Thursday, 28 March 2013

Methods for better understandings of bilingual situations

The methods, instruments and subjects for better understandings of linguistic, bilingualism, and bilingual education situations
PhD Can Quang
In bilingualism and bilingual education research, particularly with reference to the maintenance and revitalization of indigenous and minority languages, discuss how the following methods are used and for what purposes: (i) questionnaires/surveys; (ii) interviews; (iii) participant observations.
1. The strengths and weaknesses of the methods
The research problems on bilingualism and bilingual education, which refers to the maintenance and revitalization of indigenous and minority languages, can be classified in descriptive and causal research (Postlethwaite, 2005). Based on the goals of the research, they can be seen as exploratory and explanatory research. Based on the subjects of the research, they can be seen as education, and sociolinguistics research. The research interests and natures shape the relevant methods of fieldwork to collect rich, reliable and authentic data, which include questionnaires, interviews, and observations.
This methodology is also at times referred to as a grounded theory approach to qualitative research or interpretive research, and is an attempt to unearth a theory from the data itself rather than from a predisposed hypothesis (Charmaz, 2006; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Regardless their various names, the methods, the research instruments, used in minority language (ML) teaching field generally and in my coming dissertation specifically, which enable me in a short time to evaluate the exact the status of a specific ML and propose a remedy to revitalize the language. My research goal is to learn what going on with the MLs and how people get along with them in the specific settings as shown in chart 1.

These instruments, which are questionnaire, interview, and observation, can be described as followings:
1.1. Questionnaire
1.1.1. Questionnaires. A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of a research or survey questions asked to respondents, and designed to extract specific information. The respondent has to answer in a set format, which is can be open-ended, or closed-ended questions. It serves four basic purposes: (1) collecting the appropriate data; (2) making data comparable and amenable to analysis; (3) minimizing bias in formulating and asking question; and (4) making questions engaging and varied (Bryman, 1988; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007; Swanson, 1992).
Questionnaires can be conducted in different types of the medium of delivering the questionnaire to respondents such as, mail survey, group administered questionnaire, and household drop-off survey. Questionnaire can be in different modes in terms of the method of contacting respondents, and the administration of the questions. The most common modes of administration can be summarized as: telephone, mail (post), online surveys, personal in-home surveys, personal mall or street intercept survey, and hybrids of the above (Creswell, 2005; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007).
In my coming research, the main questionnaire types are the group administered and personal in home questionnaire. A sample of respondents is face to face asked to respond to a structured sequence of questions. Questionnaires will be administered in group settings for convenience (in a class for students and in staff room for teachers). I will give the questionnaire to those who are present. There will be a high response rate, which may reach 100% of the response. If the respondents are unclear about the meaning of a question they can ask for clarification. For parents and specialists, questionnaires will be conducted at their home (Strauss & Corbin, 1998; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998).
An open-ended question asks the respondent to formulate his own answer, while a closed-ended question has the respondent choose an answer from a given number of options. The response options for a closed-ended question should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive. Four types of response scales for closed-ended questions are distinguished: (1) Dichotomous, with two options; (2) Nominal-polytomous, with more than two unordered options; (3) Ordinal-polytomous, with more than two ordered options; and (4) (bounded) Continuous, with a continuous scale.  A respondent's answer to an open-ended question can be coded into a response scale afterwards, or analyzed using qualitative techniques (Swanson, 1992; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003).  
1.1.2. Strengths of questionnaires. Questionnaires have many advantages. They can be used to describe the characteristics, and to study (measuring and eliciting) attitudes, values, beliefs, and past behaviors of a large sample or population. No other methods such as interview or observation can provide this general capability. Many questions can be asked about a given topic providing considerable flexibility to the analysis. They can be administered from remote locations using mail, email, telephone, or online. They are very useful for exploration and confirmation especially with closed-ended items. With open-ended items, they can provide detailed information in respondents’ own words as using comment parts in my questionnaires, which may useful for explanation (Brewer & Hunter, 1989; Greene, Benjamin, & Goodyear, 2001).

Questionnaires allow the researcher to cover a large area in the given time and money in terms of information and respondents. They save time and money. Questionnaires are flexible in the sense that with well-constructed and validated questionnaires provide efficient ways of collecting a wide range of information from a large number of respondents. Statistical techniques can be used for analyzing to determine validity, reliability, and statistical significance (Greene & Caracelli, 1997).
Because they are standardized, they are relatively free from several types of errors and bias. Hence very large samples are feasible and possible, making the results statistically significant even when analyzing multiple variables. This will increase the reliability and credibility of the survey results. They are relatively easy to administer, for their focus provided by standardized questions. Only questions of interest to the researchers are asked, recorded, codified, and analyzed. Similar data can be collected from groups then possibly interpreted comparatively (between-group study) (Fowler, 1993).
1.1.3. Weaknesses of questionnaires. Response rate may be low for mail, email, and online questionnaires. And when returned questionnaires arrive in the mail, it's natural to assume that the respondents are the same persons you sent the questionnaires to. This may not happen. Because business questionnaires sometimes get handed to other employees for fulfillment; Wives respond for their husbands; Kids respond as a frolic. For a variety of reasons, the expected respondents may not be whom you think they are. This lead to selection biases[1], an inherent error in questionnaires (Tashakkori, & Teddlie, 2003; Wentland & Smith, 1993). My questionnaires in the coming study, which are conducted in person, enable me to reduce this type of biases. A questionnaire requesting factual information will probably not be affected by the lack of personal contact. A questionnaire investigating sensitive issues or attitudes may be severely affected (Maxwell, 1996). To overcome the impact for lack of personal contact, I try to provide the explanation timely as respondents’ requests until they complete the questionnaires.
Data analysis can be time consuming for open-ended items or for the comment spaces. Though they provide more honest and authentic information from the participants’ minds, they reflect both the issues of interest and non interest (Fowler, 1993).
Questionnaire responses depend on respondents’ motivation, honesty, memory, and ability. Subjects may not be aware of their reasons for any given action. They may have forgotten their reasons. They may not be motivated to give accurate answers; in fact, they may be motivated to give answers that present themselves in a favorable light. They may misunderstand the questions and scales in case of remote questionnaires; they cannot verify the questions (Maxwell, 1996).
As structured instruments, particularly those with closed ended questions, questionnaires may have low validity when researching sensitive variables (little different among the ranks). They offer little flexibility to the respondents while comply with response format. Therefore, respondents often lose the "flavor of the response" (i.e., they cannot detail their answers or show their response if their answers are out of the given ranks or factors) (Steele, 2011, p. 25). By allowing frequent space for comments in my questionnaires, I try to overcome this limitation. I think comments are among the most helpful of all the information on the questionnaire, and they usually provide insightful information otherwise that would have been missed (Freshwater, 2005).
1.1.4. Notes to reduce the weaknesses and enhance the strengths. There are some guidelines help researchers to write good questionnaires. Notes for writing good questions are given in classical survey books (Dillman, 1978). A summary of these notes was made by Brink (1992).Note 1. Use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar style. Use the proper terms and jargon only for the specific group of respondents, who are familiar with those terms can understand the right meanings e.g., doctors, teachers and researchers.
Note 2. Use specific questions can be understood in one way only. For example, “did you play basketball yesterday?”, instead of “did you play sports?”
Note 3. Use a short introduction to question of behaviors if needed. The concepts and terms are used in the question much match, no misunderstanding. For example, with students, you may not only mean elementary student or high school, but first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students.
Note 4. Use questions that may have a single answer. For example, “Are you proud of your language?” instead of “Are you proud of your language and identity?”
Note 5. Never use negative phrasing, and words with multiple meanings. E.g., “should the students’ performances not be improved?” This can lead to confusion and the answer may cause confusing to the researchers. This may lead to measurement biases (Hanson, W. Creswell, Plano Clack, Petska, & D. Creswell, 2005).
1.2. Interview method of research
1.2.1. Interviews. Interviews are purposeful and usually face to face conversations, which are prepared for two or more persons in order of themes, categories and based on a list of questions in a given time. They are directed by the researchers, who ask and get information from the others. Interview method enables the researchers to gather descriptive data in the subjects’ own words so that the researchers can explore the insights on how subjects interpret the world through their eyes. Interviews are audio recorded and taken notes for later transcript and analysis with needed authenticity.
There are personal interview, group interview, and telephone interviews: Personal interview. The interviewer works directly with the respondent. While doing direct contact, the interviewer has the opportunity to probe or ask follow-up questions. And, interviews are generally easier for the respondent, especially if what is sought is opinions or impressions. Interviews can be very time consuming and they are resource intensive. The interviewers can be considered a part of the measurement instrument and interviewers have to be well trained in how to respond to any contingency (Charmaz, 2002; Mishler, 1986). Focus group interview. Group interviews can be formal with a specific, structured purpose or informal taking place in a field setting where a researcher stimulates a group discussion with a topical question. Participants get to hear others’ responses and to make additional comments their own original responses. It is unnecessary for the group to reach any kind of consensus or to disagree. The object is to get high quality data in a social context where people can consider their own views in the views of others. The data generated can be instrumental and factual, or, it can be subjective and qualitative. Researchers can use group interviews as a more efficient use of resources and as a means of adding valuable insight to the interpretation of a social or behavioral event (Frey, 1991; Patton, 1990). Telephone interview. Telephone interviews enable a researcher to gather information rapidly. Most of the major public opinion polls that are reported were based on telephone interviews. Like personal interviews, they allow for some personal contact between the interviewer and the respondent. And, they allow the interviewer to ask follow-up questions (Kvale, 2007; Kvale & Brinkman, 2009).
1.2.2. Strengths of interviews. Interviews may have the strengths as following:
• Interview techniques are reliable for measuring attitudes and most other contents of research interest even the complex, emotionally laden subjects. They are useful for explanation as well as confirmation. Especially, closed-ended interviews provide exact information needed by researcher.
• They allow probing and posing of follow-up questions by the interviewer during interview process. They can be easily adapted to the ability of the person being interviewed. Therefore, they can provide in-depth information useful for exploration and explanation research. They can provide information about participants’ internal meanings, ways of thinking and true perspectives on the research interest.
• Moderately high measurement validity (i.e., high reliability and validity) for well-constructed and tested interview protocols with good skilled interviewers. Data collected by this method is likely to be more correct compared to the other methods that are used for the data collection. The interviewers are measuring both inside and outside the interviewees’ minds through systems of questions.
• They can apply with probability samples or purposive samples (non-probability samples). They yield perfect sample of the general population. The response rates are often relatively high.
• Telephone and Internet interviews provide very quick turn around and easier conducting in compared with face to face interviews (Charmaz, 2002; Kvale, 2007; Patton, 1990).
1.2.3. Weaknesses of interviews. There are some weaknesses need to keep in mind while interviewing:
• Personal interviews are usually expensive and time consuming. Therefore, sample may not large enough for representative of the population.
• They sometimes involve systematic errors or biases for some reasons: reactive effects (e.g., interviewees may try to show only what is socially desirable); Interviewees may not recall important information and may lack self-awareness; Investigator effects may occur (e.g., untrained interviewers may distort data because of personal biases and poor interviewing skills). They require highly skilled interviewer and more effort.
• Perceived anonymity by respondents may be low. Data analysis can be time consuming with more effort for open-ended items. For they are potentially more confusing and a very complicated method, measures need validation with peers, supervisors or pilot project to determine an effective, reliable and credible research.
• Telephone interview have some major disadvantages. Many people don't have publicly-listed telephone numbers. Some don't have telephones. People often don't like the intrusion of a call to their homes. So, telephone interviews should be relatively short. Currently, telephone interview can be conducted through the Internet with Skype, or Yahoo Messenger, which enables researchers not only hear interviewees but also can see their faces as face to face interviews (Kvale, 2007; Kvale & Brinkman, 2009).
1.2.4. Important steps need to be covered when doing interviews
• Prepare your interview questions in advance, and share them with the participant(s).
Prepare the instruments for audio record, or video record the interviews.
No hesitating to ask questions whenever they arise during the interview and transcribing the interview data, even if they are not listed before the interview.
• After the interview, the transcripts of the data need to be done exactly what was said during the interview. This can be a very slow and time-consuming process, but it is critical that the researchers transcribe interview data recorded right away exactly as what was said.
• After you have the interview transcripts, replay the interview again and compare it to the notes to make sure no details were missed or misinterpreted.
• Share the interview transcripts with the participants to make sure that they agree with, and affirm, the contents of the interview were their views (Charmaz, 2002; Kvale, 2007).
1.2.5. The center issues in conducting interviews. Always ask yourself these following issues to promote the authenticity and objectivity of the data collection.
Completeness: Whatever participants answered to your interview questions needs to be recorded and transcribed timely.
Accuracy of understanding: The transcripts of the interview records need to be exact as was said by the participants. Nothing missing or misinterpreting, ask follow up question if needed.
Bias: No presuming or assuming anything from participants’ attitudes, activities or indirect statements was accepted as information or data? It needs to ask as follow up question to confirm their perspectives by their words and avoid bias.
Accuracy of presenting: The transcripts and notes of interview data should be proper and authentic so that the readers, who had not interviewed the participants, were able to get a clear, correct picture of what was discussed.
Confidentiality: The permission for the interview, the purpose and intended audience of the interview should be the initial step of the study when contact the participants (Charmaz, 2002; Kvale & Brinkman, 2009).
1.2.6. Materials necessary for the interviews. Usually, a professional interviewer needs to assemble an interviewer kit that can be easily carried and includes all of the important materials such as: Consent forms for all kinds of participants; Participants’ contact numbers or addresses; Sufficient copies for interviews (questionnaires); Journal, note paper, and writing materials; Audio recorder, or video recorder if needed; List of interview questions prepared in advance (Kvale & Brinkman, 2009).
1.3. Observation method of research
1.3.1. Definition. The Observation method of research is basically developed for observing people in their natural settings in order to answer the research questions. In my field it focuses more on their everyday normal life. The observation can occur in any setting where people using their languages: cultures, communities, homes, streets, schools, classrooms, and work places. There are various types of observation methods: participant observation and non-participant observations (depending on the level of observer’s participating in the setting being study from complete immersion in to complete separation from the setting), overt and covert observations (the participants know and do not know that observation are being made. People may behave differently when they know they are being observed. Covert observations are more likely to capture what is really happening), single or long-term observations, narrow-focus and broad-focus observations. All depend on the purpose, characteristic, and subject of the study (Becker & Geer, 1970; A. Adler & P. Adler, 1994). The researcher bear alone the responsibility for deciding how the truth, authentic data can best be discovered. In the bilingualism, bilingual education, and sociolinguistic field, as in the coming project, I will use non-participant, covert, single and broad focus observations to collect data on the participants’ use of their languages in terms of language attitude, choice, fluency, and literacy (Spradley, 1980; Patton, 1990). 
1.3.2. Strengths of observational data. Following are the strengths of this method: Observational techniques are methods by which an individual or individuals gather firsthand, nature, and objective data on events, processes, or behaviors being studied. They provide researchers with an opportunity to collect data on a wide range of behaviors, to capture a great variety of interactions, and to openly explore the interest themes. They are helpful to overcome issues of validity, bias etc. They allow researchers to directly see what people act without having to rely on what they say they do or unable to discuss in an interview or focus group. Thus they provide direct and objective information about behavior of respondents, and good for description, and exploration (Glazier, 1985; Bogdan, & Biklen, 1992).
