Qualitative Research Proposal sample: Application of Language Translation Apps in UTAS
In contemporary society, the rate of immigration to other countries for educational purposes has increased significantly. For instance, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) in Australia has recently enrolled many international students for the Master of Information Technology and Systems degree that is offered by the School of ICT. However, the language barrier still remains an issue that hinders effective interaction and communication between students hailing from different backgrounds (Pokrivcakova, 2019). The problem relates to the difficulty of people communicating since they speak other languages. With the increased application of information technology in education, there are specific technological innovations that have been designed to help in addressing this issue of linguistic barriers (Vieira, et al., 2020). For instance, there are Language Translation Apps that helps in ensuring that even people who initially speak different languages are able to communicate. The number of people utilizing mobile phones has significantly increased, which has resulted in the widespread utilization of these Apps as the replacement of the professional interpreters initially used (Kučiš & Seljan, 2014). The tools employ computer software to translate a given text which is either spoken or written from one natural language to another. In UTAS and Australia, many students are using the Language Translation Apps regularly to mitigate problems relating to language as they go about conducting their day-to-day communication and studying. Therefore, the paper is a research proposal that aims at identifying the effectiveness of the application of the Language Translation Apps by students enrolled in the Master of Information Technology and System Degree at UTAS. The proposed method of conducting the research is qualitative. It entails the collection and analysis of non-numerical data, which helps in understanding, opinions, concepts, and experiences of the respondents in a given study (Rahman, 2017). The report explains in depth some of the proposed research methods, philosophy, design, and data collection and analysis techniques.
The main objective of the research will be to assess the effectiveness of the Language Translations Apps in reducing the negative implications of the language barrier in communication for students enrolled in the Master of Information Technology and System Degree. That is, we will examine to what extent the technological tools enhance communication between students who originally speak different languages.
- To determine the apps that are most employed by the students
- To understand the functionalities of the apps
- To examine the context upon which the students have a higher tendency of utilizing the Language Translation Apps
- To determine the extent upon which the students rely on the app
- To assess their perception on whether the Language Translation Apps are helpful or not
The proposed research philosophy is interpretivism. The philosophy is based on the principle that researchers have a specific role which is observing the social world. The research team is required to interpret various elements within the topic being investigated in an attempt to develop a better understanding of the social constructs of the society (Žukauskas, et al., 2017). Therefore, interpretivism philosophy tends to integrate human interest into the research. The interpretive researchers assume that access to reality, which can either be given or socially constructed, is only through social constructions such as shared meaning, instruments, consciousness, and language. The philosophy is more inclined towards qualitative as compared to quantitative analysis since it is based on the perception of the participants.
The deductive approach is the proposed research design for the study. The method is usually associated with scientific investigations. It starts with the research team studying what has already been covered in the existing literature when it comes to the topic being investigated, then they read the existing theories relating to the phenomenon and then tests the hypotheses that are created from these theories (Woiceshyn & Daellenbach, 2018). Therefore, the primary intention of the approach is to determine whether a given idea or hypothesis is valid in a given circumstance. The main aim of the research will be to analyze whether the Language Translation Apps enhances the communication between students hailing employing different original languages. The existing literature proves that the tools are effective in ensuring sharing of information, even especially in situations whereby the language barrier is an issue. Thus, the study will assess the validity and practical applicability of this hypothesis.
Qualitative Research Method
The method comprises an array of interpretive techniques that aims at describing, decoding, and generating meaning of certain phenomena observed in the social world. They are designed to help the research team to understand people and the social and cultural setting that they dwell in (Rahman, 2017). Some of the benefits of employing the qualitative research method include the fact that it grants the researchers a detailed description of the opinions, feelings, and experiences of the participant and can help to interpret them into actions (Almeida, et al., 2017). However, the technique also faces various limitations, such as low credibility associated with the results garnered using this approach, and it is prone to bias since it takes into account the perception and opinions of the people.
Ethnographic qualitative research design is the exact strategy that will be employed in conducting the study. It involves the researchers observing and interacting with the participants as they continue with the daily activities in the real-life environment (Almeida, et al., 2017). That is, we aim at understanding the effectiveness of the application of the Language Translation Apps by the students undertaking the degree course as they by observing and interacting with them in the contexts whereby they use the technological tool. The technique is user-centered design thus can be employed by the research team to understand the designing problems relating to their audience, processes, goals, domain, and context (Rahman, 2017). Ethnographic research will enable the researchers to understand the application of the Language Translation Apps by the students within the institution. Minimizing the costs associated with the research is one of the reasons as to why the technique is proposed. It will also help in ensuring that the researcher is able to understand the group of individuals employing the technological tools and how they use them. Having the researcher interact with the respondents for a given time, preferably one month, will ensure that he or she is able to examine the students as they employ the Apps in their natural setting hence garnering better understanding. Some of the advantages of this technique include it can help in the identification and analysis of unexpected issues, and it also avails detailed and faithful representation of the participant’s attitudes and behaviors in relation to the topic being studied. However, they tend to take a considerable amount of time, and the subjects may not act naturally as the study is being conducted.
