When researchers in the field of Applied Linguistics or L2 teachers try to carry out any kind of research, several problems arise. The first one is knowing how to start the process of ‘researching’. The second problem, perhaps more frustrating, arises when one finds out that one cannot grasp the complexities to be taken into account when getting started on the research task at hand. Third, one has to find out how to adapt the different steps of the research to one’s own situation, context, and degree of knowledge, so that data can later be able appropriately coded and analysed in order to establish some sort of conclusion. Last but not least, a further struggle tends to appear on discovering that what should have been done and what has actually been done are two very different things. This paper aims at improving this situation by establishing in a clear-cut way the three levels any investigation should include –conceptual, methodological and empirical–. Then each framework –level– is described, producing a very specific and up-to-date research agenda in which every specific notion is defined and justified.
Enseñanza de la lengua; Metodología de la investigación; Investigación educativa; Segunda lengua