Approaches and Methods in Recent Qualitative Research
This chapter profiles trends in qualitative research on second language teaching and learning since 2003. It includes research studies in peer reviewed journals indexed in Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts that were characterized primarily or solely as qualitative. The review focuses on studies using naturalistic language data sources, often deemed a fundamental property of qualitative research (see, e.g., Belcher & Hirvela, 2005). It thus excludes studies characterized as experimental or quasi-experimental that featured control and treatment conditions, and that elicited data through questionnaires, language tests, or other instruments. Also excluded are studies that featured both quantitative and qualitative analysis of naturalistic linguistic data from corpuses since contextualization is often deemed an inherent characteristic of qualitative research (see, e.g., Belcher & Hirvela, 2005). It must be acknowledged, however, that such distinctions are not always clearcut.