International collaborative research often refers to collaboration among the researchers and the participants. Few studies investigate the collaborative process among the researchers themselves. Assumptions about the qualitative research process, institutional requirements, and even epistemological orientations, are pervasive. Our experience conducting an empirical research study as a collaborative effort amongst a research team in Mexico and the United States challenged and transformed our assumptions about collaborative qualitative research in terms of organizational compatibility: (a) understanding research perspective and themes, (b) interpreting rules and regulations (c) physical travel between countries, and (d) how research products are counted. We address each assumption through a dialogue, including how our collaborative research diverged from the assumption and how this divergence has impacted our own practice.


Collaborative Research, Cultural Meaning-Making, Negotiating Institutional Norms

Author Bio(s)

Peter Sayer is an Associate Professor of applied linguistics/TESOL in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has a PhD in Language & Literacy from Arizona State University, USA, and works in the area of educational sociolinguistics. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: peter.sayer@utsa.edu.

Troy Crawford is a Professor in the Departamento de Lenguas at the Universidad de Guanajuato. He holds a PhD in Language Area Studies from the University of Kent, UK, and specializes in identity and second language writing. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: crawford@ugto.mx.


We would like to acknowledge the involvement of our colleagues from the Universidad de Guanajuato, Universidad Autónoma de Tamaulipas, and the University of Texas at San Antonio on the project “Trayectorias de Aprendizaje de Profesores Transnacionales de Lenguas” (Learning Trajectories of Transnational Language Teachers), sponsored by the Mexican Ministry of Education’s Teacher Professional Development Program (PRODEP).

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