This paper reviews developments in qualitative research in language teaching since the year 2000, focusing on its contributions to the field and identifying issues that emerge. Its aims are to identify those areas in language teaching where qualitative research has the greatest potential and indicate what needs to be done to further improve the quality of its contribution. The paper begins by highlighting current trends and debates in the general area of qualitative research and offering a working definition of the term. At its core is an overview of developments in the new millennium based on the analysis of papers published in 15 journals related to the field of language teaching and a more detailed description, drawn from a range of sources, of exemplary contributions during that period. Issues of quality are also considered, using illustrative cases to point to aspects of published research that deserve closer attention in future work, and key publications on qualitative research practice are reviewed
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