FAH-DENG Guest Lecture: “Keys to Actually Doing Successful Mixed Methods Research”


Prof. James Dean Brown


23 Nov 2018




E21-G016 (FSS Lecture Hall)



This speech begins by briefly defining the notion of research in TESOL, then moves on to discuss the various characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research, especially within the framework of a qual/quant continuum, wherein qualitative and quantitative research characteristics interact. The presentation continues by defining mixed methods research, then explaining the difference between mixed methods research (MMR) and multi-method research, as well as discussing the most salient features of MMR. The talk also distinguishes among three main varieties of MMR: qualitative mixed, pure mixed, and quantitative mixed methods research. The speech then addresses three practical questions:

  1. How can triangulation be used as a primary tool in MMR for combining the best features of qualitative and quantitative research and thereby overcoming the weaknesses of each research paradigm?
  2. How can certain strategies (convergence, divergence, exemplification, clarification, elaboration, and their interactions) be used in MMR to examine qualitative and quantitative data together for connections, patterns, cross-validation, anomalies, etc.?
  3. How can research questions be used to keep the researcher on the MMR track?

Examples of these techniques are drawn from MMR that the presenter has conducted in Japan and elsewhere. MMR did indeed provide interesting answers.


James Dean Brown (“JD”) is currently Professor of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has spoken and taught in many places ranging from Australia to Venezuela. He also has published numerous articles and books on language testing, curriculum design, research methods, and connected speech. His most recent books are: Developing, using, and analyzing rubrics in language assessment with case studies in Asian and Pacific languages (2012 from NFLRC); New ways in teaching connected speech (2012 from TESOL); Practical assessment tools for college Japanese (2013 with K. Kondo-Brown & Tominaga from NFLRC); New ways of classroom assessment, revised  (2013 from TESOL); Mixed methods research for TESOL (2014 from Edinburgh University Press); Cambridge guide to research in language teaching and learning (2015 with C. Coombe from Cambridge University Press); Teaching and assessing EIL in local contexts around the world (2015 with S. L. McKay from Routledge); Developing courses in languages for specific purposes (2015 with J. Trace & T. Hudson from NFLRC); Introducing needs analysis and English for specific purposes (2016 from Routledge); and two others that are currently in the works.


All are welcome




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