Interviewing an Adult

Question Description

For this assignment, you will interview an adult L2 learner, using a structured interview that you will design and implement. A structured interview you can be thought of as an oral questionnaire; you ask questions which have been formulated in advance. This is different from an open-ended interview where the interviewer begins with a general idea about what topics to discuss but allows the discourse to go off into any direction worth pursuing. You may work together with others on devising the questionnaire.

You will need to prepare a set of at least 25 questions that will provide information concerning the factors involved in your participant’s language learning experiences. Design some questions in such a way as to infer certain characteristics. Rather than only asking the learner directly to describe his or her aptitude, attitudes, motivation, personality, cultural differences or learning style, ask some questions which allow you (the researcher) to confirm these characteristics through inference. You need to record the interview and send it to your professor before you start analyzing the data.

This is a research paper. Therefore you need to include at least 5 references.

Structure of the paper: Introduction, analysis of the interview, a conclusion, and a reference section.

Total words: 3,500/ 4,000

Examples of the questions that you can use:

Can you describe the process you have gone through to learn your second language? For example: instruction in your own country, watching TV, engaging in online conversations, traveling to countries where your second language is spoken, why you started to learn the language, etc.

Can you describe the people you spent the most time with when living in the country where you learned your second language?

How did typical conversations/interactions between you normally go (most common topics, dominant individuals, etc.)?

If you had to describe yourself using five words, what would they be?

How did you feel about coming to live in a different country?

Has your experience in the country lived up to your expectations? Please explain why or why not.

What are the nationalities of your best friends in the country?

Intensity factors:

What do you think of the culture in the country?

Did any cultural norms stand out to you? Either positively or negatively?

How did your second language appear in everyday life for you?

Was it necessary for you in order to go about your day?


Did you have a chance to talk to people who spoke your first language?

How often?

How would you rate your own ability to speak your second language upon arrival to the country?

Intercultural sensitivity and competence:

Do you think your home country is essentially different to this country?

Which of the following comments do you relate to currently or recall relating to earlier in your life (related to being in other countries)?

A.All big cities are the same – tall building, heavy traffic, fast food chains, etc.

B.I don’t experience culture shock, and I could get by in any culture.

C.When I go to other countries/cultures, I find out how much better my own country/culture is.

D.Why aren’t these people up-to-date? They’re so sexist/racist/old school!

E.Wow, they’re so sophisticated and self-aware. I hate the superficiality back home.

F.I don’t want to spend time with the natives, I just want to be around people from my country.

G.As long as you act like yourself, you’ll be fine.

H.I read people so well that I can get by in any culture; I don’t need to study the culture beforehand.

I.People from all countries/cultures are motivated by the same things in life.

J.Before visiting other countries, I always study their culture.

K.It’s hard to be respectful of their culture while maintaining my own values.

L.I behave differently depending on whether the people I meet are from my own culture or not to account for cultural differences.

M.I’m beginning to feel like I am a member of the culture.

N.I feel at home in both this country and my home country.

O.I make better decisions in various situations due to my understanding of different cultures.

Do you think people should be educated (by schools, employers, or parents for example) in how to behave in other cultures?

Have you experienced any benefits from learning a second language?

Acculturation process:

Did you go through any rough phases during your time learning your second language?

If yes, how would you describe them?

What would be a characteristic situation/experience of such a phase?

Similarly, did you go through any particularly good phases?

How would you describe them?

What would be a characteristic situation/experience of such a phase?

Social distance and identity:

Is there a stereotype for people of your nationality in the country?

What do you think the average person from the country thought of you?

Did they act or seem to think of themselves as superior?

Did you feel welcomed to the country/culture/group?

Did you want to become a part of the culture?

Were/Are you a part of a group of people learning the language?

If so, how many are in the group?

Do you welcome native-speakers into group group?

How long was your stay in the country? OR: How long has it been so far and how long do you intend for it to be?

Has your role in conversations and group settings changed throughout your stay?

Can you describe your role(s)?

Do you think the role(s) allow you to engage in plenty conversations?

Do you think you should/could have done more to gain footing in conversations?

Learning strategies:

Can you recall any strategies/techniques you use(d) to learn your second language? Examples: repeating new words for yourself (in your head or vocally), reading books, watching TV, seeking conversation, keeping a diary, reflecting on your weaknesses in the language, etc.

Language aptitude:

Rate your ability related to the following skills – from 1 to 10:

A.Identify, remember, and replicate sounds as well as learn sound-symbol relationships.

B.Identify the grammatical function of each word in a given sentence.

C.Recognize patterns and relations between words and meaning.

D.Create and memorize relations between stimuli.


What kept you going in your attempt to learn your second language? For example: future benefits, interest in the culture, feeling of success.

This is a research paper. Therefore you need to include at least 5 references.

Structure of the paper: Introduction, analysis of the interview, a conclusion, and a reference section.

Total words: 3,500/ 4,000

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