Your 5,000 word essay should contain a SMALL case study that explores an aspect of one learner’s speaking or writing in a second language that is analysed in relation to available literature. A core component of the literature that you refer to in your case study will normally be the material that you presented in your literature review assignment.
To comply with ethics guidelines, your learner must be either 18 years or older, or if your learner is between 8 and 17 years of age, you must have a Working with Children Check (or equivalent). You may not work with learners under 8 years old.
The steps that you will need to go through:
1) Ethics information and consent
2) Data elicitation:
- A 20 minute informal interview to get to know the participant, identify possible features of language to analyse and confirm consent to participate.
- A 20 minute language elicitation session structured according to the feature being analysed (e.g. speaking tasks would be different from writing tasks).
- A 20 minute reflective interview about the experience of the elicitation tasks and use of the feature being analysed.
3) Data analysis:
Transcription and coding
Discussion of analysis in class – in relation to patterns in your data and relevant findings in the literature
4) Data reporting:
Formal 5,000 word report using the structure outlined below
Informal report provided to the learner or relevant parent(s)/guardians.
Your formal report must show a critical understanding of relevant readings, be presented in consistent and reliable English that shows YOUR thinking and how YOU have developed your argument by using the evidence in the readings. Your case study must clearly relate to the readings that you report, and must be framed by a clear question. You must consistently and accurately reference (APA 6) what you have read, both in the text and in the reference list. The work must be YOUR OWN.
In preparation for your small case study you are required to
- Locate one participant. Ensure that your participant has read/understood the details in the Participant Information Sheet and that s/he has filled out the requisite Consent Form.
- Decide on a language feature that you wish to study (e.g., a sound, a grammatical point or a pragmatic feature in the second language).
- Gain a thorough knowledge of the aspect of the language feature that you are researching.
- Create a list of topics/activities that would encourage your participant to use this language feature. [See Case Study support handout for potential topics for language samples for English as a Second Language]. Check the suitability of these topics/activities with the lecturer prior to conducting the research.
- Be prepared to discuss your selected language feature in depth with your participant (or relevant parent(s)/guardian(s)) at the end of the interview if s/he wishes.
STRUCTURE OF THE CASE STUDY REPORT
Your 5,000 word report should use the following headings.
Introduction: This section introduces your research and outlines the main points in your report.
- Ethics: This section provides basic factual information about the ethics processes that you went through and reports on any ethical issues that arose (as well as how you responded to them)
- Case: This section introduces your participant and their language learning experiences.
- Language Feature: This section outlines the grammatical, phonological, pragmatic or lexical issue under study.
- Theoretical Framework: This section can
EITHER: outline the theoretical framework of your study and explain why you have chosen this particular framework for your analysis
OR: it can outline different theoretical approaches which have considered your language feature.
- Methodology: This section describes the methodology that you used to identify, collect and analyse the data.
- Findings: This section outlines your findings based on data contained in the interview and language sample.
- Discussion: This section evaluates the available literature discussed in (4) in light of your findings.
- Conclusion: This section succinctly summarises the main point/s in your report.
- List of References (APA 6 format).
- Appendixes (Handouts, Interview transcripts, Consent forms etc.)
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