They are also useful when the subjects are feared to provide inaccurate information or unable to provide information (for being weak verbal skills, unwilling to talk about the research interest). Observer may discover things beyond the awareness and selective perceptions of participants in the setting (Glaser &Strauss, 1967).
They can be applied in natural, unstructured, and flexible settings, where observers can determine what does not occur and discover what is occurring in a setting. They can provide relatively objective measurement of the behavior (especially for standardized observations) and description of the interaction. Moreover, they enable researchers to enter into understanding the situation/context and the importance of the contextual factors. They provide good opportunities for identifying unanticipated outcomes or new emerging issues in the study (Gold, 1958; Jorgensen, 1989).
1.3.3. Weaknesses of observational data. However, observations also have some weaknesses that researchers have to keep in mind while doing research to limit their effect. Following are some noticeable weaknesses of this technique:Observers have little control over situation and cannot observe large or dispersed populations. Sampling of observed people and settings may be limited can be insufficient to represent the population. Some settings and content of interest cannot be observed only through contact with participants in other methods, while collection of unimportant material may be moderately high (Jorgensen, 1989).
Observations provide little explanation data and reasons for observed behavior may be unclear. Moreover, reactive effects may occur when participants know that they are being observed (i.e., people being observed may behave in atypical ways). Investigator effects may happen while observing and analysis observation data (i.e., personal biases and selective perception of observers, or over-identifying with the group being studied) (Strauss, & Corbin, 1990); Labaree, 2002).
Observations cannot apply for studying past events. Ethical issues of anonymity in observations are low. Sometimes selective perception of observers may distort data. Observation data collection and analysis are expensive and time consuming. Behavior or set of behaviors observed may be atypical. Selecting samples to be observed are tricky. To avoid the weaknesses, observation techniques need well-qualified content observation, and highly trained observers. Collected data may need expertise (Thompson, 2003).
1.3.4. The important role of the observers. In order to get more in-depth information and reliable research interests, the observers should get well training, prepare a set of concepts, criteria, and definitions for describing the observed events or behaviors. In a field setting, observers can decide and select which way to observe and focus with relevant protocol to assure that pertinent data collected. Depending on the nature of a given project, various methods for gathering observational data can be conducted. The most fundamental distinction between various observational strategies concerns the extent to which the observer will be participating in the setting. The extent of participation is a continuum, which varies from complete involvement in the setting (participant observation) to complete separation from the setting as an outside observer or spectator (non-participant observation). The participant observer is fully engaged in experiencing the project setting while at the same time trying to understand that setting through personal experience, observations, and interactions and discussions with other participants. The outside (non-participant) observer stands apart from the setting, attempts to be nonintrusive, and assumes the role of a "fly-on-the-wall." The extent to which level of participation will depend on the nature of the project and its participants, the sociolinguistic context, the nature of the evaluation questions being observed, and the resources available. The ideal type of participation will yield the most meaningful data on the settings given in terms of the nature, and characteristics of the participants, and the sociolinguistic context of the events (Gold, 1958; Patton, 1990).
1.3.5. Materials necessary for the observations. Informed consent must be received from participants before any observational data are gathered. The usage of technological tools, such as tape recorder or Dictaphone, laptop, camera, and camcorder, can make the data collection of the settings more efficient and the notes themselves more comprehensive (Labaree, 2002).
Field notes, which provide more in-depth background, help the observer remember salient events and future recall, should be frequently used. Field notes include the brief description of what has been observed. The descriptions must be factual, accurate, and thorough without being judgmental and cluttered by trivia. The dates, times, places, and main participants of the observations should be noted. Everything that the observer believes to be worth noting should be included. No information should be trusted to recall for transcriptions (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992; Charmaz, 2002).
