Qualitative Methodology

Qualitative Methodology



Qualitative Methodology

Research Topic

The preliminary subject of research involved studying the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and neural development of a child.

Purpose of the Study

            The aim of the study was synthesizing the currently existing findings on cognitive and neural development among bilingual learners and recognizing the methodological concerns and gaps within present research. According to Barac and Bialystok (2012), this is attributed to the fact that the implications of bilingualism on children’s neural and cognitive capabilities have not been justified regardless of it posing benefits on the progression of several mentioned abilities.  

Overarching Research Question

Initially, the study was focused on the adaptation of a qualitative and quantitative methodology. This is particularly attributable to the research question at hand. However, in order to incline towards the implementation of a qualitative methodology, it was imperative to modify the respective research question. Prior to this development, the main research question was asking, “What are the effects of bilingualism on the child’s cognitive and neural development?” Clearly, the application of a quantitative methodology would the best alternative towards carrying out the specified investigation. However, for purposes of answering the question while utilizing a qualitative methodology, the research query, despite being similar, was asked as, “What are the viewpoints of the children regarding bilingual learning and education?” By integrating this research question in the study, qualitative methodology can be applied. For instance, one of the methods that can be applied comprises focus interviews.

Specific Research Questions and Hypotheses

  • Does language difference influence the general areas of development in the young adults?
  • Is there an association between socio-cultural and economic status of children on their bilingual performance?
  • Is there a relationship between the child’s first and second languages and their future performance of linguistic tasks?

Research Design & Procedure

With the research question inclined towards a qualitative framework, it was important to determine the right appropriate method for carrying out the study. Initially, the respective study integrated a mixed methods research design. Generally, a mixed method design is primarily a combination of the best possible attributes from quantitative and qualitative research methodology (Creswell, 2014). However, since the study was modified in order to assume a qualitative approach, the mixed method research would have not been ideal in investigating the research question. Hence, with the study based on a qualitative design, the selection of the children as formerly asserted will take place through the utilization of non-probability sampling. The integration of this form of sampling was particularly founded on the assumption that the study would require the opinions of the children in order to answer the modified research question. Furthermore, through the convenience samples, the study was capable of integrating focus interviews as the main data collection technique (Pressley & McCormick, 2006). This technique would later assist in the offering of quality degrees of control over the direction and nature as well as assisting in the dissemination of more considerable and valuable data to respondents (Diaz, 2013).


Using a qualitative approach, the study will examine the overall implications of bilingual learning on the cognitive and neural development of a child. However, the results that arise from the respective investigation will occur as an outcome of the samples’ perceptions. The integration of focus-based interviews will particularly factor in the children’s viewpoints while taking into account the setting. Additionally, the interviews will also focus on the instructors in order to gain a more professional opinion on the effects that may or may not arise from bilingualism. Moreover, the selection of this particular design will offer broad, elaborate, and rational information concerning the study.

Rigor of the Study

The rigor will be ensured by applying the values of reliability and validity. According to In Saracho (2012), validity will be carried out in order to determine the meaningfulness and correctness of the inferences while supporting the arguments on the outcomes of the research. Since instructors will be involved in the research, it will be simple to manage the behavior of the participants, specifically the students. In addition, the firmness of the research will be facilitated by the application of an exclusion criterion, which will be applied on the children within the chosen pre-unit schools with disparate cultural backgrounds. In this respect, the criterion will fall among children who will have excelled pre-unit. Furthermore, unwilling participants, specifically teachers, will be exempted.

Data Collection/Analysis

The collection of data will take place through the utilization of focus-based interviews. The instructors and the selected children will be part of the sample population utilized for the investigation. In terms of analysis, it will be important to transcribe the resulting data from the interviews. Following this, a framework will be identified for the respective data. The selected framework will organize, label, and delineate data (Grbich, 2007). In this case, the framework will be explanatory since it will be directed by the study’s research question. After the setting of the data into an explanatory framework, the data will be sorted and assessed via a descriptive analysis, which will range the retorts in categories and lead to the identification of recurring themes.


            For purposes of sanctioning the research, the participants will need to be informed of the study and their contribution to the investigation. In addition to this, the participants will have to ensure that they have indicated their agreement or disagreement with the informed consent.


Barac, R. & Bialystok, E. (2012). Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: role of language, cultural background, and education. Child Development 83(2), 413-422.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Diaz, R. M. (2013). Chapter 2: Thought and two languages: The impact of bilingualism on cognitive development. Review of Research in Education, 10(1), 23-54.

Grbich, C. (2007). Qualitative data analysis: An introduction. London: SAGE Publications.

In Saracho, O. N. (2012). Contemporary perspectives on research in creativity in early childhood education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.

Pressley, M., & McCormick, C. (2006). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

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