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New 2017 publication: “Managing Researcher Dilemmas in Narrative Interview Data and Analysis”

In Jim McKinley and Heath Rose (Eds.). Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, Dilemmas, and Solutions. Routledge Press.

My chapter intro:

Narrative interviewing (Riessman, 2007), the elicitation of accounts of per­sonal experience, has become a favoured investigative method in applied linguistics and neighbouring disciplines. It has enhanced our understandings of the dynamic trajectories of language learning and use, and it has inspired alternative ways of conceptualizing and critiquing both narrative and iden­tity (e.g., Bamberg, De Fina, & Schiffrin, 2007; Barkhuizen, 2013; De Fina & Georgakopoulou, 2012; Pavlenko, 2007; also Okada, this volume). The introspective attitude of autobiographical inquiry has also encouraged close scrutiny of the “black box” (Kvale & Brinkmann, 2009) of social research and the various problems as well as practices surrounding knowledge pro­duction. The present chapter contributes to these goals of researcher reflex­ivity and methodological transparency. Reflecting on a sample narrative interview study, I trace some of the dilemmas I encountered in the stages of data analysis and discuss steps I took toward resolution. I conclude by considering implications for other qualitative researchers.

DRIALAbout the Volume

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions (publisher’s weblink) provides insight and guidance for those undertaking research, and shows the reader how to deal with the challenges of this research involving real people in real settings. Featuring over twenty chapters by experienced and up-and-coming researchers from around the world, this book:

  • outlines the steps involved in solving the problem and completing a successful, and publishable, project;
  • provides case studies of obstacles faced at each stage of research, from preliminary planning to report writing;
  • addresses issues of validity and reliability during data collection and analysis;
  • discusses ethical issues in research dealing with vulnerable groups including children, refugees, and students;
  • includes examples from longitudinal studies, and both qualitative and quantitative research.

Doing Research in Applied Linguistics is essential reading for students studying research methods, or for those embarking on their first research project in applied linguistics or language education.

Panel on “Trauma During Fieldwork” at the 2017 TESOL Convention in Seattle

This intersects with my own research interests. More research is certainly needed in this area. Kudos to these scholars!

Friday, March 24 (9:30 am–11:15 am)

When Tragedy Strikes: Preparing Researchers for Unexpected Trauma During Fieldwork

Content Area: Research/Research Methodology

TESOL research methods courses often fail to prepare graduate students and supervisors for the unexpected in qualitative fieldwork. Panelists from around the world share their experiences facing fieldwork trauma and offer insights into how their tragic experiences can help graduate students, faculty, and supervisors become more informed researchers in TESOL.

Robert KohlsSan Francisco State University, USA

Peter De CostaMichigan State University, USA

Christine Pearson CasanaveTemple University Japan, USA

Mario López GoparUniversidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca, Mexico

Sreemali Herath, Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka

Marlon Valencia, University of Toronto, Canada


First review of my first book

coverThe first review of my first book, Emotion and Discourse in L2 Narrative Research, just appeared in Discourse Studies (2017) Vol.19(2) 234-249.

Link: Discourse Studies Book Review

The reviewer, Natasha Azarian-Ceccato (SKEMA Business School, France), writes:

“…I see in this book an immense treasure for graduate students and researchers using qualitative methods and all related narrative inquiry fields. This book not only provides the most up-to-date theoretical explanations and frameworks in the field, it also addresses the answers to questions that surely graduate researchers were/are silently asking, but for which there was simply an ample absence of research. This book is a must for students of narrative inquiry” (p. 235).

The reviewer further noted, “One should read this book for Chapter 7 alone, which I found to be the chapter de resistance. This chapter examines an overlooked area in qualitative research method courses or manuals, which is the examination of emotional work that transpires between researcher and research participants” (p. 235).

There is a story behind each of these chapters. Chapter 7 is one I wrestled with at length. I believe it opens up an important discussion. In truth, when I read the pages, they still evoke the distress of the research process and participants’ experiences—as well as our experiences together. Nevertheless, despite this personal discomfort, I would have to say that it is one of my favorite chapters.

As David Block (2008) reminds the self-conscious researcher, It is probably best not to take too much to heart reviews of one’s work” (p. 26). Still, it feels validating to be reviewed by someone who “gets” what my work is about.


Aloha to Dick Schmidt

USDSiconRichard “Dick” Schmidt, a leading figure in the fields of applied linguistics and SLA passed away on March 15, 2017. Dick was my professor, advisor, mentor, confidante, and dear friend. He guided me throughout my MA and Ph.D. studies, and I worked for him at the NFLRC (National Foreign Language Resource Center) during that time. I was honored to have him on my MA and Ph.D. committees. We kept in touch after I graduated, and he often wrote to tell me he missed our coffee chats and asked me to make it back for a visit. I’m sorry I didn’t make it back in time. He always supported me in my career and in life. One thing I truly admire about him is that he lived. He was never afraid of life or selfish with his time or advice. He embraced people and adventure—and his curiosity and desire to solve puzzles was unparalleled. Like all who knew him, I’ll miss him dearly.

