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1-Research Methods in Linguistics




Course Tutor: Ubaidullah A Qazi            Visiting Hours: Tue-Thu 1330-1500hrs
Credit Hours: 3 (Time tbc)                       Total Contact Hours: 48
Venue:  Room 13, Iqbal Block, FURC 

Phone: : 051 5151431 Ext: 217
Office: Room 10, First Floor, Jinnah Block

Course Description:

This course aims to introduce participants to selected research techniques and approaches within the qualitative and quantitative research paradigms. It also aims to enable them to develop the skillset required for using appropriate tools for collecting data, to gain an awareness of the ways to analyze and report qualitative and quantitative data and to understand ethical issues at all stages of the research process.


Required Books:

  1) Litosseliti, L. (2010) Research Methods in Linguistics. Continuum Books

  2) Wray, A. & Trott, K., Bloomer, A., Reay, S., Butler, C. (1998). Projects in Linguistics: A Practical Guide to Researching Language. Edward Arnold

  3) Mackey,A.& Gass,S.M. (2005) Second Language Research: Methodology and Research. Mahwah,    New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 

    (PDF Available. contact course tutor)

Course Policies

  • Emailed assignments will not be accepted.
  • Hard copies of all written assignments must be turned in on or before the due date at no later than 1530 hrs. The assignments will be collected by the CR who will then hand them over to me. Direct submissions will not be accepted.
  • Late submission of assignment will be penalized by lowering of the grade/mark by 5% daily.

·        Remember to proofread your assignments for language, grammar and style errors.

·        Harvard referencing and citation style will be followed

Please read the assigned material in advance of the class for a more constructive and participative discussion.




Week 1

·        Introduction to the Course

·        Discussion of course syllabus and course policies

·        Overview of Research Methods in Linguistics

Week 2

             Research Questions in Linguistics

(Chapter 1, p.9-28, Litosseliti)


(Chapter 2, p.19-38, Wray et al)


Week 3

             Quantitative, Qualitative or Both? Combining Methods in Linguistic Research

(Chapter 2, p.29-48, Litosseliti)

*First Language Acquisition

(Chapter 3, p.39-53, Wray et al)

Week 4

             Discourse Analytic Approaches to Text & Talk

(Chapter 6, p.117-137, Litosseliti)

*Conversation Analysis

(Chapter 7, p.54-62), Wray et al)

 Week 5

Linguistic Ethnography

(Chapter 7, p.138-154, Litosseliti)

*Second Language Acquisition

(Chapter 5, p.63-77, Wray et al)

 Week 6 

Contemplating Interviews and Focus Groups

(Chapter 8, p.155-179, Litosseliti)

*Styles in Texts

(Chapter 6, p.77-87, Wray et al)

 Week 7

Multi modal Analysis

(Chapter 9, p.180-197, Litosseliti)


(Chapter 7, p.89-98, Wray et al)

 Week 8

Narrative Analysis in Linguistic Research

(Chapter 10, p.198-215, Litosseliti)

*Accents & Dialects of English

(Chapter 8, p.98-111, Wray et al)

 Week 9

Mid Semester Exam

Week 10

**Tape Recording Data & Transcription

(Chapter 12, p.153-157, Wray et al)

*Language and Gender

(Chapter 11, p.139-152, Wray et al)

 Week 11

Ethics and Trustworthiness

(Chapter 13, p.153-157, Wray et al)

Designing a Quantitative Study

(Chapter 5, p.137-161, Mackey & Gass)

 Week 12 


(Chapter 14, p.167-181, Wray et al)

Qualitative Research

(Chapter 6, p.162-184, Mackey & Gass)

 Week 13


(Chapter 15, p.182-185, Wray et al)


(Chapter 8, p.221-249, Mackey & Gass)

 Week 14

**Observation and Case Studies

(Chapter 16, p.186-193, Wray et al)

Analyzing quantitative data

(Chapter 9, p.250-296, Mackey & Gass)

 Week 15 

Concluding and Reporting Research

(Chapter 10, p. 297-320, Mackey & Gass)

Plagiarism and How to Avoid it

Chapter 22, p.241-254, Wray et al)

 Week 16

Seminar: Quantitative Methodology

 Week 17

Seminar: Quantitative Methodology

 Week 18

End Semester Exam


Project Areas for Linguistics

* *Techniques for Collecting Data


Note: This outline has been created as a resource for course participants, but the faculty reserves the right to make changes and modifications, if deemed necessary.


