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Mapping Past, Current and Future TEFL Research Trends in Iran: A Synthetic Review of Topics and Paradigms in Three Decades


(28 صفحه - از 81 تا 108)

We have recently witnessed a growing awareness of methodological research issues in the field of applied linguistics, which led to what Plonsky (2017) has referred to as ―methodological awareness‖ (p. 517). To make a positive contribution to this nascent movement, this study, drawing on synthetic techniques, sought to describe the cumulative and developmental status of research paradigms and substantive/topical issues in an EFL context. As such, we analyzed a sample of 663 unpublished applied linguistics MA theses which were distributed over a 30-year period. The cumulative results revealed the distribution of the studies in a good range of substantive issues with ―researching language classroom issues‖ as the most frequent topic in the data set and ―research methods or researching research methodology”, “psycholinguistics”, and “sociolinguistics” as the least frequent issues across a wide range of age groups, proficiency levels, and time span. As for the cumulative analysis of research approaches, the results revealed that about 72% of the included MA theses were quantitative; around 18% of the studies employed mixed methods research; and a smaller percentage of the studies (11%, n=72) used a qualitative research approach. Chronologically, a clear increasing pattern of research paradigms was notable across time. Implications for the research consumers (e.g., supervisors, journal reviewers, postgraduate students, and material developer) are discussed.

خلاصه ماشینی:

Literature Review In the field of applied linguistics, the following studies, adopting descriptive-led or interpretive-led perspective, are mainly concerned with the description and interpretation (rather than evaluation and aggregation) of research practices phenomena in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies. The findings revealed that 64 percent of data set was quantitatively-oriented, almost 28 percent qualitatively-oriented, and a small portion of the studies, only 8 present, were reported as mixed methods research. Simultaneously, in a study of 2200 published empirical articles in ten applied linguistics journals from 1997 to 2006, Benson, Chik, Gao, Huang, and Wang (2009), found that 22 percent of the data set were qualitative. These two studies systematically evaluated the status of mixed methods research and offered a ‗launching pad‘ for conceptualizing new methodology in applied linguistics. Contrary to Marefat‘s (1999) study in which researching reading issues was found to be the most prevalent topical area of MA theses in a leading Iranian university, the majority of the MA theses in this study have examined issues related to language classrooms and skill-based instructions, revealing that the {مراجعه شود به فایل جدول الحاقی} authors of theses gave serious thought to the matters related to teaching and learning aspects in an Iranian EFL setting. (2018) research synthetic techniques, future studies can make a positive contribution to the hotly debated issue of quality in each paradigms of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research in applied linguistics and other related fields.

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