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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

6 - Experimental Studies in L2 Classrooms

from Part II - Methods


In the past, experimental research was somewhat at odds with qualitative research, both in terms of ontology (one’s view of reality) and epistemology (what knowledge is). Experimental research falls within a postpositivist paradigm, which suggests that an objective and discoverable truth exists (its ontology) and that we can find out that truth by generating and testing hypotheses (its epistemology). Using the example of authentic listening materials, this means that under ideal circumstances, researchers should be able to determine the effect of authentic listening materials on listening comprehension. Qualitative research, on the other hand, falls within a postmodernist paradigm that rests on the ideas that there are multiple truths (its ontology) and that research should try to uncover the diversity of experiences and perspectives on a topic of inquiry (its epistemology).

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