The Significance of Research Methods with Reference to Language Education in Higher Education


  • Ismail Mohammed Noriey Department of English, College of Languages, University of Human Development, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq



Research methods, Reference to language, positivism, post-positivism, interpretivism, epistemology, ontology


This research paper investigates the significance of research in language education in the higher education sector. For this purpose, the researcher conducted a case study with twenty 4th year students studying English at the University of Human Development (UHD), Iraqi Kurdistan Region. They were selected based on purposive sampling. The participants were invited to respond to a questionnaire that was created and piloted by the researcher. They were also requested to take part in a structured interview. The findings show that the nature of research methods for 4th year students across higher education is complex and elusive. The findings also show that most of the students almost have the same problems and they have similar views on their final project as they started at the beginning of the final year of the academic year (2018-2019) at the University of Human Development.


Aiken, L. (2006). The landscape of qualitative research: Theories and issues. Falmer Press Teachers’ Library.
Bryman, A. (2006). Quantity and Quality in Social Research. London: Routledge. First published in 1988.
Bottery, M. (2004). The Educational Leadership and Theory to Practice. 1st edition. London Sage.
Babbie, E. (1998). Survey research methods. 2nd ed. Belmont: Wadsworth.
Blaikie, N (2000). Design Social Research, Cambridge, Polity Press.
Comte, R. (2000). The Art of Case Study Research: Perspective in Practice. Sage, London: Educational Research Journal 32: 21-179.
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research: Meaning and perspective in the research process. 1st edition. London Sage.
Creswell, W. (2007).Research design. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. Chapter 11: Mixed methods procedures, pp. 208-227
Creaven, H. (2007). Mixed Methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7): 14-26.
David, K. (1984).Research design: A qualitative and quantitative, and mixed method approaches. 2ND, edition. Thousand Oaks. Sage.
Firm, J. (2000). History and Social Studies-Methodologies of Analysis Data. 1st edition. Amsterdam
Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K.
Gronn, P. (1999).The Making of Educational Leaders London: Cassell. 1st edition. London: Paul Chapman Publishing.
House, E. (2003). Realism in research. Educational Researcher, 1st edition. London: Paul Chapman Publishing. 20(6), 2-25.
Halfpenny, P. 2014. Positivism and Sociology (RLE Social Theory): Explaining Social Life, Routledge.
Hughes, G. and Sharrick, D. (1997): Research and the Teacher, Second edition London, Routledge.
Jeff, D. (2003). Educational leadership and instructional improvement in FE.1st edition. New York: Random House.
Johnson, G. (1997). Qualitative methods and analysis in organizational research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Kayle M. (1998). Meta-Ethnography: Synthesizing Qualitative Studies. 1ST edition. Open University Press; London: Sage
LeCompte, F & Schensul, K. (1999).Comprehensive criteria to judge validity and reliability of qualitative research within the realism paradigm. Qualitative Research, 3(3). 1st edition New York: Free Press.
Manen Van. (1995). On the epistemology of reflective practice Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, (pp.33-50).
Newman, K. (2000). Action research in education: addressing gaps in Ethical principles and practices. Educational Researcher, 36(7), 400-407.
Pope, C (2007). Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative in social research: a guide to methods. 2nd edition. Open University Press, London.
Robson, J (2002).Research Synthesis in Education. 2nd edition. University of London. London: SAGE.
Patton, M. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. 1st edition. SAGE Publications, Inc.
Ritchie, J & Spencer, K (1994). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage
Saunders, C. (2012). Qualitative research requires quality concepts of its own. Management Decision, 39(7), (pp.451-555). London: Sage
Thomas, G. (2009) How to do Your Research Project.2nd edition. London: SAGE.
Yin, K. (2009). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 2nd edition, Newbury Park, CA: Sage
Thomas J, Harden A. (2008) Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC Research Methodology; 2nd edition. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Walcott, K. (2011).Qualitative and quantitative methods. An introduction to theory and methods. 3rd edition. London. Sage.





Conference Paper