Developing Understandings Over Time and Across Contexts

  • Amanda K. Kibler


This chapter describes important elements of the longitudinal case study approach used in this book, including the selection and definition of cases, attention to depth and complexity, use of breadth to connect macro/meso/micro contexts, and the incorporation of an ethnographic perspective. Data collection procedures are described, with attention to changes that occurred over the course of the study. This is followed by a description of data analysis, which includes discussion of the theoretical foundations and methodological implications of the longitudinal interactional histories approach (LIHA) developed and used for this study. Finally, the approach to selecting turning points and literacy events to illustrate each young person’s language and literacy journey is presented. The Methodological Appendix complements discussions of data collection and analysis provided in this chapter.


Case study Qualitative Ethnographic Longitudinal interactional histories approach Turning points Literacy events 


  1. Blommaert, J. (2007). On scope and depth in linguistic ethnography. Journal of SocioLinguistics, 11(5), 682–688. Scholar
  2. Blommaert, J. (2015). Chronotopes, scales, and complexity in the study of language in society. Annual Review of Anthropology, 44, 105–116. Scholar
  3. Blommaert, J., & De Fina, A. (2017). Chronotopic identities: On the timespace organization of who we are. In A. De Fina, D. Ikizoglu, & J. Wegner (Eds.), Diversity and super-diversity: Sociocultural linguistic perspectives (pp. 1–15). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Burawoy, M. (2003). Revisits: An outline of a theory of reflexive ethnography. American Sociological Review, 68(5), 645–679. Scholar
  5. Burgess, A., & Ivanič, R. (2010). Writing and being written: Issues of identity across timescales. Written Communication, 27(2), 228–255. Scholar
  6. Cole, M. (1996). Cultural psychology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Compton-Lilly, C. (2017). Reading students’ lives: Literacy learning across time. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Duff, P. (2008). Case study research in applied linguistics. New York: Erlbaum/Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  9. Duff, P. (2014). Case study research on language learning and use. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 34, 233–255. Scholar
  10. Emerson, R. M., Fretz, R. I., & Shaw, L. L. (2011). Writing ethnographic fieldnotes (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Flyvbjerg, B. (2011). Case study. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (4th ed., pp. 301–316). Los Angeles: SAGE.Google Scholar
  12. Gee, J. P., & Green, J. L. (1998). Discourse analysis, learning, and social practice: A methodological study. Review of Research in Education, 23(1), 119–169. Scholar
  13. Gibbons, P. (2006). Bridging discourses in the ESL classroom: Students, teachers, and researchers. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  14. Gordon, T., & Lahelma, E. (2003). From ethnography to life history: Tracing transitions of school students. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 245–254. Scholar
  15. Grabe, W., & Kaplan, R. B. (1996). Theory and practice of writing: An applied linguistics perspective. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  16. Green, J., & Bloome, D. (1997). Ethnography and ethnographers of and in education: A situated perspective. In J. Flood, S. B. Heath, & D. Lapp (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching literacy through the communicative and visual arts (pp. 181–202). New York: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  17. Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gumperz, J. J. (2003). Response essay. In S. L. Eerdman, C. L. Prevignano, & P. J. Thibault (Eds.), Language and interaction: Discussions with John J. Gumperz (pp. 105–126). Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gumperz, J. J., & Berenz, N. (1993). Transcribing conversational exchanges. In J. A. Edwards & M. D. Lampert (Eds.), Talking data: Transcription and coding in discourse research (pp. 91–122). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Gumperz, J. J., & Cook-Gumperz, J. (2006). Interactional sociolinguistics in the study of schooling. In J. Cook-Gumperz (Ed.), The Social construction of literacy (2nd ed., pp. 50–75). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gutiérrez, K. D. (2002). Studying cultural practices in urban learning communities. Human Development, 45(4), 312–321. Scholar
  22. Gutiérrez, K. D., & Faulstich Orellana, M. (2006). The “problem” of English learners: Constructing genres of difference. Research in the Teaching of English, 40(4), 502–507.Google Scholar
  23. Gutiérrez, K. D., & Rogoff, B. (2013). Cultural ways of learning: Individual traits or repertoires of practice. Educational Researcher, 32(5), 19–25. Scholar
  24. Hamilton, M. (2015). The everyday and faraway: Revisiting local literacies. In J. Sefton-Green & J. Rowsell (Eds.), Learning and literacy over time: Longitudinal perspectives (pp. 98–115). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Harklau, L. (2008). Developing qualitative longitudinal case studies of advanced language learners. In L. Ortega & H. Byrnes (Eds.), The longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities (pp. 23–35). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Harklau, L. (2013). Why Izzie didn’t go to college: Choosing work over college as Latina feminism. Teachers College Record, 115(1), 1–32.Google Scholar
  27. Hoyle, S. M., & Adger, C. T. (1998). Introduction. In S. M. Hoyle & C. T. Adger (Eds.), Kids talk: Strategic language use in later childhood (pp. 3–22). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Josselson, R. (2004). The hermeneutics of faith and the hermeneutics of suspicion. Narrative Inquiry, 14(1), 1–28. Scholar