Grading Model:

  • Mid-Term – 30 Marks
  • Final Term – 50 Marks
  • Attendance – 5 Marks
  • Sessional – 15 Marks
    • Assignments x 2 (both are compulsory)


Assignment 1:

Understanding Research in Linguistics

·        Choose a particular tradition of inquiry which interests you and which you would like to explore

·        Give an account of the characteristics of this tradition and typical approaches to research (you should include some discussion of paradigmatic issues) identifying its strengths and limitations

·        Find an example of a research study undertaken within this tradition and critique itdrawing out any issues (e.g design issues, political issues, ethical issues) that you consider significant

·        If you were to undertake this kind of inquiry in your own linguistic context, discuss any particular issues you would have to address

(Please attach to you assignment of a photocopy of the research article you choose)

Length-3000 words

DeadlineWeek 14

Specific criteria: (Use in conjunction with rubric given at the end of the document)

You will be expected to demonstrate:

·        Understanding of the relevance and usefulness of a particular research paradigm for investigation of a research problem

·        Understanding of the advantages and limitations of the chosen approach

·        Ability to discuss critically key concepts related to the approach e.g generalization, subjectivity, empowerment etc

·        Ability to evaluate critically the features and processes involved in the approach

·        Awareness of the political and ethical factors to be considered in any investigation undertaken within this approach

·        Ability to critique a study undertaken within the general tradition

·        Ability to create guidelines which relate to the implementation of the approach in a particular context

Assignment 2

Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

Your institution has proposed that you investigate one of the following areas:

  1. Linguistic diversity in a selected area
  2. Issues around education and community relations in immigrant community with diglossia, or a range of different dialects.
  3. Identity construction through social interaction
  4. The language needs of refugees.
  5. Adolescents and language change, the influence of American dialects, music etc.
  6. Gender and identity issues in second language acquisition.
  7. Identity and the naming of the “other” (i.e. not people like us)
  8. Ethnic speech style, ingroup language, among 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants.
  9. Discourse analysis of media texts (e.g. how language is used to label an portray a specific group in society, such as refugees or young people)

Outline different ways of approaching research in your chosen area and discuss the data collection methods you might use.  Choose one of these methods and using a topic of your own choosing, pilot it with a small sample to who you have access. Reflect on and discuss the process of data collection and indicate how you would refine your approach to data collection in the light of the lessons you have learned.

Length-6000 words

Deadline: Week 15

Specific Assessment Criteria (Use in conjunction with rubric given at the end of the document)

You will be expected to demonstrate:

·        Understanding of a particular method of data collection, its purposes, advantages and limitations

·        Understanding of appropriate methods of data analysis using this instrument

·        Ability to design an effective data collection instrument and to carry out effective piloting of the instrument

·        Ability to evaluate critically the design, piloting and administration of a research instrument

·        Ability to reflect on the values and limitations of the particular instrument in use in context

Adapted from: EdD in Applied Linguistics and ELT Handbook, 2006-2007, University of Warwick, UK


RM Assignments: Rubric







Use of appropriate range of relevant sources, well understood and fully appreciated

Excellent answer to question. Locates suitable concepts and makes comprehensive assessment of issues involved. Understands the relevant theories and applies them to answering the question

Critical evaluation of the problems. Ability to set sources and view points in context and evaluate contributions. Methodological awareness and theoretical appreciation

Fluent and well structured. Clear and articulate. Proper referencing and bibliography


Good understanding of main sources, well summarized   and used in a relevant way

Competent answer bringing out useful points and substantiates them. Relevant application of theoretical models. Well presented arguments and intelligent comments relevant to the question

Appreciation of main issues and ability to make appropriate critical points. Well ordered commentary on evidence and materials used

Generally well structured. Clear and neat presentation. Proper referencing and bibliography overall


Some understanding of the literature. Adequate, though limited, range and use of source material

Limited application and/or understanding of theoretical models.

Some relevant discussion

Sensible, though limited, commentary on evidence and materials used. Mainly descriptive rather than critical

Satisfactory organization and presentation. Relevant, if limited, referencing and bibliography


Some evidence of appropriate reading, but poor understanding of basic concepts

Little relevance to the question. Lack of analytical approach

Irrelevant comments. Lack of any critical or appreciative framework

Inadequate organization. Lack of coherence. Too many spelling, grammatical or typographical errors

In adequate referencing


A very poor piece of work showing little or no understanding of the question or topic discussed



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