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Padua, Veneto, Italy
Hi guys,my name is Anna,I'm Italian and I'm studying foreign languages at the University of Padua. This is supposed to be my last year of studies,or so I hope,and I'm trying my best to finish asap,'coz it's really high time I were under way! I have many loves in my life,my Luv,my cats,books,violets and apples (but this is an old and long story to tell!). I don't want to bother you now,I'm going to tell you more in depht later! I'm waiting for you on my blog,read it,love it,hate it and feel free to leave any comments. This is the place I stay and it can be yours too!

Wednesday, April 8

Fishing around for good ideas

Well guys,
the sun went down and I managed to solve the problems with my laptop eventually. I spent the whole afternoon surfing the Web looking for a decent topic, but everytime I found an interesting one I discovered that I needed to suscribe (that is, to pay) to read the full text, or that my browser wasn't able to open a pdf file online (why did you decide to stop working today, you unfaithful creature!!). It wasn't my lucky day, and that's for sure! Anyway at 10 pm I run through one article that immediately caught my attention, maybe for the simple reason that I was too tired to go on more with my search! Being honest, I was supposed to find an article dealing with my final thesis research, but having no idea I decided to fish out the first big fish that was swimming in the Websea beneath!
The first criterion I adopted mainly deals with tools. First I tried to search with scholar.google but wasn't satisfied at all with my results- almost all the articles required to be purchased, what a nonsense! So I tried the simple google search but I was getting lost among thousands of articles. At the end, just before I decided to give up, I remembered to take a look at one more source too, and ..that's all,I got it and immediately bookmarked it never to get it lost!!
The article I chose is taken from
DOAJ- the directory of open access journals- and its title is: "Malaysian Learners and their perceptions towards online english language courses".If you want to take a look at it, this is the website (you have to click on full text to see it).This article aroused my interest mainly because I wanted to compare the feelings and perceptions of Malaysian ESL students (but they could have been students from any other part of the world) to my personal experience as an ESL student. Moreover, in our first e-tivity we were asked by our teacher to find out a blog we thought could be interesting, and I chose the blog of a young girl from Kuala Lumpur. So, I was twice as interested in reading that article!
It was not easy to find a good article: the Web is full of traps and if we don't pay enough attention, we're very likely to confuse good things with rubbish. Fortunately we just have to keep in mind the simple rules about Web searching and the evaluation criteria for a reliable research article we listed in class last week!
By reading the abstract, which is the summary of the whole article usually put at the beginning of the entire text, the reader can do an initial critical skimming. This proves to be really effective in saving time and patience because,if the argument is not interesting or lacks creativity,it is possible to leave it and try to find a better one!
More in depht with my critical surface-analysis,the questions I had to ask myself were:


  • Who is the researcher?
    In my case there are two researchers who carried out the research study: Pramela Krish, a senior lecturer with the School of Language Studies and Linguistics at the university Kebangsaan (Malaysia), and Bee Eng Wong, who is an associate professor at the Department of English Language at the university Putra (Malaysia). This information was put at the end of the article together with a picture of them, their e-mail address and their phone numbers. This is a good and effective way to gain the reader's trust, since they put "their faces" in what they did and show that are willing to be contacted for possible further information.

  • What do you think was their theoretical framework? About the theoretical framework, I googled a bit to search for other publications by these authors and discovered that they had already published other articles about (more or less) the same topic, all collected in the Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education.
  • What was the goal of the research? The goal of the research is indicated in the abstract: "The findings with regard to the perceptions of the learners brought more new perspectives which could be incorporated or taken into considerationfor an online language learning programme."
  • Was it large or small scale? It was small scale research involving about 250 students (Malays, Indians, Chinese, other groups) from various faculties in the age group of 21 to 23 years.
  • Was it short or long term? It was necessarily short term because the research focused on specific points.

Here I stop myself, I need to read it more carefully to answer further questions. I think this article fulfills all the requirements to be good article, since it is clear, well structured and written by reliable persons. I don't know about you, but I think this was a nice experience,maybe a little demanding in terms of time and attention,but I feel this exercise helped me a lot in developing my "searching skills". Well, I'm ready for my academic research study..or at least now I know the simplest way to work it out;-)!
See you all,
Bye
Anna

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