Research Ethics in Second Language Education : Universal Principles, Local Practices book cover
1st Edition

Research Ethics in Second Language Education
Universal Principles, Local Practices

Edited By

Roger Barnard


Yi Wang

ISBN 9780367644833
Published December 30, 2020 by Routledge
188 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $8.99
was $44.95
USD $35.96

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book makes a fresh contribution to the field of research ethics by considering research issues through relatable autobiographical narratives. The book’s core offers narratives by novice second language education researchers who are completing PhD degrees using data from international research participants. These narratives expose challenges regarding the ethical identity of researchers working across diverse value and belief systems. The narrative chapters are followed by four chapters of commentaries from a line-up of international scholars with various academic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds.

The case study approach reports the experiences and reflections of research students before, during, and after the data collection phase of their projects, and offers insights into the recruitment of participants; acquiring and maintaining access; interpretations of the notion of informed consent; incentivising participants; the implications of ensuring anonymity and confidentiality; the right to withdraw participation and data; the positioning of the researcher as insider or outsider; potential conflicts of interest; the potential harm to participants and researcher; and the dissemination of findings.

This practical and relatable book is aimed at research students and their supervisors in fields such as applied linguistics and education, as well as those following methods courses, to help illustrate the ethical challenges faced by researchers in the process of collecting qualitative data.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Ethics and second language education research: The scope of the book (Roger Barnard) Prologue –  Human research ethics: Post hoc narrative reflections (Anne Burns, Pamela McPherson et al.) 1. Oral corrective feedback: Ethical issues in researching Vietnamese lecturers’ beliefs and practices (Huong Thi Nguyen) 2. Academic-related brokering practices among international students: Ethical challenges (Sherrie Lee) 3. Ethical challenges in conducting an action research project: A case study in New Zealand (Yue-en Anita Pu) 4. Ethical issues in researching peer observation of language lecturers in a university in Pakistan (Shazre Sarfraz) 5. Language, identity, culture and ethics: A case study of Saudi Arabian mothers in New Zealand (Esra Yaghi) 6. Research ethics from a Malay-Muslim perspective (Noor Azam Haji-Othman and Azmi Mohamad) 7. Research ethics from the viewpoint of a Japanese qualitative researcher (Masahiro Nochi) 8. Engaging with ethical research practices in China (Ye Han and Xuesong Andy Gao) 9. Justice and educational research (Voo Teck Chuan and Alastair V. Campbell) Afterword (Roger Barnard and Yi Wang)

View More



Roger Barnard has recently retired as an Associate Professor in applied linguistics at the University of Waikato. Before taking up his present post in New Zealand in 1995, he worked in England, Europe, and the Middle East as teacher, teacher educator, manager, and adviser to ministries of education. He has recently accepted visiting professorships in several Asian universities, where he has taught postgraduate courses and undertaken joint research projects, most of which have led to collaborative publications. His most recent books are Codeswitching in University English-Medium Classes: Asian Perspectives (2014, co-edited with McLellan), Language Learner Autonomy: Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices in Asian Contexts (2016, co-edited with Li), Reflective Practice: Voices from the Field (2017, co-edited with Ryan), and English Medium Instruction Programmes: Perspectives from South East Asian Universities (2018, co-edited with Hasim).

Yi Wang is a language teacher and researcher at Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand, and Associate Professor at Shandong University of Technology, China. She holds a BA and MA in English education and obtained her PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Waikato in 2016. Her doctoral study investigated language teacher cognition and practice regarding learner autonomy, with particular focus on the shift of control from teachers to learners. Her wide research interests include autonomous learner and teacher development, narrative inquiry, and migrant ESOL beginners’ literacy development. She has published book chapters with Routledge and articles with the Journal of International Students, Teaching Education, and Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics. She is currently collaborating on projects involving the impact of Covid-19 on language teacher beliefs and practices; religious values and EFL teacher identity construction; and the identity trajectories of PhD students in cross-linguistic and -cultural contexts.


"This book is about ethics in action. Early career and experienced researchers reflect on their ethical challenges and comment on their ethical decision-making in real, in-the-moment research activity. This clever interweaving of reflection and commentary makes for an immensely readable, instructive, and accessible book, one to be consulted by all researchers, especially graduate research students, grappling with a research design involving human participants."

-Gary Barkhuizen, Professor of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics, University of Auckland, New Zealand

"As the contexts of language education inquiry broaden to include a wide range of life experiences, social practices and relationships, its ethical demands grow in complexity and urgency. This book offers a fascinating insight into the many of such demands against the backdrop of the chapter authors’ practical decision making in their own inquiry. The book’s case-study approach has generated textured portraits of ethical concerns in context. Its conversational approach highlights intricate dynamics between local dilemmas and global principles of research ethics. This is an invaluable guide for any researcher striving to develop their ethical consciousness."

-Maggie Kubanyiova, Chair in Language Education, Director of CLER Centre for Language Education Research, United Kingdom

"With an increase worldwide in the number of graduate students pursuing research in second language education in different locations with different human subjects, this book is a timely reminder of the important aspect of ethics when conducting such research. Roger Barnard and Yi Wang have put together a fine collection of chapters that highlights such thorny ethics related issues as attempting to apply ethical regulations while trying to adjust the research design to meet local circumstances without compromising the quality of the data collected that most graduate students must grapple with in their programmes. Scholars from within and some from beyond the field of applied linguistics not only comment on these graduate students ethical challenges, but also contribute their views of the ethics of conducting research in their fields to make this a well-rounded collection that provides a greater academic understanding of the ethical issues when conducting second language education research."

-Thomas S.C. Farrell, Professor of Applied Linguistics, Brock University, Canada