Cases for Curiosity Generation in ELT Research Class

Cases for Curiosity Generation in ELT Research Class

Describe a suitable research design for the following case. Include the objective of the research, the method, sample and population (participants), data collection technique, instrument(s), and data analysis technique in your research design. Use the example about Wulan below as a model for the descriptions.


Wulan, an eighth semester student majoring in English education, is trying to get the best topic to research in order to write her thesis. She has a younger sister, July, who goes to a senior high school in Bandung.  In several occasions July told Wulan that there are five English teachers in her school. Among them, Miss Helena is the most favored. She is very popular among almost all of the 900 students and the other four English teachers in the school. Many claim she teaches so effectively and interestingly that nobody ever gets bored in her class. No wonder that Miss Helen always wins the best teacher of the year trophy.

The story about Miss Helen has inspired Wulan to investigate that successful teacher in order to write her undergraduate thesis. The results of the study, she hopes, will reveal the unique qualities of Miss Helen (including her personal traits, professional achievements and teaching style) that make others (her students and colleagues) perceive her as a successful English teacher in Bandung.


Since Wulan wants to investigate a specific person’s quality, the research she is going to conduct is a case study. The objective is to find out the special qualities a successful EFL teacher has. Therefore, the research question could be formulated as follow: “What unique qualities does Miss Helen have (including her personal traits, professional achievements and teaching style) that make others perceive her as a successful an EFL teacher in Bandung?

To obtain comprehensive information about Miss Helen’s qualities, it is necessary to obtain data from as many as possible relevant sources. So, the participants to be in this study are Miss Helen, her colleagues, and the students she has ever taught.  Because the school has five English teachers, all the four colleagues of Helen’s will be included. Among the 900 students, participants will be randomly selected to take 15 students from each grade (Grade 10th, 12th and 12th. Thus, the participants of this study will cover 50 persons.

In addition to the involvement of participants from different groups (teachers and students), triangulation will also be adopted through the use of three different data collection techniques: interview, survey, and document study. The interview will be administered to obtain data from Miss Helen and the other four EFL teachers. Survey is conducted to obtain data from the 45 students, i.e. by using a questionnaire. Study document will be employed to get the information of Miss Helen though as many as possible relevant documents (e.g. certificates and published works). Based on the data collection techniques employed, the instruments to be used are a questionnaire and the researcher.  All the collected data will be analyzed  using the descriptive analysis technique.

Case 1

Miss Jane has just begun teaching in Global Primary School. She is assigned to teach English to four parallel fifth grade classes consisting of 25 students each. One of the main problems the students are facing is their very limited vocabulary. To help them develop vocabulary, Jane studies many literatures and finally concludes there are two effective techniques primary school students can use to develop vocabulary: (1) reading fables and (2) watching cartoons. Since she has a very limited time in each class, she should make sure first which technique is most effective. Therefore she decides to carry out a research to answer “Is reading fables more effective than watching cartoons to develop fifth graders’ vocabulary?”

Case 2

Rina teaches English in grade 1 of a private school in Jakarta. The class consists of 17 students. Since they are very young learners, Rina decides to focus the learning activity on oral language development. The class is therefore dominated with activities for practicing simple daily conversations. In the beginning, all the students seem to have relatively equal competence. But after three months, two of them outperform the other 15 students in pronunciation. As a matter of fact, Rina treats every student in the same way. Nobody gets privilege. Seeing this, Rina wonders how these two students perform far better in pronunciation. Therefore she would like to conduct a research to answer “What makes the two students perform very well in pronunciation?”

Case 3

Mr. Paul teaches academic writing to fifth semester students of an English Education program. At present he is teaching two parallel classes consisting of 27 students in the first class and 28 in the other one. After reading the papers assigned the students several times, he realizes that many of the students are very good in writing citations and paraphrasing, whereas the others seem very incapable. The formers works are usually written effectively. In contrast, the latters’ papers are difficult to read. After some discussion with some students of both groups, it seems that the students who are keen on writing citations and paraphrasing like reading relevant materials with academic writing, such as journal articles, textbooks, and research reports. On the other hand, those who are weak in writing citations and paraphrasing dislike reading such texts. He then decides to carry out a research to study the question, “Is frequent reading of scientific texts related to students’ citing and paraphrasing skills?”

Good Luck!

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