In order to increase the quality and authentic of observation data by providing a larger focus of data, by decreasing the influence of observer bias, more than one people observing at the same time or periodical performance of observing can apply to make sure that accuracy is being maintained. The presence of two observers may cause the participants to change their behavior. When a non-participant observer is used, the question of "how much" becomes very important in terms of the amount of observation and its length. General tips to acknowledge are to avoid atypical situations, perform observations more than one time, and (where possible and relevant) extend the observations out over time. In case class observation, observers need to assure everyone that evaluations of performance are not the purpose of the study and that no such report will result from the observation. It is about the participant use of languages in the settings (Becker, & Geer, 1970; Atkinson, & Hammersley, 1994).
2. Triangulation can be used to strengthen one’s assertions about the maintenance of minority languages through education
2.1. Triangulation
2.1.1 Definition. Triangulation is sciences, often used to designate that more than two methods are used in a study with a prospect to double (or triple) checking the findings. Basically, triangulation is based on the hypothesis that a study finding is more solid if different methods approach to the same result (Altrichter, Posch. &Somekh, 1993; Brewer, & Hunter, 1989; Cohen, & Manion, 1986; Denzin, 1978). If a researcher uses only one method, the temptation for him/her is strong to believe in the findings. If a researcher uses two methods, there is a possibility that the findings contradict each other. By using three methods to get at the answer to one question, the acceptability is that two of the three will produce similar answers, or if three clashing answers are found, the researcher recognizes that the question and the methods needs to be reframed and reconsidered.
2.1.2. Triangulation purpose. By combining multiple viewers, theories, methods, and empirical materials, investigators can hope to overcome the weaknesses or intrinsic biases and the problems that come from single method, single viewer and single theory studies. The investigators use triangulation approach to increase the credibility and validity of the results (Denzin, 1978).
2.1.3. Triangulation types. Patton (1990) mentioned that there are several types of triangulation. The four most commonly recognized include: (1) Data triangulation: involves time, space, and persons, for example, interviewing people in different status positions or with different points of view; (2) Investigator triangulation: involves multiple researchers, several different evaluators or social scientists in an investigation; (3) Theory triangulation: Involves using multiple perspectives to interpret a single set of data; (4) Methodological triangulation: Involves using multiple methods to study a single problem or program (e.g., interviews, observations, questionnaires, documents) (Denzin, 1978).
2.1.4. Discuss also the specific procedures involved in questionnaires/surveys versus participant observations and how TRIANGULATION can be used to strengthen one’s assertions about the maintenance of minority languages through education. There is no specific formula of approach for all the studies. Each study has its own interests, issues, subjects and of course it needs a set of relevant approaches to determine the validity and credibility of the findings. The researchers, based on their background, experience, and knowledge, decide how to conduct the research and what approaches to use, single method, multi methods, triangulation, or mixed methods. They may rename or redefine the approaches on their own but the nature of the approaches as most of researchers’ definitions which are provided in the paper.
A typical example of using more than one approach to conduct the study as in Reclaiming the gift: Indigenous Youth Center-Narratives on Native Language Loss and Revitalization (McCarty, Romero, & Zepeda, 2006), the researchers used participant observation, questionnaires, ethnographic interviews, and collection of school achievement data to enhance the reliability and credibility of the results. 190 in-depth, ethnographic interviews- 144 with adults and 46 with youth in grades four through twelve at five school-community sites in the U.S. Southwest, Beautiful Mountain, Arizona State, together questionnaire, observation and report document were done for this research.
3. Also, discuss the theoretical underpinnings of mixed methods and how they need to be implemented to lead to effective and reliable bilingualism and bilingual education research
3.1. Definition of mixed method. “Mixed methods research is a research design with a methodology and methods.” As a methodology, it includes collecting, analyzing, and mixing qualitative with quantitative approaches at any phase in the research process, from the initial philosophical assumptions to the conclusion of findings. As a method, it focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing quantitative with qualitative data in studies (Creswell, & Plano Clack, 2010, p. 18).
