- structured (basically like reading out a questionnaire)
- semi-structured (a basic list of questions, but you can ask others).
- unstructured (anything goes)
- You can video, audio record or take notes.
- Keep it short - 5 minutes interview is at least 10 minutes typing
- Write the questions, roughly
- Pilot it (try it out) with a partners or a small group
- Keep a note of HOW you made these questions.
- This goes in your "Materials" sub-section of your "Methods" section
A summary of the below needs to go in the "Procedure" section of your "Methods" section
Before the interview
- Make an appointment to meet someone in a quiet place.
- If you are asking about something they do, do the interview soon after.
- Get two recorders. Phones are OK unless they save a strange format (e.g. 3GP). If yours does, ask to borrow my MP3 recorder.
- Test them before you start. Can you hear clearly enough to type it up later?
At the beginning of the interview
- Offer them a coffee / tea
- Chat for a bit to relax them (SMall Talk!)
- Length of the interview
- ("This interview will last 5 minutes")
- The purpose of your research
- ("This is for my English class homework")
- How anonymous they will be
- ("No-one will know your name")
- How you will share the data
- ("I will type this up and email you a copy")
- They can delete
- ("If you want to delete anything, let me know")
- Who will see your data
- ("I will show everything to my teacher, and I will share some anonymous quotes in my article/presentation")
- Ask permission to start
- ("Is it OK to start recording?")
Start the interview
- There are several types of interview:
- Write the exact questions (a structured interview)
- Write a list of broad questions (a semi-structured interview) ****
- Write your first question only (an unstructured interview)
- For semi or unstructure interviews, start with a "tour" or a very easy question"
- "Can you tell me a little about"
- "Have you ever"
- For structured interviews, just start reading your main questions
Useful language for while you are listening
- はい、ええ、うん (yes)
- そうですか (is that so?)
- ほんとう、ほんと、ほんとに、ほんま (really)
- なるほど (I see)
- 頷き (nodding)
- Uh huh, OK, go on REPEAT / SILENCE / NOD
- PROBE to learn more
- Could you tell me a bit more about
- CHECK if anything is not clear
- When you said X, what did you mean
- What did you mean by X
- MOVE ON to the next main question/topic language
- "Lets move on to"
- "OK, next question"
- REFER BACK to a previous answer
- Earlier, you said there were two reasons. What was the second?
FINISH the interview
OK, before we finish is there anything else?
Thanks. Do you have any questions? Any comments?
OK, I will send you a copy of the transcript by 〇〇. Thank you for your kindness.
- give your own opinion
- Let them drift off topic
- Agree or disagree
- Say "good"
- Look bored
After the interview
- Start transcribing and analysing immediately!
- Make notes after the interview on any hunches or problems.
- Send them a thank-you email
- Send them a copy of the transcript and ask for comments
- Send them a copy of the report and invite comments
- Listen to YOUR interview skills – how did you do?
- Ask a friend to check your transcript for mistakes
- Ask a friend to check you transcript for interview skills
- Do a follow-up interview if you have any more questions
Interviews must be converted to text before you can analyse them.
This is called "transcription"
What should I type?
Transcribe = "to write down exactly what people say", including:
|Repetitions ||I like like dogs better than cats|
|Fillers ||I um like dogs better than uhh cats|
|Contractions ||I like dogs better'n cats|
|Mistakes ||I likes dogs more better than cats|
|Restarts ||I like dogs/I like dogs better than cats|
|Truncations ||I li- like dogs better than cats|
|Pauses ||I like … cats better than …dogs|
|Missing bits ||I like [inaudible] better than cats|
|Uncertain bits ||I like [?]|
|Other bits ||I like [loud noise from kitchen] …uh hold on|
|Emphasis ||I like cats but not dogs|
Some research types (Discourse analysis, conversation analysis) also mark:
|Pause length ||I like [:5] cats better than dog|
|Non-verbal ||I like [scratches nose] cats better than dog|
|Overlaps ||A: I like dogs. [And I like cats]|
| ||B:-_________________[How about cats.] Oh you do? Me too|
- Ask each subject to choose pseudonym (a fake name to protect their identity but which is nicer than calling them "S1").
- Try to keep it in the same gender and ethnic group (Hiroko should choose something like "Miyuki", not "George")
Each line needs to have the student's pseudonym ("Bob") and a line number (1,2,3), because otherwise when you do a cut and sort analysis you won't know what comes from where.
Check the Shared Materials Folder for the transcription blank
- Use a computer, notyour phone
- Learn keyboard shortcuts for pausing your audio and switching from player to Word
- Keep backups and don't lose private data.
- Punctuate for sound, not grammar
- a question mark = rising intonation
- a comma = a pause