Eeny Meeny Miney Mo – choices and consequences for graduate study in educational linguistics

  • Rinelle Evans


Novice researchers face interrelated and complex choices when embarking on an inquiry. The consequences or limitations of each decision may be far-reaching. This article is an auto-reflection on the intricate process of conceptualising and operationalising a thesis in which practical and contingent factors appear to have had a stronger influence in decision-making than philosophical frameworks or supervisory guidance. It aims to underscore the lengthy and often confusing route that graduates follow in pursuit of a higher degree. The target readership is students, emerging scholars, supervisors, and reflective practitioners in the educational linguistics research arena. The actual study pertained to a community project offering televised academic support to Grade 12 learners and sought to establish why the rate of oral interaction between presenter and learners was unexpectedly poor during instructional broadcasts. Key findings suggested that the rate of viewer participation during telelessons was not directly influenced by their limited English proficiency as initially anticipated, but by a combination of variables related to technical limitations, presenter nescience, and inappropriate methodological design.

Author Biography

Rinelle Evans
Rinelle Evans holds a doctorate in curriculum and instructional design with special reference to instructional communication via television technology. She currently is a senior lecturer involved with teacher education at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). Her academic interests relate to English language teaching, instructional communication and dissonance, multiliteracies and bilingualism. Email: