The language variable in educational research: an exploration of researcher positionality, translation, and interpretation
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In qualitative educational research, the languages spoken by the participants and the researchers can greatly impact the quality of the data collected. This paper will explore the advantages and disadvantages of being an insider researcher by virtue of speaking the same language(s) as the participants. Whether the researcher is a linguistic insider or outsider, he or she will need to make important decisions with regard to translation and interpretation when conducting cross-language research. Such linguistic decisions can also impact the quality of the data collected and the trustworthiness of the research. The advantages and disadvantages of translation and interpretation in qualitative educational research will be explored. This paper offers researchers and students suggestions for conducting cross-language educational research in an ethical and transparent manner.