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Guidelines for Reporting a Correlational or Qualitative Research in ELT

Parlindungan Pardede
Universitas Kristen Indonesia


This guideline was written to help the students of the English Teaching Study Program of UKI write their Undergraduate Thesis—the documented report of the process followed and the results of original research they conducted in fulfillment of the requirements for the undergraduate degree from the study program. Since the undergraduate thesis should be presented in a manner that will reflect credit on the student, the study program, and UKI, the present writer believes that the students need practical but comprehensive guide to write the research report.

To make this guideline practical, the conceptual matters (typed in black) necessitated to figure out what to write in every section of the undergraduate thesis are presented in user-friendly manner and are provided with simple but comprehensive examples (typed in red). These examples were cited from Pardede’s (2010) Short Stories Use in Language Skills Classes: Students’ Interest and Perception which can be freely downloaded, so that everyone studying this guideline can directly see the example in a complete version. The Cover, Abstract, Table of Contents and other front matters could be downloaded from here.

I expect this guideline is helpful for all students in their trial to do their best to finish writing their undergraduate thesis.


In a single paragraph, provide a comprehensive introduction to this chapter. List what you are going to present successively. The following is a sample of an introductory paragraph.

This report reveals the findings of the study about students’ interest and perception of the use of short stories in language skills classes. This chapter provides overall introduction to the study. It consists of six sections, i.e. the background of the study as well as its limitation, research questions, objectives, significances, and scope of the study.

A. Background
In this section you need to present three items: (1) a brief introduction to the general area to be addressed by the study; (2) the problems to solve or condition to improve and their urgency to deal with; and (3) reason(s) for choosing the topic. Follow the following three steps to write this section.

1. First of all, in one to two paragraphs, introduce the general area to be addressed by the study. Use the description to create a sense of interest in the topic. The following paragraphs are an example was cited from Pardede’s (2010) research report entitled Short Stories Use in Language Skills Classes: Students’ Interest and Perception. The paragraphs describe the topic, i.e. the use of literature, in general and short-stories in particular, in ELT classroom and show remarkable reasons of the practice. See how the two paragraphs manage to create a great sense of interest in the topic.

The inclusion of literature, in general and short-stories in particular, in of the Second Language (SL) or Foreign Language (FL) classroom has been one of the most controversial issues. Used as a notable source of material during the domination of the Grammar Translation Method (GTM) until the end of the 19th century (Prodromou, 2000), literary works were absent from the curriculum of SL/FL teaching until 1970s when GTM was successively replaced by the Direct Method, Audiolingual Method, Community Language Learning, Suggestopedia, the Silent Way, Total Physical Response, and the Natural Approach which tend to regard a SL/FL teaching as a matter of linguistics and emphasize more on structures and vocabulary. Literature became even more divorced from ESL/EFL teaching when classrooms were dominated by dialogues used to enable students to communicate orally under the ascendancy of the communicative approach (Liddicoat & Crozet 2000). But since the 1980s, literature has found its way back into the ESL/EFL classrooms due to the realization that when used appropriately, with their authentic nature, literary genres are functional tools for language classes for all levels.
Starting from the last two decades the use of literature, in general and short-stories in particular, in ELT classroom has been advocated due to the various advantages they can offer to teachers and learners. Literature, in the form of short-stories, makes English learning enjoyable and attractive. Stories also help to stimulate students’ curiosity about the target culture and language. Integrating short-stories in EFL classrooms also paces the way to the EFL learners’ involvement with rich, authentic uses of the foreign language (Collie and Slater, 1991). Stories foster reading proficiency which is very important for enriching EFL vocabulary. The use of short-stories encourages language acquisition and students’ language awareness. Stories stimulate language acquisition by providing contexts for processing and interpreting new language. They also supplement the restricted input of the EFL classroom. Stories also promote an elementary grasp of English to internalize vocabulary and grammar patterns.

2. Reveal the real problems and show why it is urgent to solve them. Use factual data (obtained by researcher’s observation or quoted from valid references) to support the urgency of carrying out studies to solve the problem. Relevant results of previous researches are also good to write here. Check these paragraphs.

