Mapping Past, Current and Future TEFL Research Trends in Iran: A Synthetic Review of Topics and Paradigms in Three Decades

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Foreign Languages, Iran University of Science and Technology

2 Department of Foreign Languages, Kharazmi University


We have recently witnessed a growing awareness of methodological research issues in the field of applied linguistics, which led to what Plonsky (2017) has referred to as “methodological awareness” (p. 517). To make a positive contribution to this nascent movement, this study, drawing on synthetic techniques, sought to describe the cumulative and developmental status of research paradigms and substantive/topical issues in an EFL context. As such, we analyzed a sample of 663 unpublished applied linguistics MA theses which were distributed over a 30-year period. The cumulative results revealed the distribution of the studies in a good range of substantive issues with “researching language classroom issues” as the most frequent topic in the data set and “research methods or researching research methodology”, “psycholinguistics”, and “sociolinguistics” as the least frequent issues across a wide range of age groups, proficiency levels, and time span. As for the cumulative analysis of research approaches, the results revealed that about 72% of the included MA theses were quantitative; around 18% of the studies employed mixed methods research; and a smaller percentage of the studies (11%, n=72) used a qualitative research approach. Chronologically, a clear increasing pattern of research paradigms was notable across time. Implications for the research consumers (e.g., supervisors, journal reviewers, postgraduate students, and material developer) are discussed.


Article Title [Persian]

بررسی روند موضوعات و پارادایم های تحقیقی در سه دهه: رویکرد ترکیب پژوهشها

Authors [Persian]

  • محمد امین فراسانی 1
  • عصمت بابایی 2
Abstract [Persian]


Keywords [Persian]

  • ادبیات فراری
  • سنتز تحقیقات
  • پارادایمهای تحقیق
  • موضوعات اساسی
  • تنظیم EFL
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