Qualitative Methodology

  • Shim LewEmail author
  • Anna Her Yang
  • Linda Harklau


This chapter provides an overview of qualitative research (QR) in applied linguistics, with a particular focus on recent research and developments in the field over the past six years. The chapter briefly reviews the historical development of qualitative methods in applied linguistics. It explores the philosophical and methodological premises of qualitative methods in the field and relates them to broader developments in QR across the social sciences, particularly in regard to issues of validity and quality of QR. The chapter then reviews current trends and issues and provides an overview of research types including the varieties of qualitative approaches taken, theoretical frameworks used, and types of data collection and analytical methods employed. It points out challenges and controversies and concludes with limitations and future directions in QR in applied linguistics.


Qualitative research Case study Ethnography Conversation analysis Grounded theory Narrative inquiry Critical discourse analysis Action research 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teacher Education and Educational LeadershipUniversity of West FloridaPensacolaUSA
  2. 2.TESOL & World Language Education Program & Linguistics ProgramUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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