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SECOND LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
Andrea Baquero Lesmes
Classroom-centered research can
provide a great deal of useful
information about how foreign
language instruction is actually
carried out in contrast to what people
imagine happens in the classroom.
1. What are the similarities and differences between the
psychometric tradition, naturalistic inquiry and action research?
Naturalistic Inquiry Action Research
What are they
such as attitude. It has been
also called as Experimental
and Quantitative Research.
About analyzing the
purposes of teaching and
learning instead of the
purposes of investigating
behaviors. It has also known
as Qualitative Research.
About changing and
improving teaching and
learning . It includes
systematic procedures for
collecting data and
understanding their meaning
in a local context.
Psychometric Tradition and Naturalistic Inquiry can be part of the Empirical Research where
research is based on the collection and analysis of data. All of them value students’ view
and accomplish the same stages during the Research: Design, Data Collection and Analysis.
It values objectivity.
The data are typically
It values subjectivity.
Its main concern is capturing
qualities and attributes.
It has a more immediate and
practical focus. Its results
may contribute to emerging
theory and understanding
2. Identify a research question that would be most appropriately
studied in the psychometric tradition and one that would be best
investigated using naturalistic inquiry.
• Psychometric Tradition:
How much do results in the English class
improve when students use a text book?
• Naturalistic Inquiry:
Should teachers create their own students book
if their school does not have enough resources?
Would it help to improve students learning
3. Identify and discuss 3 – 5 key issues that you’d like to see
addressed by classroom researchers or that you yourself would
like to investigate in your classroom.
• Is the “lack of resources” in public schools an excuse for
teachers not to propose new strategies in order to facilitate
• Should parents have also access to English Language Training
in order to support their children at home?
• Many teachers complain about the few hours to work in
English at school, how to extend this time by taking advantage
of students interest in the use of technology?
• How effective would be to work collaboratively with other
subjects and teachers to create a bilingual environment at
4. What is your view about objectivity and subjectivity in
research? Can you see a place for subjective data and
interpretations or should all research be objective in nature?
In the real daily life, human beings are exposed all the time to
decision making and before doing it, we are evaluating pros and
cons and we face an internal fight between what we must do
(objective) and what we want to do (subjective), but finally,
what comes to be the best option for any field, is to find a
balance between both and always have in mind that the core
principle must be to have a clear goal in everything we say and
do, to establish specific parameters and being coherent.
When we talk about Research, many people could say that
Objectivity fits more, but we, teachers, understand that our
research processes are aiming in a 100% the benefit and
success of our students and that includes to act regarding their
needs, interests, motives, attitudes, personalities because when
it is about humans, we cannot be simply objective.
• Nunan, D. & Bailey, K. (2008) Exploring Second
Language Classroom Research. Boston,