Monday, June 23, 2014

Research Proposal (FINAL)

This is the day. Yayyyy!

Before anything, I would like to say thank you to Dr. Aziah for making me love research methodology so much more than how I used to back in my degree years. Looking back at my Research Proposal three years before, I think I knew practically nothing about research back then. T_____T

I hope my efforts are worthwhile -- and if you see some flaws in my proposal, please do not hesitate to tell me. I really hope I can conduct my research as our Malaysian ESL classrooms need a new methodology of teaching writing that is more fun and provides more autonomy to the students.

For a full view of my Research Proposal, please click here.

Thank you so much, everyone!

Chapter 2 (FINAL)

Dr. was right. Chapter 2 was the most difficult part to write. I had to ensure every literature is related with my research and I had to determine each of their function.

To be honest, right to this minute, I still don't know if I'm on the right track of writing a good literature review.

However, for a full reading of my Chapter 2, please click here. :)

Chapter 3 (FINAL)

I found a questionnaire that is suitable for my research. However, I still don't know whether to adopt it wholly or adapt it.

The questionnaire also combines emotions, personal essay, and writing motivation -- what I aim for in my research. :)

For a glimpse of the questionnaire, click here.

After revisiting my research questions with Dr., I realized that I cannot do a quantitative research because the essays need document analysis to identify its emotional expressiveness. Thus, I've changed my research method to a mixed method approach. :D


Chapter 3 is the shortest chapter in the research proposal. However, I have to ensure it is suitable, reliable, and valid to conduct my research.

For a full reading of my Chapter 3, you can click here.

We're coming to an end of my research proposal! I'm so happy :'D

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chapter 2 Development (ii)

Research Objectives: 

1) To investigate the difference of level of emotional expressiveness in narrative composition between learners who are exposed to emotion based language instruction (EBLI) and learners who are not. 

2) To investigate the difference of level of emotional expressiveness in narrative composition between male learners and female learners who are exposed to EBLI. 

3) To investigate the difference of motivation level in composing narrative between learners who are exposed to EBLI and learners who are not. 

4) To investigate the difference of motivation level in composing narrative between male learners and female learners who are exposed to EBLI. 

Hey ho it's Day 2 of organizing my Chapter 2! I've found a theoretical framework for my research :'D Then I've reorganized my subtopics into something like this:

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.2       Emotion and Language
2.2.1    The role of language in emotion
2.2.2    The role of emotion in language
2.2.3    Emotion in second language learning

2.3       Emotion in Narrative
2.3.1    Practices in ESL writing instruction
2.3.2    Emotional narrative as a means to express
2.3.3    Emotional narrative as a means to teach writing skills

2.4       Emotion and Gender
2.4.1    Gender difference in types of emotions
2.4.2    Gender difference in emotional intensity
2.4.3    Gender difference in emotional expression
2.4.4    The role of culture in determining gender difference in emotions

2.5       Emotion and Motivation
2.5.1    The role of emotion in motivating learning 

From here on, I'll put some past research, which is of course, according to the subtopics too. Please let me know if these subtopics are okay @ necessary @ sufficient to justify my research.

Finally, I've found that my research is parallel to Ivan Pavlov's theory of classical conditioning. Although the theory was first introduced to support behaviorism, some researchers believe that emotions are artificial responses that can be triggered by certain stimuli. The simplest example will be: a horror movie (stimulus) will surely trigger fear in you, right? :)

So, what if emotion-based language instruction (stimulus) triggered emotional expressiveness (response 1) and learning motivation (response 2)? 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chapter 2 Development

Sorry for not stopping by for quite a while. To be honest, this is the toughest chapter among the three because there are so many subtopics to choose from and organize.

However, I've decided to divide my literature review into three subtopics, then have two other subtopics for each. I'll put the link here so you can see if I'm on the right track. :)

I've encountered (and still encountering) some problems regarding this chapter. Firstly, I don't really know the difference between the review and past researchers - they keep overlapping each other. T.T Secondly, I still haven't found any theory or hypothesis good enough to be my theoretical framework. Finally, it's tough work trying to redirect the articles I've read to my research questions. For my second subtopic, Emotion in Narratives, I don't know if I should put the benefits of emotional narrative on health as its subtopic. I guess not, but many of the articles I've found support this. I'll put it under KIV then. :p

Will keep trying, though. Chapter 2 coming your way :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dear Dr. Aziah

Thank you for making me love Research a little bit more than I did during my degree years. :D

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chapter 2: Literature Map

I drew this today. To be honest, I suck at framing and organizing things, so my literature map is  just a bunch of connected ideas with no beginning or end. (u.u)

Please click to enlarge.

