sotonDH Small Grants: English accents and identity – Post 3

sotonDH Small Grants: English accents and identity – Post 3 by Fan Fang

My last post is a summary of the whole process of my field trip. During my three-month stay at the university collecting the data for my thesis, I received 309 valid samples of the questionnaire I administered, and I also conducted a series of class observations (altogether more than 24 hours), 13 student interviews (9 participants with 5 were selected to conduct second-round interviews), 12 teacher interviews, and 2 focus groups each with both teachers and students.

I will not write another long post, as I have explained my research context and instruments in details in my second post. In this post, I shall add the last information about my field trip. During the last two weeks of my data collection, I conducted a second round of short interviews with five of the students who attended the class of Voice and Accent Training. I asked them to share their class experiences, and to comment on these. They were also asked to predict the possibility of teaching an ELF accents in the future. These interviews took approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Before I finished my field trip, I also collected the reflective journals from the students, which I treated as some additional sources for my data. Therefore, I will end up with both verbal and written data for my final analysis.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the process of data collection, though I have not started the real analysis. I believe that these data that I collected will be relevant to my research purpose and will even serve as a good reference in the future. During my field trip, I have learnt how to recruit participants, as well as to build up a certain relationship with them during the process of data collection, especially when I adopted the qualitative method. I see how time flies when collecting my data, while contacting participants, and in scheduling time and space, etc. This is really a learning process.

At the end of the post, I would like to thank all the participants of my research. Without their help these data could not be collected. Gratitude also goes to the Digital Humanities, University of Southampton for providing me with this funding.