Narrative inquiry in applied linguistics research

Phil Benson*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    61 Citations (Scopus)


    The importance of narrative inquiry as an alternative approach to research in the humanities and social sciences has grown considerably over the past 20 years or so. Over the past decade, it has also become an established approach to research on second and foreign language learning and teaching through the publication of numerous data-based studies and several texts on narrative inquiry for applied linguistics. Focusing on studies published since 2008, this article outlines the scope of narrative research on language learning and teaching at the present time. It discusses recent innovations in data collection (the use of mixed and longitudinal methods and the use of narrative frames and multimodal data) and data analysis (focus on the discourse of narrative and the use of narrative writing). It concludes that these innovations represent a welcome trend toward methodological diversity that is strengthening the contribution of narrative inquiry to our understanding of the experience of language teaching and learning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)154-170
    Number of pages17
    JournalAnnual Review of Applied Linguistics
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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