Research Methodology and Orientation of Papers Published from 1980 to 2019 in Applied Linguistics Journals

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of English Language, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin Iran


This study explored the research methodology and research orientation of the papers published in seven world-leading applied linguistics journals from 1980 to 2019. To that end, a corpus including 3491 papers from seven applied linguistics journals was investigated. The papers were examined for their research methodology based on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods methodologies and their research orientations based on ten research orientations that were the main focus of applied linguistics studies. The research orientations were obtained from the topics of special issues of the applied linguistics journals. The papers were extracted and analyzed for their research methodologies and orientations according to the three research methodology types and ten research orientations. The results of the study indicated that from 1980 to 2000, the dominant research methodology was quantitative one, while from 2001 to 2019, the qualitative research methodology had an increasing trend of being used by applied linguistics researchers. Moreover, the results of the current study showed that from 2010 to 2019, the applied linguistics researchers showed positive attentions to use mixed methods methodology in their research studies. Furthermore, the corpus analysis from 2000 to 2019 indicated that teaching, teachers, and assessment issues started to show an increasing trajectory of being addressed in the applied linguistics papers. Thus, this study's findings can help the researchers, especially the less experienced ones, refine their knowledge about what has already been done in the field to focus their research studies on the less-examined issues.


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