1st Edition

Doing Research within Communities Stories and lessons from language and education field research

Edited By Kerry Taylor-Leech, Donna Starks Copyright 2016
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    Doing Research within Communities provides real-life examples of field research projects in language and education, offering an overview of research processes and solutions to the common challenges faced by researchers in the field. This unique book contains personal research narratives from sixteen different and varied fieldwork projects, providing advice and guidance to the reader through example rather than instruction and enabling the reader to discover connections with the storyteller and gain insights into their own research journey. This book:

    • provides advice, practical guidance and support for engaging with a community as a research site;
    • covers the real-life theoretical, ethical and practical issues faced by researchers, such as language choice in multilingual communities, and the insider/outsider status of the researcher;
    • discusses challenges posed by a variety of mono- and multilingual settings, from remote island communities to large urban areas;
    • includes research from across the Asia-Pacific area, including Australia, New Zealand and East Timor, and also the US.

    Doing Research within Communities is essential reading for early career researchers and graduate students undertaking fieldwork within communities.


    1. Doing research within communities: Strands within and across the narratives – Kerry Taylor-Leech and Donna Starks
    2. Human Rights: Journeys start with experiences - Pandora Petrovska
    3. This doesn’t feel right: Selecting a site for school-based ethnography - Louisa Willoughby
    4. Challenges in conducting ethical classroom-based research across cultures - Richard J. Sampson
    5. What happens when a community withdraws? Managing relationships with an Indigenous community - Arapera Ngaha
    6. Labeling community and language - Kara Tukuitonga, Donna Starks and Jason Brown
    7. Taking an interest: Competence in and affiliations with the expected languages of schooling - Fiona Willans
    8. Navigating the multilingual field: Language choice and sociolinguistic fieldwork - Kerry Taylor-Leech and Danielle Boon
    9. Interpreter-mediated data collection: Experiences of talking to migrants through interpreters - George Major and Beth Zielinski
    10. Being a part of and working with an overlooked linguistic community: - Genevieve Leung
    11. Building relationships with whānau to develop effective supports for Māori Deaf children - Kirsten Smiler
    12. Establishing connections: A tale of two communities - Ilana Mushin and Rod Gardner
    13. Multiplexity in sign language research - Rachel McKee
    14. Engaging with communities and languages in multilingual urban settings - John Hajek
    15. Imagined linguistic identity: Reflections on an interview - Loy Lising
    16. Becoming an adopted insider: A researcher’s journey - Judith Kearney
    17. The narrative journey: Adapting research design to capture the voice of the community - Anikó Hatoss
    18. Doing research within communities: Connecting practice to theory - Donna Starks and Kerry Taylor-Leech


    Kerry Taylor-Leech is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Griffith University, Australia.

    Donna Starks is an Associate Professor in Language Education at La Trobe University, Australia.

    "Sociolinguistics recognizes the effects of an outside observer: these scholars, outsiders but increasingly involved with the communities they have studied and tried to help, provide a clear picture of the problems and solutions that they have met. It can be highly recommended to new and experienced researchers; I know I would have benefited in my own interactions with Navajo, Māori and Samoan groups."
    Bernard Spolsky, Bar Ilan University, Israel

    "This is an inspiring and timely book that will contribute to the growing movement of researchers involved in research with communities. The collection offers an insightful and essential read to both researchers and practitioners interested in the co-production of research and knowledge with communities."
    Lisa Goodson, University of Birmingham, UK

    "This collection is presented in clear and accessible language and can function as a useful tool to stimulate discussion and inform future researchers about the types of challenges and experiences they will encounter in the field."
    Dale Koike and Alicia Assini, University of Texas, USA