In research undertaking the methodology section is one of the crucial areas to be tackled in a proposal document. This is due to the fact that it forms the basis of the results of research findings. A research can be faced with big challenges due to a wrong choice of the method to be used. To avoid this good planning of the method is essential and more in order to get reliable results. The issue of reliability establishes that a research should have the ability to show consistency in the results even after a study is done by different researchers repeatedly.
Reliability in research study can also be enhanced through good structure of the methodology. When the correct data collection methods are used, proportional samples are collected and the correct method of analysis is used in a research can achieve validity. In a research, the research problem forms the basis of research (Morgan et al. ,1980), and this is where the study should focus on.
The methodology can take on either the positivist approach also known as the quantitative, or take the post positivist approach also known as the qualitative approach.
The qualitative approach is a more detailed than the quantitative approach as it lays more emphasis on the finer details of the data and in most cases, it involves a researcher’s judgment and interpretation. Quantitative approach deals more with quantification like calculating the population sample, population size among others. The choice of the researcher on either the qualitative or the quantitative approach depends on whether the research/study is inclined to the natural sciences or the social sciences (Finch, 1986); (Easterby-Smith et al. 1991). 3. 1 Role of the Researcher
The role of the researcher is an integral part of the evaluative process in the qualitative research. I am a certified teacher of mathematics, music and elementary education. Prior to the classroom, more than ten years were spent in insurance investigative claims work. The occupation included extensive ‘on-the-job’ training in organization, communication and interviewing skills. I was also deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan, respectively, and have over 15 years in the United States military acquiring certain proficiency as a planner, liaison, administrator and human resource specialist.
Co-operative inquiry involves at least four different kinds of epistemology; in other words, ways of knowing. Presentational knowing results from experiential knowing and provides the first form of expression through narratives and various expressions of art. Presentational knowing is expressed through ideas and theories. Practical knowing is modeling how to do something and is portrayed in a skill or competence. These epistemologies are compatible with each other.
If knowing is grounded in experience, expressed through stories and images, understood through sounds ideas, and expressed in worthwhile action in one’s life, then knowing will be ‘more valid’ (Reason, 1999). 3. 2 Research Design To appropriately analyze the participant’s stories, the research will employ a narrative framework that serves as a screen through which the story of the participant may be examined. This method also becomes an avenue for which the participant may critically reflect on his own perspectives in order to construct or reconstruct meaning in his own life world.
The considerable narrative analysis approach requires a level of scholarship and sensitivity which I am preparing to employ. This approach involves a human science observer that is a sensitive of the subtleties of everyday life. Ardent reading of relevant texts of the humanities, history, philosophy, anthropology and the social sciences as they pertain to the domain of interest is a main ingredient to the effectiveness of this proposed research (van Manen, 1990).
For this study, the researcher actively participates in examining the experiences of a translator in the delivery of translation of language and culture amidst the socio-political challenges of the past. Qualitative research is exploratory in nature and is best suited for understanding phenomena. The approach should remain pragmatic for the researcher in order to remain in a tentative state with regard to applicable variables or desirable themes which may enable appropriate examination of the individual’s experiences. 3. 3 Data Collection Methods
During my 12 month deployment as a liaison officer, I commenced amicable communication with each of the translators who accompanied me to the daily meetings. During my tenure, I engaged in many open discussions concerning cultural and social differences, nuances in communication and language disparities. After a few months, I presented some of my proposal ideas and opened discussion to the possibility of participation in a study I was contemplating. Several of the translators asked me to serve as their advocate in order to petition for the United States Special Visa.
So, over the last year, many of these translators have since relocated to various communities in the United States. Both secondary and primary data sources will be used. The triangulation method of data collection will involve the use of interviews, literature review and case studies (Zikmund 2003, pp. 1-745). The primary data method that was used is the questionnaire method of data collection. Questionnaires were distributed among the Afghan officials, Liaison officers, and interpreters.
