Another arrow for the quiver: A new methodology for multilingual researchers

Li Huang, James Lambert

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This paper reports on a promising methodology for multilingualism studies that was trialled at the National Institute of Education (NIE) on the campus of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, in 2018. The methodology named the Aural-Oral Transect (AOT) is a systematic, easy-to-implement, unbiased way of collecting quantitative data on spoken language use in multilingual settings, and the data arising from its application provides a snapshot of the aural-oral landscape, that is, the landscape of ‘heard speech’, a landscape that is available to the ears rather than the eyes. With its ability to provide easy access to data on the actual speech habits of members of a multilingual community, the wide employment of the AOT could bring forth a revolution in multilingual studies. The AOT is not intended to supplant or obviate tried and tested data collection approaches, rather it is promoted here as an additional tool for gathering data that has hitherto remained out of reach, another arrow for the researcher’s quiver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


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