Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics

Realities, dilemmas, and solutions, 1st Edition

Edited by Jim McKinley, Heath Rose


262 pages

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Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions provides insight and guidance for those undertaking research, and shows the reader how to deal with the challenges of this research involving real people in real settings. Featuring over twenty chapters by experienced and up-and-coming researchers from around the world, this book:

  • outlines the steps involved in solving the problem and completing a successful, and publishable, project;
  • provides case studies of obstacles faced at each stage of research, from preliminary planning to report writing;
  • addresses issues of validity and reliability during data collection and analysis;
  • discusses ethical issues in research dealing with vulnerable groups including children, refugees, and students;
  • includes examples from longitudinal studies, and both qualitative and quantitative research.

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics is essential reading for students studying research methods, or for those embarking on their first research project in applied linguistics or language education.


"This informative and scholarly book presents both challenges and solutions in current applied linguistics research. The 23 chapters range broadly and deeply across the diverse terrains of contemporary linguistics. The outcome is a set of highly authoritative accounts of ethically responsive and politically attuned strategies for researchers. Highly recommended!"

Patrick Danaher, University of Southern Queensland and Central Queensland University, Australia

"Students of applied linguistics are invariably frustrated by the gaping lacuna between the rosy, trouble-free picture painted by their methodology textbooks and the intractable messiness of real research they find themselves in. This excellent collection of contributions by seasoned applied linguists takes novice researchers behind the scenes and shares rarely heard stories of how thorny and often unexpected problems have been overcome in a creative, productive, and rigorous way."

Hu Guangwei, National Institute of Education, Singapore

"This book is an excellent introduction into the imperfect world of applied linguistics research. It offers advice and solutions to many problems that applied linguists face while conducting their research. It will be an essential point of reference for postgraduate research students and will make a worthwhile addition to the libraries of established academics."

Oksana Afitska, University of Sheffield, UK

Table of Contents

Foreword by Sandra L. McKay

Editorial Introduction

  1. Realities of doing research in applied linguistics

    Heath Rose & Jim McKinley

  2. Part I Responding to problems in the research planning stage

  3. Studying down versus studying up: Selecting whom to research

    Ryuko Kubota

  4. Responding to theoretical shifts in research design

    Heath Rose

  5. Overcoming problematic positionality and researcher objectivity

    Jim McKinley

  6. Doing collaborative research: Challenges and opportunities

    Daniel V. Bommarito, Paul Kei Matsuda, Jianing Liu, Juval V. Racelis, Tai-Min Wu, Jing Xia, and Yuching Jill Yang

  7. Part II Responding to problems during data collection

  8. Dealing with data collection setbacks and reframing research questions

    John Hedgcock & Heekyeong Lee

  9. Dealing with participant attrition in longitudinal studies

    Corinne A. Seals

  10. Dealing with low response rates in quantitative studies

    Averil Coxhead

  11. Dealing with multilingualism in quantitative research

    Gessica DeAngelis

  12. Part III Researching vulnerable groups

  13. It isn’t child’s play: Conducting research with children as participants

    Victoria Murphy & Ernesto Macaro

  14. Conducting longitudinal fieldwork among adult refugees

    Lorna Carson

  15. Researching people with disabilities and illnesses: ethical dimensions

    Hanako Okada

  16. Conducting research with deaf sign language users

    Lorraine Leeson, Jemina Napier, Robert Skinner, Teresa Lynch, Lucia Venturi and Haaris Sheikh

  17. Researching your own students: Negotiating the dual teacher-researcher role

    Nicola Galloway

Part IV Responding to problems during data analysis

15. Dealing with longitudinal quantitative designs and data analysis

Aek Phakiti

16. Managing the uncomfortable side of narrative data and analysis

Matthew T. Prior

17. Grappling with originality and grounding in qualitative data analysis

Jessica G. Briggs

18. Negotiating the relationship between theory and practice in the fields of literacy and language

Constant Leung & Brian Street

    Part V Responding to problems in the reporting of research

20. Dealing with controversial findings

Roslyn Appleby

21. Reporting on politically sensitive issues: The case of telling the truth about early L2 instruction

David Singleton & Simone E. Pfenninger

22. Dealining with criticism when publishing qualitative research

Xuesong Gao

23. Representing the self honestly in published research

Christine Pearson Casanave

24. Publishing from a dissertation: One book, or many articles?

Brian Paltridge

Afterword: Strategies for getting the study published by Andrew Cohen

About the Editors

Jim McKinley is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Bath, UK.

Heath Rose is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Oxford, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General