Chapter 1: Researching Language Teaching and Learning: Three Research Approaches
A. Mehdi Riazi [+]
This introductory chapter provides the reader with the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the three research methodologies, namely, quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research (MMR). The aim is to create a context for the subsequent chapters of the book. In this review we refer to the more conventional paradigms (positivism and constructivism) that inform quantitative and qualitative research approaches and review two philosophical frameworks which justify the use of MMR, namely, pragmatism and critical realism, to show how MMR is theoretically conceptualized. The purpose here is to help readers understand the scope of knowledge production in our field and how it has been conceptualized in terms of the relationship between research paradigms and research methodologies. Such a classification and review encompasses quantitative and qualitative methods as well as research studies which have attempted to combine both. What this introductory chapter does, then, is to provide a motivated and well-grounded account of the relevant theoretical background for the reader so as to provide a well-argued basis for the subsequent chapters of the book.