Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in a Study on Dictionary Use

author: Idalete Dias, University of Minho
author: Sascha Wolfer, Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
published: July 27, 2018,   recorded: July 2018,   views: 531


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Many studies on dictionary use presuppose that users do indeed consult lexicographic resources. However, little is known about what users actually do when they try to solve language problems on their own. We present an observation study where learners of German were allowed to browse the web freely while correcting erroneous German sentences. In this paper, we are focusing on the multi-methodological approach of the study, especially the interplay between quantitative and qualitative approaches. In one example study, we will show how the analysis of verbal protocols, the correction task and the screen recordings can reveal the effects of intuition, language (learning) awareness, and determination on the accuracy of the corrections. In another example study, we will show how preconceived hypotheses about the problem at hand might hinder participants from arriving at the correct solution.

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