A Critique of a Qualitative Research Paper

A Critique of a Qualitative Research Paper

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This paper will critique the qualitative research paper, “The use of grammatical terminology in the second language classroom: A qualitative study of teachers’ practices and cognitions” by Simon Borg (1999). Borg investigates four English teachers’ cognitions regarding the use of grammatical terminology and their actual practices in the classroom. In order to clarify the relationship between the teachers’ cognitions and their practices, Borg conducted lesson observations and interviews as data collection methods.
In this paper, Borg’s research will be critically analyzed in terms of the conceptualization of the research study, appropriateness of the research design and the quality of the research analysis.

Conceptualization of the research study
Borg gives a clear rationale for the research by contextualizing the topic. Despite the significance of teachers’ cognitions to instructional decisions and an in-depth understanding of instruction itself, empirical studies of second language (L2) teachers’ cognitions are scarce, especially in relation to grammar instruction. Teachers’ cognitions can be defined as “the beliefs, knowledge, theories, assumptions, and attitudes that teachers hold about all aspects of their work (Borg, 1999, p. 95). Borg’s previous research (1998) explores the cognitions of L2 language teachers that influence grammar teaching in general, including error analysis, the use of grammatical terminology and grammar rules and practices. This earlier research is the basis for the research article under examination here. In the present article, Borg focuses only on the relationship between teachers’ cognitions and instructional practices with respect to grammatical terminology. This is because there has been little...


... middle of paper ...


...directions: the use of grammatical terminology in other contexts and the research of teachers and students collaboration regarding metalanguage discourse. In order to fill the gaps of studies and gain deeper understanding of teachers and instruction, those studies mentioned by Borg should be examined.



Works Cited

Borg, S. (1998). Teachers’ pedagogical systems and grammar teaching: A qualitative study. TESOL Quarterly, 32(1), 9-38.
Borg, S. (1999). The use of grammatical terminology in the second language classroom: A qualitative study of teachers’ practices and cognitions. Applied Linguistics, 20(1), 95-126.
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
McKay, S. (2006). Researching second language classrooms. New York: Routledge.


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