Interviews and Focus Groups

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


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 ʼnaturalness’ 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Applied Linguistics Research Methodology
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781137599001
ISBN (Print)9781137598998
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Research practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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