Arthur McNeill

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This paper examines the potential of the focus group as a research method in language studies. In social sciences research, focus groups are becoming increasingly popular as a means of gathering data. It is logical to anticipate that the focus group can also be a suitable research method for investigating certain topics related to language. The paper describes how focus groups are typically organized and run, then addresses some of the on-going concerns about the handling of focus group data. Provided certain safeguards are in place concerning data analysis and provided the procedures for handling data are made as explicit as possible, the focus group is likely to become a welcome addition to the research methods available to scholars working in the field of language studies.



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