Observation in Foreign Language Pedagogy Research
The paper deals with the method of observation theoretically and also analyses published studies, which used the observation method in their research. The first half of the paper introduces the method of observation, analyses different types of observation, and the roles of the observers. Qualitative (unstructured observation) and quantitative (structured observation) types of research are discussed including the ways of collecting data, and the various advantages and disadvantages. Triangulation of methods is also considered, as it is often used in studies with the observation method. Triangulation is used to improve the quality of research, especially the validity and reliability of unstructured observation. The second part of the paper deals with the particular research studies, where the method of observation was used. The studies were gathered from three journals on English language teaching: Cizí jazyky Journal, The Asian EFL Journal and Oxford ELT Journal. The aim was to map the occurrence of and types of observation methods used in the published research within the chosen journals, and to find connections between the selected studies.