Philosophical Assumptions in ELT Research: A Systematic Review

Abstract

Awareness of research paradigms has been recognised as a prized asset to educational researchers. Yet, the extent to which philosophical stances tend to be reflected in papers remains enigmatic in ELT research. This study was, therefore, conducted to explore whether methodologies adopted by ELT researchers are underpinned by pertinent philosophical assumptions. In particular, it enquired into authors’ explicit reference to philosophical underpinnings of their research. In so doing, based on a set of rigorous criteria, a search of relevant articles was undertaken, culminating in 53 articles published in 24 journals, spanning five years (2015–2019). The results testified to researchers’ reluctance to engage with philosophical assumptions, inasmuch as only a small proportion of articles (7.5%) discussed the underpinning philosophical assumptions. The results, however, showed that ethical considerations appear to be a well-established phenomenon, of which the majority of researchers (60.4%) took heed. Moreover, the adopted word cloud technique introduced the highly frequent words used in the methods sections. The results are imbued with some implications for ELT researchers and academics.

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Correspondence to Omid Mazandarani.

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Mazandarani, O. Philosophical Assumptions in ELT Research: A Systematic Review. Asia-Pacific Edu Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40299-021-00554-0

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Keywords

  • ELT
  • Ethics
  • Method
  • Methodology
  • Paradigm
  • Philosophy