Verbal Report methodology methods

Category: Education

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INTROSPECTIVE RESEARCH includes teachers’/learners’ reflection on their thinking proceses/beliefs/experience uses two data collection instruments: Verbal reports Diaries


VERBAL REPORTS Also called as Verbal Protocols or Think-aloud Protocols Appeared in 1970s to differentiate successful and less successful language learners usually applied through writing or reading tasks by learners include learners’ verbalizing their thought processes while engaged (think-aloud) /or immediately after completing the task (retrospective report)


VERBAL REPORTS Retrospective report is suitable to listening and speaking tasks or after think-alouds has some limitations Unnatural- by force Incomplete Analysis is difficult- subjective But valuable- Not much alternative instruments

Principles for Conducting Effective Verbal Reports:

Principles for Conducting Effective Verbal Reports 1. Timing 2. Verbalization difficulty- L1 or L2 3. It is not a dialog but a monolog 4. Not only words but non-verbal behaviour as well- gestures, movements etc. 5. Task-based- not related to automatic processes

Procedures in Verbal Reports:

Procedures in Verbal Reports Practice: Make the learners familiar with verbal reports + Modeling Give simple directions e.g. Talk to yourself! Do not interrupt the process,- gentle reminders only Specify particular points Avoid leading questions Record- video recording Pay atttention to both verbal and non-verbal behaviour

Analysis of Verbal Reports:

Analysis of Verbal Reports Transcribe the data Coding- qualitative Follow the literature A second rater for inter-rater reliability Provide intra-rater reliability

A Sample Verbal Report Study:

A Sample Verbal Report Study Page 174-175- Transcription Think aloud of an article in the New York Times- What pop lyrics say to us today?


DIARY STUDIES include teachers’ or learners’ keeping a detailed record of their teaching and learning experience and their reflections Relatively new – 1980s

Bailey and Ochsner (1983:189)- 176:

Bailey and Ochsner (1983:189)- 176 A diary study in second language learning, acquisition, or teaching is an account of a second language experience as recorded in a first-person journal. The diarist may be a language teacher or a language learner- but the central characteristics of the diary studies is that they are introspective : The diarist studies his own teaching or learning.

Bailey and Ochsner (1983:189)- 176:

Bailey and Ochsner (1983:189)- 176 Thus he can report on effective factors, language learning strategies, and his own perceptions- facets of the language learning experience which are normally hidden or largely inaccessible to an external observer.

Limitations of Diary Studies:

Limitations of Diary Studies Small number of participants- no generalizations Not about learners (teachers or teacher-trainess mainly) Data is subjective How reliable ?

Strengths of Diary Studies:

Strengths of Diary Studies Provides introspective data Specifically important for researchers May be combined with other data collection instruments- data triangulation A practical instrument- low-tec, portable, trainable

Procedures in Diary Studies:

Procedures in Diary Studies Written in the first-person- promoting awareness Systematic Requires revising- supporting with examples when necessary Analysis- qualitative Might have important implications

Practice Time:

Practice Time Page 181 Article by Halbach (1999) Using trainee diaries to evaluate a teacher training course Answer the questions on pages 179-180

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