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Exploring the Hype(r) of Languages Learning and Teaching | About this Research Study : Overview

About this Research Study

Overview

Overview

Crotty (1998) identified four key elements that inform and influence the process of inquiry in social research. As shown above, these include epistemology and ontology, theoretical perspective, methodology and methods and, as the arrows indicate, each element is embedded in and informs the others. Denzin and Lincoln (2003) have argued that these elements form a paradigm that guides researchers’ actions, and others have suggested that they comprise a theoretical framework (Schram, 2003; Strauss, 1995). According to Anfara and Mertz (2006b), “a useful theory is one that tells an enlightening story about some phenomenon. It is a story that gives you new insights and broadens your understanding of the phenomenon” (p. xvii). Providing new insights, or offering a “lens” or “mirror” to view phenomena is a common description of theory, and authors agree that its key roles are to organise findings, situate research within scholarly conversation, and to justify truth claims (Anfara & Mertz, 2006a; Caelli, Ray, & Mill, 2003; Fowler, 2006; Henstrand, 2006).

Interpretive or theoretical frameworks are important because they help focus a study, offer a means for assessing or judging the value of research, and allow for entry into scholarly conversation (Anfara & Mertz, 2006a, p. 192). The process of the inquiry, the questions asked, issues of positionality, methods used, reporting and inclusions and exclusions are all informed by the interpretive framework adopted for an inquiry. Crotty’s (1998) model provides a useful way of “unpacking” the interpretive framework for a study and so it is used throughout this section to articulate the emerging interpretive framework for this research project.