There were also case studies that were conducted for other three countries to know about the experiences of interpreters in the other countries compare with the ones in Afghanistan. This also drew an insight of the various experiences of interpreters in other countries. There was the use of literature review in order gather information on the educational and cultural experiences of interpreters generally. The literature in this research included research journals, books, articles and sources from university libraries (Dick, 2000).
Interviews also form pertinent component data collection methods. This enabled the getting of a clear picture of the plight and livelihood of Afghan interpreter, their mode of operations, factors affecting them and future predictions on their cultural and educational experiences. The four categories of quality management in research were highly considered. They include; validity, reliability, ethics and rigor (Zikmund, 2003). Reliability of a research is its ability to have consistence in results.
This was done through controlling the sample by stratifying the population to get a more representative sample. Validity is the ability of a scale to measure what it is intended to measure but not going beyond the topic of the study. The triangulation method was used to control this aspect in research. Ethics involves adherence to the norms accepted in gathering of information. This was ensured by providing secrecy on the information collected from the subjects. The rigor of the research was directed towards efficient sample size in a critical facet in any investigation.
The main purpose a researcher will utilize a sample is to reduce the charges and collect important data faster (Zikmund, 2003). The key purpose of data collection was to ensure a rich set of description was obtained. To achieve this, the interviews were transcribed in real time by the interviewer. The responses were then reduced and analyzed by adopting principles of data codification and clustering (Miles et al, 1994). 3. 4 Sources Researches normally rely on secondary data to enable them gain initial insight into the research problem.
The classification of secondary sources of information is on the basis of internal or external sources referring to information acquired within the organization or outside the organization. The secondary sources are liked for their cost saving aspects and time saving. Secondary sources of information are supposed to be searched prior to conducting primary research, and usually for the literature review section of a research. This is because secondary information provides useful background that identifies main questions and all other issues that will need to be tackled by the primary research (Steppingstones, 2004).
The disadvantages that are associated with the use of the secondary sources range from the unavailability of pertinent information on the research topic, to the integrity, accuracy, and reliability of some secondary sources. Other disadvantages associated with secondary sources arise where data is available in a format other than that required by a researcher, and the age of the information particularly where the information is several years old and may not reflect the present circumstances.
This makes it necessary to limit secondary information to sources which are not more than six years old (Steppingstones, 2004). The data gathered for this research is from a wide range of documentary sources relating to the cultural and educational experiences of interpreters in general as well as those specifically relating to the plight and livelihood of the Afghan interpreters. These mainly included policy documents, academic and the non-academic documents. First, journals on livelihood of Afghan interpreters were searched.
Second, electronic databases were searched using key words like ‘interpreters’, ‘translators’ ‘Afghan interpreters’ and ‘experiences of Afghan interpreters’. Third, Afghan government website for International communication and the website for the International Security Assistance Force were searched. Literature review included both conceptual and empirical works with about 25 articles reviewed for this study. 3. 5 Interviews Interviews in a research are useful in getting information behind a participant’s experiences.
This is particularly important because an interviewer may be able to pursue in-depth information regarding the topic of study, and also the fact that interviews serve as follow-ups to responses obtained from questionnaires. Qualitative research interview should seek to give a description and meaning of central themes regarding the experiences of the subjects, by seeking to cover both the factual and meaning level. It was important that a guided interview approach was adopted so as to ensure that same general areas of information are gathered from each interviewee (Valenzuela et al.
, 2004). The interviews dwelt on the following areas: • Educational and cultural background of interpreters. • The relationship between educational background and cultural background of the afghan interpreters. • How the educational and cultural backgrounds shape the livelihood and experiences of the afghan interpreters. • What the future hold for the afghan interpreters and their plight given the limited educational background as well as the rigid cultural backgrounds. Once the data is collected through the open-ended interview process, the documents will be transcribed.
After transcription, to ensure a correct analysis of the data, the participant will be shown the transcription and asked if what is written is aligned with their viewpoints. The data will then be analyzed from the transcription. Qualitative research is exploratory in nature and is best suited for understanding phenomena. The approach should remain pragmatic for the researcher in order to remain in a tentative state with regard to applicable variables or desirable themes which may enable appropriate examination of the individual’s experiences.