n Journal for Language Teaching = Ijenali Yekufundzisa Lulwimi = Tydskrif vir Taalonderrig - Narrative discourse in research on teaching




Recent reading on the practices and discourses of academic research prompted me to investigate the conventions of research reporting, especially in the field of teaching. When researchers have gathered information on their hypotheses (or research questions) in a systematic fashion, reflected on the meaning and implications of the information, and arrived at certain conclusions, they evaluate, interpret and analyse the information and, finally, put it forward in the form of some kind of report. Such reports often take the form of journal articles, which present the information in an impersonal, 'objective' and rather intimidating fashion. This seemingly 'logical' and 'pristine' form of presentation conceals the fact that 'real research is often confusing, messy, intensely frustrating, and fundamentally non-linear'. In the public writing down of research questions of genre come in, like considering which voice, which form of discourse, would be most appropriate for the research 'story' to be told in. Over the past two decades there has been increasing interest in the personal nature of experience and in how people make sense of their worlds by telling stories about them.


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