Qualitative inquiry in language studies
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Qualitative inquiry in language studies


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 You will work individually.

1. Choose a setting, a place where you spend time doing an activity regularly. You are involved in this setting as a member of the community.

Eg: University Classroom as an instructor or lecturer

2. Make a list of 3-5 things that you wonder about in this setting. These are your observations of things or issues that happen in the setting.

           Eg: a. Do students understand the lectures given?

3. Why are students silent whenever I ask if they have questions about my lectures?

  • Do students find the lectures relevant?
  • Are students motivated to study the subject matter?
  • Do group discussions help students learn?

If yes, how do group discussions help them learn?

4. Based on the observations that you have made, identify the field(s) and sub-fields of study. You need to define your field of study.

Eg: Second language teaching, Second language learning, Relevance, Motivation, Group discussion 

5. Select a minimum of three journals in the field(s) or sub-fields identified. Examine the three journals for the past five years for qualitative research articles that can help you understand the observations you have made. Minimum number of articles is eight. If you find fewer than eight articles, search wider (more journals) or deeper (more years). 

6. Read the eight articles and consider the focus addressed, explanations of qualitative approaches, the methods used, trends, findings, and whatever appears interesting and relevant. Remember to take note of the authors' names too. 

7. Then, write a four-page report on the status of qualitative research in this field. Page 5 of your report must include a bibliography of the minimum eight articles located.

You will be assessed on the report for: 

Content (15 marks) 

Your mark under this heading will be assessed holistically in relation to the observations you have made in the setting concerned, your understanding of the issue(s) you are writing about and how well have you understood what you have read. 

Language and written presentation (10 marks)

Your mark under this heading will be assessed holistically in relation to clarity of language, presentation of ideas and coherence in writing.



Learning any new language is always a challenging task, as it involves cognitive development and gaining a sense of acceptance of the linguistic elements of the new language. These challenges are pronounced for adult learners, and are thus need to be understand by any foreign language teacher, such that they can achieve an effective student outcome. Arabic language has a high significance in Islam, it is a divine language, which offers glimpse in the religious teachings of the Quran (Faryadi, 2007). It is also recognized as one of the most lyrical language, and is gradually been recognized for its cultural, religious and global significance. Through the present research a classroom context is discussed, where the challenges faced by a foreign language teachers in teaching Arabic to the learners are addressed. The focus of this paper is to observe the classroom settings for such framework and identify the major barriers for learning, the social challenges of these learners in the classroom and reflect on the social dialogue within the classroom. Through a comprehension of these variables in classroom setting, and assessment of the qualitative research considered in this light, improved framework to teach Arabic as foreign language can be developed.


Setting and observations

In the present context, a classroom comprising of adult learners has been identified who are taking Arabic as a foreign language course. These learners are of diverse background, and belong to age group 18-60, thus showing that they have diverse motivation of learning the language, ranging from cultural interests, religious reasons, travel needs, improving their linguistic abilities and communicating with some members of their social environment (Essawi, 2013). In the present context it is noted that while these students are motivated to learn the language, they each have different motivation to learn the language, which raises question about the extent of the individual motivation and association to their language acquisition in the classroom (Faryadi, 2007).

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