Theoretically, the use of literature in language teaching is very advantageous. Collie and Slater (1991) list four benefits: authentic material, cultural enrichment, language advancement, and personal growth. First of all, literary texts can be more beneficial than informational materials in stimulating the acquisition process as they provide authentic contexts for processing new language. Since literary texts contain language intended for native speakers, literature stands as a model for language learners to become familiar with different forms and conventions. Second, using literature in language teaching has the advantage of providing cultural information about the target language. Literary texts increase foreign language learners’ insight into the country and the people whose language is being learnt (Collie and Slater, 1991), which fosters learners’ ability to interpret discourse in different social and cultural target language contexts (Savvidou, 2004). Third, containing real examples of grammatical structures and vocabulary items, the literary texts raise learners’ awareness of the range of the target language and advance their competence in all language skills (Povey, 1967). Finally, since literature enables students to understand and appreciate other cultures, societies and ideologies different from their own, it encourages personal growth and intellectual development (Carter and Long, 1991, 2-4). In line with that, Erkaya (2005) notes four benefits of using of short stories to teach ESL/EFL, i.e. motivational, literary, cultural and higher-order thinking benefits.

Therefore, the inclusion of short stories in the language skills classes of the English Department of FKIP-UKI is expected to provide greater opportunities for the students to enjoy the learning activities, to enhance their language skills, to develop their cultural sensitivity, and to sharpen their thinking skills. In addition, the practice is also expected to increase the students’ skills in using short story to teach English. So, when they have graduated, they will also be able to provide the same benefits to their students.
Despite the curriculum designers and lecturers’ enthusiasm and interest in the inclusion of short stories in the language classes of the English Department of FKIP-UKI, students’ perceptions of short story in this context, and its impact on them, have never been investigated or adequately considered in a systematic way. To a certain extent, this may be accepted as a proof of Edmondson’ (1997) anxiety that the inclusion or exclusion of short stories in the curriculum of English programs was mainly based on assumptions and theories. It was conducted without providing any empirical evidence that the use of short stories develops students’ language competence.
Such practice did not exclusively take place in the English Department of FKIP-UKI. Even in worldwide SL/FL context, only a few current studies have explored the role of literature in the SL/FL curriculum from the students’ perspectives. For example, Maxim (1997) carried out an experimental study in the United States on grammar learning and the development of cultural awareness, comparing the outcomes of reading literary texts with those of conventional grammar lessons and textbook reading. Edmondson (1996, cited in Edmondson 1997) analyzed responses by students in Hamburg to a questionnaire on positive and negative influences on their language learning, which included such items as rock music and literature. Carroli (2002) investigated the perceptions of literature among students of Italian language at the Australian National University.

3. Before closing this background section, provide reason(s) for choosing the topic. Write a paragraph to accommodate this. The following sample might inspire you to write your own.

The practice of including or excluding short stories in the curriculum of the English Department of FKIP-UKI is fundamentally risky. By doing this students are assigned to deal with materials whose suitability with their’ needs, interest, and perception is still uncertain. Since the role of curriculum designer and lecturer is not just to facilitate, but to maximize, students learning, it is therefore vital to delve into students’ interest and perception of short story, and their perception of the importance of using short story in the curriculum they are dealing with.

B. Problem (s) Statement
In this section, list one or more problems identified from the background in interrogative sentences. See the following.

In this research, the researcher verified the problem statements as follow:
1. Are the students interested in the use of short story in language skills classrooms?
2. What is students’ perception towards the inclusion of short story in language skills classrooms?
3. Is there any correlation between students’ perceptions and their interest concerning the use short story in language skills classrooms?

C. Research Objectives
In this section, write down the specific, clear and to the point statements of intended outcomes from the research to undertake. Do this by transforming the questions in the problem statement section into positive form. Look at the following example.

This study was carried out to achieve the followings:
1. To investigate students interest in the use of short story in language skills classrooms.
2. To explore students’ perception towards the inclusion of short story in language skills classrooms.
3. To see whether students’ perceptions and their interest concerning the use of short story in language skills classrooms are correlated on not.

D. Research Significances
List what advantages could be expected from the research’s result to as many parties as possible, e.g. to teaching practice, to ELT theories, and to the researchers themselves in this section. See how Pardede’s (2010) list the research significances in his report entitled Short Stories Use in Language Skills Classes: Students’ Interest and Perception.

This study was hopefully beneficial to the followings:
1. Policy makers in English teachers training department (curriculum designers and lecturers) could make the results to get insights in the development of curriculum and teaching materials.
2. English teachers can make use of the findings in selecting materials in their classrooms.
3. Researchers might be stimulated to conduct further research in the area to enrich theories in the field of EFL teaching and learning.

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