Chapter 5Diaries and journals in study abroad research
This chapter examines journals as a method for gathering qualitative study abroad (SA) research data. We define various kinds of journals, trace their implementation, assess their contributions, and discuss their limitations. Journals-based SA research has shown individual variation, the impact of the cultural context on gendered and racialized participants, the influence of communicative competence and use on the intellectual and social sense of self, the importance of goal setting and learner agency, and the learning potential of journals as assignments with feedback. Limitations in SA research using journals concern data analysis, data presentation, and the consideration of the benefit to participants. We encourage SA researchers to work within the transformative paradigm, demonstrate comprehensive contemplative proximity, use formal analytical frameworks, and consider especially supported written reflection in the L2.
Keywords: journals, diaries, autobiographical narratives, reflection, supported written reflection, learner agency, self-observations, language awareness, intercultural awareness, researcher, comprehensive contemplative proximity
- Journals in SA research
- Contributions of diaries and journals to L2, personal, and intercultural development in SA
- The limitations of journals-based studies
- Guiding principles