By the way, my literature review will basically follow this frame: I will first relate emotions to language learning, then refine it to the teaching of narratives. In terms of teaching narratives, emotion-based instruction will lead to emotional expressiveness and motivation to learn.

Nonetheless, I will also put the relationship of gender with emotion expressiveness and if this plays an important role in emotion-based language instruction.

In terms of literature, I've searched for various articles under three subheadings:
1) Emotion and Gender
2) Emotion in Narratives
3) Emotion/Expressive Writing and Motivation

I've also searched for the practices and approaches of ESL in Malaysia. This is to address what is lacking in our curriculum and how emotion-based language instruction can cater to this.

Now, the most difficult part of my Chapter 2 is (actually, it's everything, but let's not get too negative haha) establishing a theoretical framework. I need to read more theories on emotion and see which one fits my study.

I will upload the journals I've found according to each subheading in the next entry.

Godspeed. :D

Chapter 1: Fixed

I've taken Dr.'s advice and fixed some things in my Chapter 1. To be honest, I'm still reluctant to put my context of study because I'm afraid it would be difficult to get data later. Nevertheless, I've decided to conduct my study on Form 4 students in a secondary school which hasn't been decided on, yet.

It's hard and it depresses me that I still haven't started on Chapter 2 yet. It's not that I don't want to, but I think I need a rest for a day from Research. Haha.

You can view my completed and fixed Chapter 1 HERE. :)

So many people to quote. T.T

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Constructing Chapter 1

Today marks the third day of our mid-term break. I've been slaving off doing my Chapter 1 and it has increased my appetite by a manifold. T.T

On a more positive note, I am almost done writing my background of study. However, I can't help seeing it as a mini Literature Review. Is it really supposed to be that way? I have also searched for more journal articles, because apparently, 30++ references are still not enough to get my message across. There is a lot more reading to be done on my thesis topic, but I can't say that I am not having fun. I've broaden my choice of articles to not only ESL, but sociolinguistics, psychology, cognition, mental health etc. I think these journals would prove useful for my Chapter 2 later.

Also, what is left to be done for my Chapter 1 are more citations for my introduction, my limitations of study, the operational definition of emotion, and the conclusion to the chapter. As for my limitations, I can only think of one for now. Gahhh.

I know it still sounds like a lot of work, but I'll catch up. By the way, I've compiled all the new articles that I have found HERE. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Research Part 3: Finding Literature

I got more than 30 literature already! Some of them touches a bit on emotion, some a bit on ESL, some a bit on narrative composition. I used keywords such as "emotion in esl", "emotion in narrative", "esl narrative", "emotion in english", "emotion in language", and "labov" (the name of the person who studied emotions in language in depth, besides Dewaele and Pavlenko). I have yet to try searching with the keyword "affect".

The main problem I have with this topic is that emotions are more related to motivation in learning ESL (you remember the affective domain proposed by Bloom?) I want  to focus on emotions IN language usage, which is more on pragmatics and sociolinguistics. However, I'm relieved to know that a number of people are also having the same concern as I am. We are quite interested in the potential of affect in teaching English as a second language.

Another problem is, and I think this will never end until the end of time, is the amount of restricted journal articles and dissertations all over the Net. Gaaaaah why won't you share your insight for free? Hm I guess if you are good at something, might as well ask people to pay for it. 

Nevertheless, you can click here to browse the literature that I've found. :)

To think like a scholar, we have to look like a scholar. Hm, I should grow a beard.

Research Part 2: Constructing Chapter 1

So here, I've refined my problem statement, aim of research, research questions, and significance of my research. I'm holding off my limitations of research first, because I think that's the hardest part of Chapter 1. Now I have to work on my operational definitions. Sounds easy, but I got more than 30 literature to read. (u.u)

Keep climbing. Keep faith. Hihi.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Research Part 2: Problem Statement

I am currently in the process of writing my problem statement. Although my concern was well-justified based on the journals I found, I am still having trouble finding a context for my problem.

Although I've gotten a general idea that my research should be around secondary schools, but the context could be anyone - either the students, the students exposed to Literature, the teachers... I can do a comparative study between teachers who learn Literature during their university years and teachers who haven't, but I guess I have to ask Dr. Aziah about this.

My general aim is to investigate the trend of emotive language (or lack of it) in ESL secondary classroom. However, I'm still thinking of refining it. Based on my previous post, I think I've already had some RQs in mind.

That aside, you can see some journal articles corroborating my problem statement HERE. I'll post my problem statement in i-Learn later (and I might also put it in my blog if you would like to see my progress).

