Asian Qualitative Research Association
Dr. Safary Wa-Mbaleka is an American researcher and educator who is currently working at the Adventist University of Africa (www.aua.ac.ke) in Kenya. He is the founding president of the Asian Qualitative Research Association (www.myAQRA.org), located in the Philippines, and which now has more than 2,000 registered members. He teaches qualitative research and has provided several dozens of trainings, conference presentations, seminars, colloquia, and workshops on qualitative research around the Philippines and in many other different countries. He has published several qualitative research articles and books to make qualitative research much more learnable and teachable. He looks forward to sharing some practical strategies, challenge the audience with ethical reality, while learning from all the participants of WCQR2019.
Dealing with the Dog’s Effect of Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is creating waves all around the world. The thirst for qualitative research at all academic levels can no longer be denied. In a country like the Philippines, senior high school students are now required to take an introductory course in qualitative research. More and more books and articles are regularly published in qualitative research. Newer book publications on qualitative research have become much more practical in guiding novice researchers than they have ever been before. Practical methods are now recommended to make qualitative research much more user-friendly and more readable than before. The field of qualitative research is becoming much more structured than it has ever been before. As more and more exploration goes on in qualitative research, new challenges are coming to light. One of them is about the difficulty that non-native speakers of English have in synthesizing the abstracted concepts from their qualitative research data. Just like the dog that may know so much but cannot verbally express itself, these researchers may know much about qualitative research and yet be unable to express it in their second language; in this case, English. This problem has been reported consistently in recent years by graduate students, novice qualitative researchers, and conference and seminar participants of qualitative research trainings. Based on existing literature and interviews with some qualitative researchers, this paper will highlight the major linguistic challenges non-native speakers of English have and will propose some solutions to those challenges. It is the intent of this paper to raise the common challenges non-native speakers of English face in capturing, analyzing, and interpreting qualitative research data. By addressing these challenges, the quality of the interpretation of qualitative research data in non-English speaking countries may be more accurate and more meaningful for the research problem under exploration. Doing so can empower this important group of researchers, thus providing them an important opportunity to contribute to the global scholarship within their respective fields. Practical strategies to deal with the Dog’s Effect of Qualitative Research will be recommended based on the limited existing literature on the topic and hopefully generate more discussion useful in addressing these challenges that may be so far less known in English-speaking countries. They will also be based on interviews conducted with graduate students and faculty who have taught or published qualitative research. This paper is intended to generate further discussion that will help improve the training on qualitative research in non-English speaking countries. Keywords: Dog’s effect, qualitative research, non-native speakers, translation, language barrier, data analysis, data interpretation, Asia, Philippines, doctoral students, faculty