In a quantitative research design for my problem statement, Arabic language instruction intervention will be implemented in an experimental group taking a 24 week course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California. A control group with no intervention methods will also be studied at the same time. Information would be recorded via test scores at the end of the course; all participants would take the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), and the mean scores for both groups would be compared to determine whether the hypothesis (that the instructional methodologies in question can provide better oral proficiency in second language acquisition) is supported.
The appropriateness of the quantitative research design is somewhat sound; using the OPI at the end of each course helps to determine exactly how well the students learned Arabic as a second language based on the intervention model being presented. When compared with the class that underwent a normal curriculum, it is easy to see exactly how much better (if at all) the intervention model improved on the language learning capabilities of the experimental group. Comparing the OPI scores offers a quantitative, measurable and comparable means of determining, without subjective bias, which intervention model may be more effective. This method, arguably, would be more effective than a qualitative method to present as evidence of effectiveness of an intervention model, due to the inarguable, statistical evidence that would be presented in terms of performance.
The qualitative research design for my problem statement would involve Arabic language instruction intervention, which will be implemented in an experimental group taking a 24 week course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California. The experimental and control groups for this research design would be studied through interviews with each student in both groups; their assessments on the ease, the level of enjoyment, and structure of the class would be evaluated and analyzed. These detailed interviews can help to establish overall opinions and outlooks on the attitude of the students during the course, which would be covered in a discussion section. Trends would be examined and compared to previous literature, in order to find patterns in behavior that would lead to improved second language acquisition given the qualitative impressions of the experimental classroom.
This type of research design is fairly appropriate for the subject matter; the overall goal of the problem statement is to see if an intervention model will make the learning experience more conductive to learning. Through examination of the way the intervention model affects the students in the class, its effectiveness may be examined. Given the hypothesis that a classroom where the students feel more comfortable with the subject matter would lead to improved performance, using mere qualitative impressions of the students would be sufficient in detailing the success of the intervention model.
The mixed methods research design for the problem statement would combine both qualitative and quantitative methods of testing Arabic language instruction intervention, which will be implemented in an experimental group taking a 24 week course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, California. At the end of each course, the students would take the OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) to determine the quantitative improvements that are hypothetically made given the intervention model used in the experimental group. Qualitative data on the effectiveness of the instruction and classroom experience themselves will be determined through surveys conducted on each participant. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be analyzed and collected to look for trends in overall second-language instruction proficiency and positive experiences in the classroom.
This mixed methods approach is very appropriate for this design; providing both quantitative and qualitative data allows for the answers to both research questions: whether the intervention methods used provide quantifiable improvements to second-language acquisition, and whether the intervention methods used offer a more enjoyable, understandable and smoother language learning experience in a military school setting. The OPI provides a measurable and comparable test of oral proficiency, which is the type of language acquisition that is in question (military language learning strongly emphasizing oral proficiency in a foreign language). At the same time, the surveys would provide researchers with a contextual look into the way in which the classroom instruction affects the participants, being supplied with detailed description of the overall attitude of the course. Combining these two methods offers a more comprehensive view of the effect of the intervention model on the language learning course in this military language school.
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