Methodological Approaches to L2 learning research

         SLA Topics  SLA Bibliography  Vivian Cook 

Overall problem: relationship to 'time'
i) longitudinal (following the same learners from Time 1 to Time N)
ii) cross-sectional (taking a sample usually of dfifferent people at Time 1, Time 2, Time N and comparing)
iii) experimental time (i.e. ultra short-term 'learning' in experiments etc
)

General methods
the observational method - language elicitation and analysis e.g. Hatch
the difference method - measurement of learner or situational variables and correlation with proficiency or something else
the manipulative method - treat one group, not the other, measure effects of treatment

Types of evidence
i) introspection: thinking aloud, self-observation, grammaticality  
    judgements
ii) natural data; e.g. Faerch, etc
iii) controlled data

Ethical constraints on experimenters

Designing an L2 research project ('problem decomposition')

1. Is speech more important than writing?

2. Is speech more important than writing in L2 learning?

3. Is speech more important than writing in the L2 learning of
    vocabulary?

4. Is speech more important than writing in the L2 learning of English
    vocabulary by French adult learners?

5. Is speech more important than writing in the L2 learning of English
    vocabulary by French adult learners being taught in technical schools
    in France?

6. Is a group of French adult learners of English in technical schools in
    France which is taught orally better at learning vocabulary than an
    otherwise identical group that is taught through writing?

7. Are the scores on the EPVT of a group of French adult learners of
   English in technical schools in France who are taught orally better than
   an otherwise identical group that are taught through writing?

8. Are the scores on the EPVT of a group of French adult learners of
   English in technical schools in France who are taught orally
   significantly better than an otherwise identical group that are taught
   through writing?

Amplification of this sequence will be found in Chapter 1 of V.J. Cook (ed.), Experimental Approaches to L2 Acquisition, Pergamon, 1986.

Paper on Monolingual Bias in Second Language Acquisition Research by Vivian Cook

Ayoun's paper on using web-forms as a research tool

 

 

elicited

observational

grammaticality

experiments

Types of data

imitation

data

 judgements

 

grammatical morphemes

 

 

 

 

communication strategies

 

 

 

 

learning strategies

 

 

 

 

temporal variables

 

 

 

 

pro-drop

 

 

 

 

acculturation

 

 

 

 

variation

 

 

 

 

the Competition model

 

 

 

 

head-direction

 

 

 

 

motivation

 

 

 

 

Links to SLA methods/questionnaires etc

Mean Length of Utterance
Cook's Consonant Test

Motivation test