It's like an eternal struggle, but I'll cope.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Research Part 1: Topic Materialization (iii)

After giving it much thought, I've decided to broaden my topic a little bit. Initially, I'm interested in looking into the effects of framing and how it can help in teaching persuasive speech/essay. However, Dr. Aziah always asks HOW are we going to collect data. I found this question exceptionally difficult if I were to pick on this topic.

So, I think I will focus on language and emotions, and students/teacher's perception regarding this. I don't think we were taught how to relate language and our emotions throughout our 12 years of schooling. To be honest, I can only think about this topic after taking TESL and being exposed to a lot of Literature.

Why is emotive language important, you ask?

Thus, several questions can be asked here, i.e. How come students do not see this relation between language and emotion despite being exposed to Literature in secondary school? How effective is the knowledge of this relationship to students' linguistic ability? Is teaching English and relating it to emotions important at all?

Well, I think I'm on to something now. :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Research Part 1: Topic Materialization (ii)

When it comes to emotive language, I stumbled upon the famous Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. You can read all about it here. This hypothesis claims that the language we speak shapes the way we think.

Also, I found a study on how Spanish-English bilinguals speak Spanish in a more emotional tone than they do English, regardless of their nationality (unfortunately I cannot remember where did I find it, I'll quote it here later).

That's interesting enough, but the problem is how do I relate it to ESL classrooms in Malaysia? Maybe a bit more reading would help (which I still am yet to do until now so sorry Dr. T.T) so I Googled some more.

I also found another theory that can be the base of my research: the framing effect. This theory believes that the way we speak/construct our sentences affect people's decision-making, which sounds a lot like persuasive speech. The effects of framing, based on my little bit of reading, were frequently researched on in the field of politics and marketing, but not education.

If you are interested to know more about framing effect, this website has a number of amusing examples. :)

When it comes to framing effect, I was thinking that I could relate to how we can teach persuasive speech/essay to ESL learners. Other than that, I could relate the emotions found in language with literature. When I discussed this with my friends, they also suggested that I could research on the way teachers construct their reinforcements to students. As you may have already known, B. F. Skinner proposed that there are two ways to shape learner's behavior, that is via positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. This is one of the basis of behaviorism.

All in all, there's just too many concerns which strike my fancy. I might draw a problem tree later on. Also, I have yet to think about the 3Cs that Dr. has told us to: concern, context, and corroboration. I'll come back here once I've refined my research topic.

Till then! :D

Research Part 1: Topic Materialization

Actually, it's already the end of Week 3. Haha. Can I go cry now? Sorry, Dr Aziah. I will try my best to catch up with the others. :'D

So basically, I've spent my whole degree years researching/studying on the technical/syntactical part of the language. My topic for AE was even on ESL grammar, so I think I should do something different for my Master's thesis. Hence came the interest to look into the psychological aspect of language, particularly English.

That's still a bit broad, so I started Googling. Google suggested doing a study on learner's belief, but I find that topic a bit stale (no offence). Then I remembered how I love watching South Park and I kind of picked bits of pieces of English from the cartoon (and not to mention a lot of political and cultural knowledge, too).

(in case you are wondering what South Park is)

So, I was thinking, can't that cartoon be put to good use, i.e. to teach English? But then I realized there's just too much vulgarity in that cartoon (seriously, if you are a no-nonsense type of person, I suggest you refrain yourself from watching it) so it proved impossible to use as an AVA in schools.

Then again, my dilemma was why are we refrained from learning about swear words and the likes? This is starting to get a bit controversial so let me explain. For years, I've been thinking, we always refrain our children from swearing, yet we swear freely because we are adults. Furthermore, men are generally accepted when it comes to swearing, as opposed to the females. Why is this so? It's not like swear words are going to limit our linguistic knowledge. What is the role of vulgarity in our language? There's so many unanswered questions!

So, this is actually a problem/concern I am interested in, and it kind of involves sociolinguistics, so I tried Googling again. Sadly, no research has ever been done on this, but I stumbled on something else.

Google suggested "language and emotions" and it quickly drew my attention.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Hi, I'm Atiqah and this blog is a part of the requirement for our Research Method class. This blog is going to be a bit personal though so I hope you don't mind. :)

Since three weeks ago, I've been eating and sleeping and rolling around thinking of potential topics for my research proposal. To be honest, topic materialization is the hardest part of research. It can take practically forever. T.T

So, I think this portfolio is quite good to document my thoughts and progress on my research proposal - otherwise all my theoretical progress (which is basically my thoughts on research) will just go with the wind. 

If you happen to visit my blog and are interested in what I say/write, your comments are much appreciated! Either arguments, suggestions, etc., it might help in leading me to my best research proposal.

See you around!