Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.8 Number.1 March, 2017                 Pp. 25-41

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   Methodological Issues in Studying Cultural Dimensions with Special Reference to Educational Context 

Abdulaziz Alshahrani
Department of Foreign Languages
College of Arts and Humanities
Albaha University, Albaha City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


The aim of this review was to evaluate certain methodological issues related to the measurement of cultural dimensions and their effects with special reference to educational contexts. Using Google Scholar with the exact topics as search terms, 50 research reports were obtained. The results obtained from the critical analysis of the methodologies used in these reports are discussed in this review. Most studies were on power distance and individualism/collectivism dimensions of culture. A large number of conceptual frameworks and as many as 121 measurement instruments have been proposed by different workers. Research approach in any particular study is determined by the framework and the instrument chosen or self-developed instruments. Surveys and interviews are more commonly used. Not estimating internal consistency or reliability tests in some works makes it difficult to judge the validity of the method of data analysis. Generally the sample size is in the range of 200-500 participants in surveys. Small sample sizes used in a few works may affect the validity and applicability of their findings. It is concluded that large groups of scientists doing a common research programme across several countries is better than individual researches. Meta-analyses are also superior to individual researches. Such methods ensure validity and replicability of the findings. Although none of the research used scenario analysis, it is also a promising method.
Keywords: cultural dimensions, educational context, ESL, EFL, critical analysis, individualism, collectivism, GLOBE, PISA

Cite as: Alshahrani, A. (2017). Methodological Issues in Studying Cultural Dimensions with Special Reference to Educational Context.
 Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).


Abdulaziz Alshahrani is a PhD holder in Applied Linguistics, graduated from the University of
Newcastle, Australia. He was admitted to the degree of MA with distinction in Applied
Linguistics from the same institution. His works are related to the field of language acquisition
and the roles of the social factors. At the moment, he works as an assistant professor at the
College of Arts and Humanities, Albaha University, in Saudi Arabia.