Interviewing Participants About Past Events: The Helpful Role of Pre-Interview Activities

Julia Ellis, Afshan Amjad, Jun Deng


This article presents the work of two researchers who explored the use of pre-interview activities to support participants in recollecting and recording past events prior to an interview.  Pre-interview activities took the form of drawings, diagrams, or lists.  Using such activities helped participants to recall events that had transpired over many years and facilitated comfortable, conversational interviews with enhanced opportunities for the researchers to focus on and respond to the stories shared by participants.  One researcher was investigating the experience of culturally and linguistically diverse students in schools and the other was researching intercultural communication for international Chinese students at university.

Keywords: interpretive inquiry; hermeneutics; fusion of horizons


interpretive inquiry; hermeneutics; fusion of horizons

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