Here’s the write-up from the NFLRC website:

NFLRC – With Aloha and Appreciation for Dick Schmidt

It is with great sadness that we announce that Dr. Richard (Dick) Schmidt passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. Dick was the longest serving director for the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC), from 1994 through 2012, when he retired. He left a lasting and indelible mark on the field of Applied Linguistics and all who came to know and work with him – fellow researchers and colleagues to graduate students to friends.

Dick was a full professor in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Following completion of his doctorate in linguistics (specializing in Arabic linguistics), he spent his career engaged in the training of second and foreign language teachers, including teacher-training projects in Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Spain, and Egypt. His primary research areas concerned cognitive and affective factors in adult second and foreign language learning —including the role of attention and awareness and the importance of motivation in learning— as well as the problems of learning and teaching difficult, less commonly-taught languages. He wrote many pivotal and much cited articles in these areas. His most recent book was the Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 4th Edition. He was chair of the Language Resource Center Council of Directors for two years, President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) in 2003-04, and was the 2009 recipient of the AAAL Distinguished Service and Scholarship Award. In 2013, the NFLRC published a festschrift in his honor: Noticing and Second Language Acquisition: Studies in Honor of Richard Schmidt, where an international array of researchers spoke of the impact of his Noticing Hypothesis on their research over the years and into the future.

Dick will be sorely missed. We send our Aloha to his family and loved ones in this difficult time.


NFLRC – Richard Schmidt

UH News – In Memoriam: Esteemed linguist Dick Schmidt

Messy Research in Applied Linguistics at AAAL 2017 (Portland)

Routledge Direct Link

PANEL AT AAAL  March 18-21, 2017

Methodological realities, problems and honest reporting when social research goes awry

Join Heath Rose and Jim McKinley and a host of other experts at the AAAL 2017 in Portland where they will be discussing the messy reality of conducting research in applied linguistics.

Much published research in applied linguistics presents research methodology as an uncompromising process, where problems are preempted in precise research design. However, applied linguistics research is often messy, especially when studies bridge other disciplines in the social sciences. This colloquium showcases some of the methodological problems encountered in research projects that, despite obstacles, were eventually successfully published in applied linguistics journals. Each speaker reports on a ‘messy’ component of a previous project, outlining the steps involved in negotiating this problem. They bring the methodological obstacles to the forefront, to illustrate situations where applied linguists need to adapt their research methods in situ. The colloquium aims to provide novice and experienced researchers alike with an overview of the realities of doing interdisciplinary social research in applied linguistics and offers advice on overcoming similar methodological problems.

The contributors participating on the colloquium panel are:

  • Dr. Christine Pearson Casanave
  • Dr. Xuesong (Andy) Gao
  • Prof. John Hedgcock
  • Dr. Heekyeong Lee
  • Dr. Jim McKinley
  • Dr. Hanako Okada
  • Dr. Simone Pfenninger
  • Dr. Matthew T. Prior <– yup, that’s me!
  • Dr. Heath Rose
  • Prof. David Singleton
  • Dr. Mary Jane Curry, as discussant

Hope to see you there!

New Edited Volume is out!

pbns_266_hbI’ve been so slow in updating this website, so a few of these updates are long overdue!

The edited volume, Emotion in Multilingual Interaction, was published by Benjamins in late October. Finally!!!!  This was a long time coming. A lot of labor and love (and some tears) went into this one!

Here’s the Publisher’s Link

We’ve got a great line-up of chapters on a range of languages and contexts. I hope you’ll check it out!


Interview Featured on the ASU Now Website

An interview with ASU reporter Emma Greguska just appeared on the ASU Now website. It talks a bit about my work and my interests in emotion and L2 narrative research.

I’m on the QuAFE (Qualitative Approaches to Affect, Feelings and Emotions) blog!

The cool folks at the interdisciplinary QuAFE network invited me to share background about my book on their blog. Here’s the link.

Special Issue on Represented Talk is out in the journal Text & Talk

Just in time for the holidays! This one was definitely a long labor of love, but worth it. What an honor to work with so many fantastic researchers.

Text & Talk

s18607349An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

Volume 35, Issue 6 (Dec 2015)
Link here.
  • Special Issue: Represented Talk Across Activities and Languages
  • Guest Editors: Matthew T. Prior and Gabriele Kasper


  • Matthew T. Prior – Introduction: Represented talk across activities and languages 695
  • Trine Heinemann and Johannes Wagner Recalibrating the context for reported speech and thought 707
  • Hanh thi Nguyen Source marking in represented talk and thought in Vietnamese narratives 731
  • Mary Shin Kim Reconstructing misinterpretation and misrepresentation through represented talk in Korean conversation 759
  • Evelyne Berger and Simona Pekarek Doehler Direct reported speech in storytellings: Enacting and negotiating epistemic entitlements 789
  • Gabriele Kasper and Matthew T. Prior “You said that?”: Other-initiations of repair addressed to represented talk 815
  • Toshiaki Furukawa Localizing humor through parodying white voice in Hawai‘i stand-up comedy 845
  • Eric Hauser Commentary: RT and the dramatization of everyday life 871