Motivating Language Learners: A Classroom-Oriented Investigation of the Effects of Motivational Strategies on Student Motivation Author[s]: Marie J. Guilloteaux and Zoltán Dörnyei Source: TESOL Quarte

In assignments 1 and 2, we asked you to [among other things] think critically about the evidence you were citing. In assignment 3, we up the ante in terms of critical thinking especially.
For this assignment, you need to write a critical review of one research study on a topic in second language acquisition. Each study relates especially closely to one module in the course content, and is reported in a journal article. [As mentioned earlier, the articles themselves are accessible via the ‘Course readings’ tab on our StudyDesk.]
The studies that you can choose from are all primary-research studies. [In ‘primary research’, the authors report a study based on their own findings, while in ‘secondary research’ the authors talk about someone else’s findings. Thus, a literature review is a form of secondary research.]
The word limit for this assignment is 1000 words [+/– 10%]. This covers everything except the title page, the review title and the reference list. You may use footnotes [but not endnotes], provided this is done sparingly. Footnotes are included in the word count. Use all of the five subheadings that are used in the outline below [i.e., ‘Introduction’, ‘Summary’, ‘Evaluation’, ‘Conclusion’, ‘References’]. Do not use any additional subheadings.
Your critical review must be structured as follows:
State the title. Begin like this: ‘A critical review of …’. Here is an example:
A critical review of Keating et al. [2015]
Notice that all of the authors are listed, and that the full title of the focus article is not included.
Introduction [one paragraph; c. 150 words]
For guidance about how to write this part of your critical review, please see the information about how to write the introduction part of the essay in assignment 4 below. This guidance can be adapted to assignment 3 in a straightforward way. As the thesis statement of your critical review, use something like this: ‘This paper critically evaluates Guilloteau and Dörnyei’s [2008] study of …’. This is all we need for this particular assessment task. You are not taking a position vis-à-vis a particular topic in this task [cf. the essay you have to write for assignment 4]: you are reviewing a research study.
Note that this section needs to be the introduction to your review, not to the article which reports the study you are reviewing.
When you state the thesis of your review, do not include the full title of the article. In keeping with APA 7, use a citation only.
If you feel that it is necessary to define any key concepts, include the definition[s] in this section.
Summary [one paragraph; c. 200-250 words]
This section should be relatively concise. Aim to provide a snapshot of the study, and no more. Regardless of which aspects of the study you choose to examine in the evaluation section that follows, you should address all [and only] the following points in the present section:
[i] What was the study concerned with?
[ii] What did the authors set out to do in the study [e.g., ‘Sheen [2010] investigated …’]?
[iii] What type of research design did they use [e.g., quantitative/qualitative, case study, longitudinal, comparison across groups]?
[iv] Who took part in the study? Provide some details [e.g., age range, language background].
[v] If the authors started out with any research questions, predictions or hypotheses, what were these?
[vi] How did they obtain their data [e.g., focus groups, participant observation]?
[vii] What were the main findings of the study [e.g., ‘The first prediction of the study was disconfirmed …’]?
[viii] What did the authors conclude from their findings?
For example, here is a one-paragraph summary of a research study:
Bruhn de Garavito [2008] investigated the production of plural inflection in Spanish by French learners. The study focused on two groups of high-school students acquiring Spanish in a classroom setting: 30 with a mean age of 15, and 12 with a mean age of 16.3. Bruhn de Garavito classified the former group as low-proficiency and the latter as lower-intermediate, though their L2 proficiency was not measured directly. A picture-description task was used to collect naturalistic data. Bruhn de Garavito found that each group omitted plurals more often in concorded noun phrases than in bare ones, but that the difference was statistically significant only for the low-proficiency group. In sum, the results of her study were consistent with the Efficiency Hypothesis.
When you need to cite a particular source often within a stretch of text, the general question arises: how often should you do this formally? In your review, we suggest that you give the author’s name plus the year the first time, but thereafter just give the author’s name. If you are sure of the author’s gender, you can also use a pronoun for variety. Another possibility is a phrase like ‘this researcher’. You just need to remind the reader occasionally that the ideas you are stating come from that particular source. This basic approach is exemplified

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