Questionnaires in Second Language Research: Construction, Administration, and Processing, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Questionnaires in Second Language Research

Construction, Administration, and Processing, 2nd Edition

By Zoltán Dörnyei, Tatsuya Taguchi


186 pages

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pub: 2009-11-18
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Questionnaires in Second Language Research: Construction, Administration, and Processing is the first guide in the second language field devoted to the question of how to produce and use questionnaires as reliable and valid research instruments. It offers a thorough overview of the theory of questionnaire design, administration, and processing, made accessible by concrete, real-life second language research applications. This Second Edition features a new chapter on how an actual scientific instrument was developed using the theoretical guidelines in the book, and new sections on translating questionnaires and collecting survey data on the Internet. Researchers and students in second language studies, applied linguistics, and TESOL programs will find this book invaluable, and it can also be used as a textbook for courses in quantitative research methodology and survey research in linguistics, psychology, and education departments.


"An expert in questionnaire-based research, Dornyei has produced an informative, fully updated, very accessible, and highly practical treatment of questionnaires in second language research. Through its balanced presentation of theoretical principles and sage advice as well as concrete examples of questionnaire design, administration, and analysis, the book offers applied linguists a wonderful resource with wide applicability."

-Patricia A. Duff, University of British Columbia, Canada

"This is an outstanding ‘how to’ resource book for L2 researchers and their students. It will be useful to all who use questionnaires, whether regularly or only on occasion. It is written in an exceptionally clear and accessible style. This Second Edition contains welcome new material—a step-by-step examination of a case study, detailed discussion of how to handle translation, and information on internet-based questionnaires. Altogether, very highly recommended!"

-Norman Segalowitz, Concordia University, Canada

Table of Contents


1. Questionnaires in Second Language Research

1.1 What are ‘questionnaires’ and what do they measure?

1.2 Why use questionnaires and why not?

1.3 Questionnaires in quantitative and qualitative research

2. Constructing the Questionnaire

2.1 General features

2.2 The main parts of a questionnaire

2.3 Appropriate sampling of the questionnaire content and the significance of ‘multi-item scales’

2.4 ‘Closed-ended’ questionnaire items

2.5 Open-ended questions

2.6 How to write good items

2.7 Grouping and sequencing items

2.8 Translating the questionnaire

2.9 Computer programs for constructing questionnaires

2.10 Piloting the questionnaire and conducting item analysis

3. Administering the Questionnaire

3.1 Selecting the sample

3.2 Main types of questionnaire administration

3.3 Strategies to increase the quality and quantity of participant response

3.4 Questionnaire administration, confidentiality, and other ethical issues

4. Processing Questionnaire Data

4.1 Coding questionnaire data

4.2 Inputting the data

4.3 Processing closed questions

4.4 Content analysis of open-ended questions

4.5 Computer programs for processing questionnaire data

4.6 Summarizing and reporting questionnaire data

4.7 Complementing questionnaire data with other information

5. Illustration: Developing a Motivation Questionnaire

5.1 Construction of the initial questionnaire

5.2 Translating and initial piloting

5.3 Final piloting and item analysis

5.4 The final version of the Japanese questionnaire and post hoc item analysis

5.5 Adapting the questionnaire for use in China and Iran

Conclusion and Checklist


Appendix A: Combined List of the Items Included in the Questionnaires Discussed in Chapter 5

Appendix B: The Final Version of the Questionnaires Used in Japan, China and Iran

Appendix C: Selected List of Published L2 Questionnaires

About the Authors

Zoltán Dörnyei is Professor of Psycholinguistics in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Tatsuya Taguchi is a PhD candidate in the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK.

About the Series

Second Language Acquisition Research Series

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.


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Subject Categories

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