Data Collection Methods
One of the data collections that is intended to be employed in the research is observation. It entails garnering the required information from the respondents through making observations of the researched phenomenon as it happens (Frya, et al., 2017). Some of the aspects that the technique mainly focuses on include human behavior, the application of a given phenomenon, human interactions, and verbal and non-verbal expressions. The method can be categorized under participatory study since the researcher is required to immerse himself in the context whereby the respondents are situated while recording and taking notes. Some of the advantages of employing the technique include it is a simpler method of collecting data, and it tends to give more reliable information as compared to other techniques such as questionnaires or interviews (Frya, et al., 2017). Some of the limitations include that some of the phenomena are not open for observation, faulty perception, and lack of reliability. The observation will focus on assessing the context upon which the students tend to employ the Language Translation Apps and the rate of use. It will also aim at identifying some of the standard apps that the students employ. The proposed technique is participant observation, whereby the researcher will act as an active participant in the study. The researcher will interact with the students who mostly employ the technological tools to understand how they work and their effectiveness. He or she will also be required to take notes on the observation noted. The observations will be carried out in the areas such as the classroom and other social sections, whereby there is a lot of interaction between different students.
Another proposed data collection technique is focus groups. A focus group refers to the technique that involves group interactions as a way of collecting the required information (O.Nyumba, et al., 2018). The groups consist of a small number of people who are carefully selected to discuss a specific topic. The main reason for employing this technique is since it will help in identifying and exploring the perceptions of the students and how they behave in relation to the application of the Language Translation Apps within the institutions. It will help in answering the why, what, and how questions relating to the topic being studied. The Focus groups will act as a supplementary data collection technique to validate the information garnered through observation. One of the topics that will be covered in the focus groups includes to what extent do the international students depends on the Language Translation Apps to communicate with their peers who do not share a similar original language. They will also focus on how useful the apps are when it comes to enhancing communication between students in situations whereby the language barrier was an issue. I will arrange for the focus groups inviting the international students to participate in a discussion relating to the application of the Language Translation Apps. The members of the focus groups will be voicing their opinions and insights through Social Media and Internet platforms, thus enhancing the collection of data. I will manage the discussions to ensure that the topics discussed resonate with the objectives of the study.
Data Analysis Methods
Narrative analysis is the proposed data analysis technique that will be employed to deduct conclusions from the information garnered. The method entails listening to the people’s explanations and digging into what that implies (Willis, 2018). Through listening to people’s insights and observing as they conduct their daily activities, a researcher can be able to understand the ways in which the participants perceive reality and cope with it. Listening and analyzing the stories that the participants give relating to the use of Language Translation Apps will help in assessing the level of satisfaction that the users feel and how effective they rate it to be when dealing with their language barrier problems. I will evaluate the responses that they give in relation to the topic in the focus groups to understand how they perceive the apps and some of the famous ones among them. The narrative data analysis technique will also be employed to analyze the information collected through the observation approach. The researcher will listen to the stories of the students and note how they described the usage of the technological tool and its effectiveness. This technique is appropriate for application in academic literature since it helps in assessing the perception of the participants in relation to a given topic which enhances the application of the subjective method in research.
The increase in the number of international students enrolled for the Master of Information Technology and System Degree that is offered by the School of ICT in UTAS and other higher learning institutions in Australia has increased. This has resulted in an increase in the number of original languages that are employed by the students to grow which can lead to the language barrier. There are certain Language Translations Apps that are designed to help in reducing the implication of these linguistic barriers on communication. The paper is a proposal on research that should be conducted to examine the application of these technological tools by international students and their applications. The proposed research philosophy is interpretivism, while the design is a deductive study approach. The research method that will be employed is the qualitative technique since it will help us collect and analyze non-numerical information relating to the opinion, concepts, and experiences of the respondents. Observation and focus groups are the two data collection tools that will be employed in the garnering of the required information. The data collected will be analyzed through the narrative analysis technique since it will help us deduct conclusions from the respondent’s opinions, experiences, and perspectives relating to the study topic.
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