chapter  13
15 Pages

Case Study

In doing so, I pick up where van Lier left off in his chapter in the first volume of this book. My contribution will complement rather than build on his excellent overview of the contribution that case studies have made to an understanding of second language acquisition, focusing instead on core methodological challenges in case study research and the distinctive contribution it can make to the broader field of language teaching. I shall get my only quibble out of the way quickly by suggesting at the outset that van Lier’s perfectly legitimate footnote reflects a widespread terminological laxity that leaves experienced practitioners unmoved but has for too long been a source of unnecessary confusion on the part of novice researchers. The discussion that follows will use this as a point of departure for addressing what I take to be the most important methodological issues facing case study researchers.