Edited by Laura Gurzynski-Weiss and YouJin Kim
[Research Methods in Applied Linguistics 3] 2022
► pp. 55–78
In this chapter, we introduce the principles and practices underlying qualitative methodologies (e.g., ethnography, case studies, action research) and qualitative methods (e.g., field observations, interviews) that are compatible with socioculturally-oriented SLA theories (e.g., language socialization, identity theory, Vygotskian sociocultural theory). We highlight the exploratory and interpretive nature of qualitative research in that it intends to explain phenomena through the experiences and perspectives of learners and teachers by providing rich descriptions of the learning and teaching contexts in which these learners and teachers are socially situated. Working on the premise that SLA theories need to be aligned with methodologies and research paradigms, we also explain and detail how these theories have been applied to better understand and conduct classroom-based research involving language learners and teachers. Further, we break down qualitative methodology into steps, outlining common methods and instruments used for collecting data, and highlighting ethical and procedural considerations associated with this research approach.