  29. Kibler, A. K. (2009). Talking writing: Adolescent English learners in the content areas (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Stanford, CA: Stanford University.Google Scholar
  30. Kibler, A. K. (2010). Writing through two languages: First language expertise in a language minority classroom. Journal of Second Language Writing, 19(3), 121–142. Scholar
  31. Kibler, A. K. (2013). “Doing like almost everything wrong”: An adolescent multilingual writer’s transition from high school to college. In L. C. de Oliveira & T. Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education (pp. 44–64). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Kibler, A. K. (2017a). Becoming a “Mexican feminist”: A minoritized bilingual’s development of disciplinary identities through writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 38, 26–41. Scholar
  33. Kibler, A. K. (2017b, March). Longitudinal insights into interactional histories. Paper presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Annual Conference, Portland, OR.Google Scholar
  34. Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4), 273–290. Scholar
  35. Lillis, T. (2008). Ethnography as method, methodology, and “deep theorizing”: Closing the gap between text and context in academic writing research. Written Communication, 25(3), 353–388. Scholar
  36. Lillis, T. (2013). The sociolinguistics of writing. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Lillis, T., & Curry, M. J. (2006). Professional academic writing by multilingual scholars: Interactions with literacy brokers in the production of English-medium texts. Written Communication, 23(1), 3–35. Scholar
  38. Lofland, J., Snow, D., Anderson, L., & Lofland, L. H. (2006). Analyzing social settings: A guide to qualitative observation and analysis (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.Google Scholar
  39. Maxwell, J. A., & Miller, B. A. (2008). Categorizing and connecting strategies in qualitative data analysis. In S. N. Hesse-Biber & P. Leavy (Eds.), Handbook of emergent methods (pp. 461–478). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  40. McLeod, J. (2003). Why we interview now – Reflexivity and perspective in a longitudinal study. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 201–211. Scholar
  41. Moje, E. B., & Lewis, C. (2007). Examining opportunities to learn literacy: The role of critical sociocultural literacy research. In C. Lewis, P. Enciso, & E. B. Moje (Eds.), Reframing sociocultural research on literacy: Identity, agency, and power (pp. 15–48). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  42. Neale, B., & Flowerdew, J. (2003). Time, texture and childhood: The contours of longitudinal qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 189–199. Scholar
  43. Newell, G. E., Bloome, D., & Hirvela, A. (2015). Teaching and learning argumentative writing in high school English language arts classrooms. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Okano, K. H. (2009). Young women in Japan: Transitions to adulthood. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ong, J. S. (1986). Writing is a technology that restructures thought. In G. Baumann (Ed.), The written word: Literacy in transition (pp. 23–50). Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  46. Prior, P. (2004). Tracing process: How texts come into being. In C. Bazerman & P. Prior (Eds.), What writing does and how it does it: An introduction to analyzing texts and textual practice (pp. 167–200). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  47. Rogers, R. (2002). Between contexts: A critical analysis of family literacy, discursive practices, and literate subjectivities. Reading Research Quarterly, 37(3), 248–277. Scholar
  48. Roth, W.-M., & Lee, Y.-J. (2007). “Vygotsky’s neglected legacy”: Cultural-historical activity theory. Review of Educational Research, 77(2), 186–232. Scholar
  49. Saldaña, J. (2003). Longitudinal qualitative research: Analyzing change through time. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira.Google Scholar
  50. Schiffrin, D. (1996). Interactional sociolinguistics. In S. L. McKay & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language teaching (pp. 307–328). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Seale, C. (1999). The quality of qualitative research. London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sefton-Green, J. (2015a). Cultural studies went to school and where did it end up? In J. Sefton-Green & J. Rowsell (Eds.), Learning and literacy over time: Longitudinal perspectives (pp. 46–60). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  53. Sefton-Green, J. (2015b). Introduction: Making sense of longitudinal perspectives on literacy learning – A revisiting approach. In J. Sefton-Green & J. Rowsell (Eds.), Learning and literacy over time: Longitudinal perspectives (pp. 1–15). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Stake, R. E. (2000). Case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2rd ed., pp. 435–454). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  55. Thomson, R., & Holland, J. (2003). Hindsight, foresight, and insight: The challenges of longitudinal qualitative research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6(3), 233–244. Scholar
  56. van Lier, L. (2005). Case study. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 195–208). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  57. Webster, L., & Mertova, P. (2007). Using narrative inquiry as a research method: An introduction to using critical event narrative analysis in research on learning and teaching. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wortham, S. (2003). Curriculum as a resource for the development of social identity. Sociology of Education, 76(3), 228–246. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amanda K. Kibler
    • 1
  1. 1.College of EducationOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

Personalised recommendations