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Definition and Types of Descriptive Research Methods (With Example)

Definition and Types of Descriptive Research Methods (With Example) - Descriptive research can be done qualitatively or quantitatively. A descriptive research equation with qualitative research is related to a naturally occurring phenomenon, using data taken directly or from other researchers.

Descriptive Research Methods
Descriptive Research Methods Book

While the difference with qualitative research is that this research is more deductive than heuristics, and originates from an investigation at a narrow scope.

Descriptive research is used to build an existing phenomenon by explicitly giving an overview.  For example, this study can test the state description of certain learning strategies using hypotheses testing.

Descriptive research can also be used to measure frequencies, for example, to measure the frequency of the emergence of specific synthetics in a second language spoken at several stages of development.

It is very important to emphasize that when this type of research begins with a question or hypothesis, then the phenomenon it describes cannot be manipulated or forged in any case.

Descriptive research references from Journal University can be read and understood until completion. Maybe you can make learning literature in school so that it's easier in research.

Descriptive Research

There are two kinds of descriptive research that can be used to research second language acquisition:

Case studies

This approach is used when researchers are interested in describing some aspects of the use of a second language or progression of one or more subjects individually, as it is believed that the implementation individually will be more noticeable Rather than researching subjects consisting of a large group.

For example, if we are interested in more detail about the development of a linguistic form of a student, then this case study approach will further explain an in-depth picture of how forms are built individually.

Because we know that every individual has different ways of developing their own language competencies. Case studies are also able to demonstrate how individual language acquisition development can differ from those depicted for a group.

Group Studies (Group Studies)

Group studies are studies that empower groups as subjects and can be used in both descriptive and experimental studies. The important difference is in the descriptive, the group is already formed or already in the natural context.

While in experimental research the group used to be structured and selected so that it can be said that the general population of the second language learners is already represented.

To take the example of the use of group studies in descriptive research, a researcher can describe the types of motivational-related achievements in a second language learning group.

Data collection techniques in this study can be done in several ways, such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews, etc. Because the research begins with a particular focus or hypothesis, the amount of data to be collected is limited.

On the other hand, in qualitative research, the type of data collection will be less focused because the purpose of the research is less spelled out.

Data collection methods on descriptive research


The methods that will be discussed this time are limited to several types of procedures related to the design of the question in descriptive research.

1. Test
Language tests are used in descriptive research through various means. It can be either a formal language test or a test-like activity, such as a writing assignment or communicative activity, performed in a language class normally and then a source of research data.

2. Surveys and questionnaires
Surveys and questionnaires are useful for collecting data from large numbers of groups. The items in surveys and questionnaires may differ in their level of thickness. The items may consist of questions or stimuli that the response or answer is restricted.

3. Interviews and Self-report
These instruments are used in line with the increasing frequency of research on the second language, especially when the research objective is to describe the state of the students while language learning activities are held.

4. Observation
Descriptive data can be collected by observing the activity or conduct of the target language acquisition and only record aspects of events that are interesting to research.

Depending on the observation instrument used, observation can narrow record e.g. specific acts or language forms, or the type of common language learning activities in a language class.

Descriptive research procedure

  • Determine the research question or formulation of the problem.
  • Selecting a population
  • Deciding on the right selection of data collection techniques
  • Collecting data
  • Organize and analyze data

Uses of descriptive research

Descriptive research is useful in demonstrating the description of factors related to the development of second language acquisition. These images can form a baseline of data for more controlled research, or as a basis for drawing conclusions about a second language.

Examples: The descriptive case study of two language learners can be a benchmark for second language acquisition in a wider population that has a common language background, age, or education level.