Investigating TESOL master's thesis projects and thesis advisement in Taiwan: Current research direction, related factors, and advisement issues
|關鍵字:||台灣英語教學所;論文趨勢;論文選擇;指導議題;TESOL programs in Taiwan;Current thesis research direction;selection of thesis topics;advisement issues|
ABSTRACT In different professional fields, studies have employed meta analysis method to investigate research trends in their given fields. . However, in the field of TESOL, there is a paucity of analyses of current directions in research topic choice, the educational levels of participants, and research methods; there have been even fewer studies systematically examining the research direction of master’s thesis projects produced in TESOL graduate programs in Taiwan. There are three major foci in the present study. By implementing a meta analysis method, the present study first analyzed the TESOL master’s theses’ common research topics, the education levels of research contexts, and research methods to present research trends in seven Taiwan TESOL programs between 2004 and 2008. The findings aim to provide graduate students with an overview of current research direction and to offer policy makers in TESOL programs suggestions for designing useful courses for students. Next, with a survey and follow-up interviews, the researcher intended to understand TESOL graduate students’ reasons for selecting their thesis topics, research participants, and methods. Finally, the negotiation process of discussing thesis topic selection between advisors and advisees was also discussed in the interview section. The results showed that among the theses produced between 2004 and 2008, the most popular topics chosen by TESOL graduate students were language skills, teaching methods, CALL, and materials or curriculum. The most common research contexts investigated were high schools, higher education, and elementary schools settings. The most prevalent research methods employed were mixed methods, quantitative methods, and qualitative methods. Mixed methods were mostly implemented, followed by quantitative and qualitative methods. In addition, according to the survey, the most influential factors influencing the design of thesis projects were personal interests, followed by feasibility of the research design, and then the role of advisors. In particular, the role of advisors, though ranking third among other factors, still had a profound effect on students’ decision making about thesis topics. To go a step further, when considering the negotiation process between advisors and advisees, the interview results suggested that nowadays advisors may position themselves as the colleague of their advisees, not a guide directing the research. In this case, graduate students are better able to communicate with their advisors when a conflict ever arises. Further investigation on TESOL master’s thesis projects is needed. Future research can be conducted to include all the TESOL theses produced in Taiwan, thoroughly revealing complete research trends or directions in TESOL master’s theses.
|Appears in Collections:||Thesis|