“Does a candle have a cold and a dingle spout?”: using prank interactions to teach the language of ethnographic research methods

Apr 29, 2022, 11:50 AM
Presenters (Oral Presentation) – Live ZOOM Presentation Influence of technologies on LSP integration with teaching and learning of other subjects Arts, cultures, social sciences, literature


Geraldine Bengsch (King's College London)


Language and its use is often taken for granted which can affect students’ grasp of conceptual and theoretical ideas in research methods courses (Jarvis, 2007). Insights from LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) research may to address this issue. Here, specifically y to help students integrate their learning through utilising interaction to practice observation to make features of language more accessible to other students in the Social Sciences. As such, LSP for this purpose is also understood as a means of teaching genre specific language for research methods (Hyland, 2006; Jones & McCracken, 2007; Shaw, 2016; Trosborg, 1997).

This talk reflects on teaching observational methods and its language to postgraduate students in Sociology at a University in the UK. The aim was to provide students with theoretical understanding of the method, confidence in producing good quality field notes, managing the resulting data, and connecting it back to the methodology through analysis. Teaching in this course consisted of recorded lectures and in-depth, hands-on workshops. Students conducted a guided observation of a YouTube video using a purpose-built webtool (built by the author). This added a gamified element to the teaching (Camp & Wheaton, 2014; Gan, Menkhoff, & Smith, 2015; Safapour, Kermanshachi, & Taneja, 2019). Students were exposed to both formatted and unformatted data to help them explore both hand and software aided coding of their data (Blismas & Dainty, 2003; Bree & Gallagher, 2016) to learn and apply the language of qualitative research methods in action.

Biographical note(s) of the author(s)

Geraldine Bengsch is a Postdoctoral Researcher at King's College London and a Visiting Lecturer at City, University of London (both UK). She is interested in innovative teaching methods surrounding texts, including the use of technology and machine learning and their potential for application to discursive research.

Affiliation of the author(s)

King's College London (United Kingdom)

Contact e-mail address geraldine.bengsch@kcl.ac.uk

Primary author

Geraldine Bengsch (King's College London)

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