The purpose of this part of the assessment is to provide you with an opportunity to work on the early stage of research in the area of second language acquisition. You have leaned various issues in the current research in SLA and also learned how authors framed their own research questions given a set of previous researchers or theories, how they came up with the hypotheses with interesting sets of variables (different L1s, different L2s, different learning experiences, different levels of proficiency, different ages, etc), and what kind of experimental methodology they came up to test their given hypothesis. Essentially, your essay will follow these steps, except for carrying out the experiments (thus no result or analysis to talk about).
Therefore, your essay should consist of the following (not an exhaustive list):
• Clear aims and purposes
• Your research questions/hypothesis
• Motivate/contextualize your research questions through a review of relevant literature. (Surely, you couldn’t have thought of your hypothesis out of blue.)
• Justifying your variables: explanation why you have chosen the given variables and why they are interesting and important to employ in your study. Also in case you are replicating an existing study, you could illustrate your reasoning why the chosen variables would be enlightening or shed a light on existing relevant literature.
• Description of you experiment, justifying why the chosen methodology would be the best one to test your hypothesis and including details of what kind of test items are used in the experiment
• Prediction: what kind of the result you would expect to have in either scenario: whether or not the hypothesis is supported by the result.
You have to decide on how you would organize your essay so that the above points can proceed with logical reasoning, and on how much space you want to spend in each part of the above, in order to present your essay as a coherent one and present your points more effectively.
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