The most well-known approach, mixed methods, has been the convergent design. Scholars started discussing this design as early as the 1970s (e.g., Jick, 1979), and it was probably the most common approach used across the disciplines. “The convergent design was initially conceptualized as a “triangulation” design where the two different methods were used to obtain triangulated results about a single topic” (Creswell, & Plano Clack, 2010, p. 77).
Consider a study in which only one type of data is collected but both types of data analysis are used. For example, (1) a researcher would collect only observation qualitative data but would analyze the data both qualitatively (developing themes) and quantitatively (counting words or rating responses on predetermined scales). (2) A more typical content analysis study would be one in which the researcher collects only qualitative data and transforms it into only quantitative data by counting the number of codes or themes (number of language borrowing, switch, and shift). Are either of these examples mixed methods research? Certainly they use “mixed methods data analyses” (Onwuegbuzie & Teddlie, 2003) consisting of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, but the data collection procedure involves collecting only qualitative data (and not quantitative data). Under a “methods” definition in our definition, the study would not be mixed methods because both qualitative and quantitative data are not being collected. Under a “methodological” definition—combining at any stage in the process of research—the study would be considered mixed methods because both qualitative and quantitative data analysis is going on.
“… triangulation [discussed] as the first true mixed methods design. … Greene et al. (2001) mentioned triangulation as only one purpose of mixed methods research while including complementarity, development, initiation and expansion.” (Terrel, 2009, p. 79).
3.2. What mixed methods approaches have proven effective in research on minority languages and bilingual education programs? Effectiveness in research mean the picture of the bilingualism and bilingual education are drawn as authentically as they are in the reality. The clearer the picture is, the more successful the plan to revitalize the discussed endangered language. The investigator can conduct mixed methods of survey, interview, observation, and document, for the robust design of their research which are relevant for the research subject, issues, purpose, and condition.
3.3. Provide specific examples of how mixed methods have been used to shed light on these issues in the published literature. The article, Heritage agency in a transnational California community: Latino parents and bilingual education (Farruggio, 2009) can be the example to illustrate the mixed methods used in bilingualism and bilingual education research. The study used a concurrent nested mixed methods design to examine the influences of material and social conditions in shaping parents’ agency for their children’s heritage preservation. A concurrent nested mixed methods design was used to gain a broader perspective of the process of participants’ agency formation (Morse, 1991).
The researcher gathered quantitative and qualitative data simultaneously in a structured interview with numerous open-ended questions and frequent solicitations for extended responses. He integrated quantitative and qualitative data in the analysis so that proportional patterns of responses would reveal significant associations between background factors and parents’ agency iterations (Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003). This integrated design is congruent with the macro-cultural psychology (MCP) framework’s conception that macro-level material conditions play a major influence in shaping individuals’ agency (Ratner, 2008). By 2002, 18 of the district’s 25 elementary schools offered bilingual classes. Nine schools served 61% of their Spanish speakers in bilingual classes through sixth grade. Among 58 participants, there is 11 parents chose pro-English only. 47 parents was in pro-Bilingual education but eleven of them would not let their children attend the BE program for disagreeing with the school.
He found that local community resistance to mainstream assimilation played a significant role in agency formation and that depth and quality of experience with BE and Latino-dense schools influenced the perception of BE as a viable means for heritage agency fulfillment. International policy implications are discussed on respectability of linguistic rights and human rights.

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[1] The most common types of bias that can influence the validity and credibility of research include the following: (1) Selection biases, which may involve the subjects due to the sample being unrepresentative of the population of interest. (2) Measurement (random & systematic) biases, which include issues related to the outcome of interest was not measured appropriately. (3) Intervention (exposure) biases, which relate to differences in the way of the treatment or intervention was carried out, or the levels of subjects were exposed to the factor of interest (Tashakkori, & Teddlie, 2003).

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