Case studies of individual language learners are a valuable means of illustrating issues connected with learning, using, and in some cases, losing another language. Yet, even though increasing numbers of graduate students and scholars conduct research using case studies or mix quantitative and qualitative methods, there are no dedicated applied linguistics research methods texts that guide one through the case study process. This book fills that gap.
The volume provides an overview of case study methodology and examples of published case studies in applied linguistics, without attempting to be a comprehensive survey of the innumerable case studies that exist. The case studies presented here involve teachers and learners of English and various other languages in North America and other parts of the world. Advice is also given about how to conduct and publish case studies.
Case Study Research in Applied Linguistics is designed for students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as other scholars seeking to understand case study methods and their applications in research on language learners and language users in a variety of contexts. Applied linguists working in other subfields will find the volume useful in their own research and in their supervision and evaluation of others' case studies.
"This book makes for truly engaging and interesting reading! It is packed with useful analyses, examples, and discussions of the methodologies and epistemologies surrounding case study research. The wealth of diverse illustrations from the SLA literature also makes it a very important resource for graduate students. I hope many applied linguistics programs take advantage of this excellent textbook and begin offering courses on case study methodology!" - Lourdes Ortega, University of Hawai'i
"The book can serve as an effective resource for qualitative research professors in their preparation of course modules as well as for graduate students and more experienced researchers in the field of applied linguistics…Duff has been able to both offer a balance of conceptual and practical guidance and skillfully engage with different levels of inquiry (epistemology, ontology and methodology) throughout the book." - Marzieh Tafaghodtari, University of Ottawa
"…this volume is a welcome addition to the AL research community, and both beginning and seasoned AL researchers will find it useful."
- Modern Language Journal, 2009
"…this thoroughly researched and excellently written volume has the potential to advance the field of Applied Linguistics."
- Johannes Eckerth, 2008
"Case studies are a widely-used research method in applied linguistics today, notably in the context of second language learning, teaching and use. For anyone not acquainted with this qualitative approach, Duff’s book serves as an excellent introduction to its distinctive attributes, the associated theoretical issues and to the practicalities of conducting, evaluating and presenting case study research."
- Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 2008
Contents: Preface. Case Study Research in Applied Linguistics. Defining, Describing, and Defending Case Study Research. Examples of Case Studies in Applied Linguistics. How to Conduct and Evaluate Case Studies (Part 1). How to Conduct and Evaluate Case Studies (Part 2). Writing the Case Study Report.
The Second Language Acquisition Research series presents and explores issues bearing directly on theory construction and/or research methods in the study of second language acquisition. Its titles (both authored and edited volumes) provide thorough and timely overviews of high-interest topics, and include key discussions of existing research findings and their implications. A special emphasis of the series is reflected in the monographs dealing with specific data collection methods or instruments. Each of these monographs addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method/instrument is best suited, offers extended description of its use, and outlines the problems associated with its use. The volumes in this series will be invaluable to students and scholars alike, and perfect for use in courses on research methodology and in individual research.