groups. Among the statistical tests introduced are Chi-square, Pearson correlation and t-tests (paired and independent).
The topics in the Research methods (Heath Rose) are presented in lectures and explored and discussed in class. The statistics sessions (Denise O Leary) are composed of a lecture followed by a lab session in which there will be an opportunity for students to implement in practice what they have learned about statistics and SPSS.
When students have completed this module, it is expected that they will:
Specific themes addressed in the module include:
Topics covered in the statistical sessions in Hilary Term
Topics discussed in the Research Methods and Statistics sessions (Denise O’Leary) include:
Textbooks and Other useful sources:
Two main readings are used each week for this part of the course:
Field, A. (2009). Discovering Statistics using SPSS. (3rd Ed.) London: Sage Publications.
Coolican, H. (2004). Research methods and statistics in psychology. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
WEEK 1: (25 September, November 6)
Goals and outline of the course; introduction to main topics; different approaches to research
Reading: Coolican (2004), Chapter 20.
Reading: Richards et al (2012) p. 4-18
WEEK 2 (2 October, November 13)
Experimental and quasi-experimental design; key research terms and concepts;
Main Reading: Paltridge & Phaketi (Eds.). (2010), Chapter 2 [Susan Gass on Experimental Research]
WEEK 3 (9 October, November 20)
Design and analysis of surveys.
Main Reading: Dornyei. (2001), Chapter 2
WEEK 4 (16 October, November 27)
Qualitative research designs; case-studies; field research; observations; participant sampling; threats to reliability and validity.
Main Reading: Cohen, Manion & Morrision (2011), Chapter 11
WEEK 5 (23 October, December 4)
Qualitative data collection instruments; interviews, focus-groups; retrospective and introspective tasks; qualitative data analysis
Main Reading: Dornyei (2007), Chapter 6
WEEK 6 (30 October, December 11)
Logistical aspects of conducting and writing-up research: Structure of a research dissertation or academic article; Evaluating a draft outline of a research dissertation and improving it; School Research Ethics Process.
1. Coolican (2004), Chapter 20 [ethics]
2. Bryman (2012), Chapter 29 [writing a dissertation]
3. Research ethics documents on the School website; Cohen, Manion & Morrision (2011), Chapter 5
Alternative readings for ethics: