nl en

Language Acquisition 5: Writing a Research Report on Language


Admission requirements

A pass mark for Language Acquisition 1 and 3.


This course teaches students to write a research report on applied linguistics. This report could serve as the basis of, or inspiration for your BA thesis. After a short introduction into a number of relevant topics, students choose a theme for their research report. For practical reasons, they may be assigned a different theme. Students work on their research report in groups.

Under the supervision of the tutor, students collect the language use data. Possible sources are: magazines, newspapers, Computer Mediated Communication (texting, Facebook, etc.), literature, television, radio, Youtube, books of poetry, and, for instance, advertising brochures. The language as it is used in the public space is another possible research topic: the language on signs, the language of civil servants, the language of people waiting for the bus, and, for instance, the language use in shops. The language produced in a language teaching situation is another focus of the course, and therefore classrooms are another place to collect data.

Students collect and organise the data and write a report on their findings. With the tutor as an experienced expert and fellow students as critical peers, the various research reports will take shape. In the tutorials, the following topics will be dealt with: research questions, research variables, theoretical angles, visual presentation of the data in graphs and tables, and of course the various parts of an empirical research report (Introduction, Methodology, Results, Conclusion, Discussion). Towards the end of the course, the various research groups will be presenting on their projects.

Taking or retaking Language Acquisition 5: Writing a Research Report on Language in 2014-2015? If so, note that the course format will change. As from next year, you can choose an area of Applied Linguistics that you think may appeal to you. Within that area, you’ll be working in small groups with fellow students and with your tutor to write a research report. Here are your options: Lettie Dorst (Stylistics); Tony Foster (Persuasion Studies); Mili Gabrovsek (Borrowing and Loanwords); Dick Smakman (morning group: Sociolinguistics; evening group Second Language Teaching, specifically pronunciation). Further details about the courses will be posted in August (please also refer to the E-prospectus). We advise you take this information into account when signing up in Usis.

Course objectives

  • Improve academic writing skills.

  • Learn to collect and process language use data.

  • Write an academic research report.

  • Preparation for BA thesis.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

One 45-minute lecture & one 45-minute tutorial every week

Course Load

  • Lectures & tutorials (28 hours)

  • Prepare for classes (28 hours)

  • Collect and process data (35 hours)

  • Write the report (49 hours)

Assessment method

Research report (100%)

If the final grade is 5 or less students may resit the essay.

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.


Enrollement trough uSis is mandatory. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact details

English Language and Culture student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.