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

About this Research Study

Theoretical Perspective

Theoretical Perspective

As this research project set out to investigate the perceptions of teachers and students, phenomenology was a fitting theoretical perspective for inquiry. Phenomenological research addresses people’s lived experiences and “aims at gaining a deeper understanding of the nature or meaning of our everyday experiences” (van Manen, 1997, p. 9). As Pietersen (2002) explains, “phenomenological studies are not driven by preconceived theoretical constructs and research hypotheses, but a desire to explicate a given phenomenon.” Hence it is important to emphasise that phenomenology is a theoretical perspective that guides methodology and methods rather than a prescriptive framework or guide. Phenomenology allows for data-driven theorizing, and there is an emphasis on interpretation and (re)presentation of participants’ experience. In keeping with social constructivism, this phenomenological study explored not only what language learners and teachers did, used and felt within the particular technology-enhanced environments, but also how language learning and teaching practices were shaped by broader institutional and social factors within the shared experiences of participants. Consequently, this theoretical perspective strongly influenced the methodology and methods employed throughout the project.