Trends in Qualitative Research in Three Major Language Teaching and Learning Journals, 2006–2015

Hiroko Tojo, Akiko Takagi

Abstract


This study examines the current trends and complexities in qualitative research in three major language teaching and
learning journals published from 2006–2015. After categorizing 781 articles into quantitative, qualitative, mixed
methods, and other approaches, 226 qualitative research articles were closely examined and further analyzed in terms
of four dimensions: approaches, methods, number of participants, and length of research period. The findings
showed that case study was the most frequently employed approach, followed by ethnography. The study also
identified that while interviews, observations, discourse analysis, and conversation analysis were relatively well
utilized, more than 150 different data collection and analysis methods were used. Although the results of the study
show a tendency to use certain approaches and methods in qualitative research more than others, they also
demonstrate the complexity and diversity of qualitative research and the difficulty in clarifying and categorizing
types of qualitative research in language teaching and learning.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijelt.v4n1p37

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International Journal of English Language Teaching     ISSN 2329-7913 (Print)   ISSN 2329-7921 (Online)

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