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4 - The Methodology of Researching EAL

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 July 2020

Michael Evans
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Claudia Schneider
Affiliation:
Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge
Madeleine Arnot
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Linda Fisher
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Karen Forbes
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Yongcan Liu
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Oakleigh Welply
Affiliation:
Durham University
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Summary

This chapter discusses salient methodological considerations and challenges in undertaking empirical research with young, newly arrived migrant students. This includes questions relating to negotiating access, sampling of core participants, the role of language and use of interpreters, and the importance of giving migrant students a voice as part of an overall holistic approach which focuses on the student perspective and the relationship of this to school and parental perspectives. Approaches to assessing language development and social integration are explored. Such considerations raise questions about the relevance of conducting research with newcomer migrant students in a range of different countries and contexts. This chapter also provides an overview of the research design adopted in the studies funded by the Bell Foundation and explores how such methodological considerations were taken into account throughout the study.

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Chapter

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