NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ836500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
The Focus Group Interview: Rising to the Challenge in Qualitative Research Methodology
Ho, Debbie
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v29 n1 p5.1-5.19 Jul 2006
This paper explores the possibility of expanding the focus group interview into the field of English as a Second Language (ESL), where this research methodology is yet to be thoroughly explored. Specifically, it aims to challenge popular criticisms about the reliability and validity of the focus group as a qualitative research methodology. It does this by first setting up a list of five main criticisms of the focus group interview drawn from current literature on research methodology within the social sciences and education. Based on transcripts of interactional data gathered from focus group interviews carried out among ESL students in a formal ESL context, it then provides a direct and detailed response to each criticism. The arguments put forward demonstrate that the focus group interview, as a method of data collection, may be particularly relevant in gathering the viewpoints and opinions of participants who have traditionally not been well represented through the more conventional and common methods currently employed in ESL research studies. Furthermore, the paper raises conscious awareness about the potential of the focus group as a viable and verifiable tool in qualitative research methodology. (Contains 2 tables and 2 endnotes.)
Monash University ePress. Building 4, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia. Fax: +61-3-9905 8450; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A