This chapter presents a philosophical and methodological background for conducting and evaluating interview and focus group research in applied linguistics. It discusses the strengths and limitations of various approaches and deconstructs ‘commonsense’ assumptions about interviewing by examining the influence of two prevalent perspectives: ‘interview as research instrument’ and ‘interview as social practice’. Emphasizing researcher responsibility, ethical conduct, and reflexivity, Prior also gives attention to issues related to rapport, language choice, interculturality, and ‘naturalness’ of interview and focus group data. The chapter concludes by considering recent directions in interview research and provides an annotated list of resources for further reading.


Interviews Focus groups Research practice 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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