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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J. & Attia, M. (2016). How to research multilingually: Possibilities and complexities. In Research methods in intercultural communication: a practical guide. Hua, Zhu Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 88-102.

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter aims to develop researchers’ awareness and understanding of the process of researching
multilingually—where they must use, or account for the use of, more than one language in the
research process. We provide a conceptual framework that guides researchers in: 1) realising that
using more than one language is possible; 2) considering the interconnecting possibilities and
complexities of researching multilingually, e.g. being reflexive and reflective, considering the spaces
of the research, and the relationships entailed in the research context; and 3) becoming purposeful
about the decisions they make in all phases of the research process, e.g. from the initial design of the
project, to engaging with different literatures, to developing the methodology and considering all
possible ethical issues, to generating and analysing the data, to issues of representation and reflexivity
when writing up and publishing. The chapter draws on examples from the authors’ AHRC-funded
network project Researching Multilingually (AHJ005037/1).

School of Education