To save this undefined to your undefined account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your undefined account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Numerous people have helped shape each issue of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, but there is always one person who has been particularly generous in sharing his or her time and expertise. For this issue, I would like to thank Merrill Swain for her Skype calls about the issue and for, as always, her amazing breadth of knowledge. She not only knows about research in every area of applied linguistics but also, it seems, in every corner of the world. She contributed greatly to not only this, but every issue during my tenure as editor. As this is my last issue, I would like to thank the other editorial directors as well.
In this article, I review the use of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique to investigate the bilingual brain. Specifically, this review will discuss the types of research questions that can be (and have been) answered using this specific methodology, as well as questions this technique cannot answer. The review will then focus on providing a recent overview of fMRI studies of the bilingual mental lexicon, bilingual sentence processing, and the bilingual advantage in cognitive control. The pros and cons of this technique will be discussed in detail. This review will end with a discussion of the state of the art in the field of bilingual brain research and will provide avenues for future research directions to continue investigating the bilingual brain.
The present article provides a review of results from electrophysiological studies of the neurocognition of second language. After a brief introduction to event-related potentials (ERPs), the article explores four sets of findings from recent second language (L2) ERP research. First, longitudinal L2 ERP research has demonstrated that L2 neurocognitive processing changes qualitatively with time. Second, research has shown that L2 learners can evidence nativelike ERP effects for L2 grammatical features that are present in their first language (L1) as well as for features that are unique to their L2 but may have more difficulty processing features that are present in their L1 but that are instantiated differently in their L2. Third, emerging research has revealed that individual differences in ERPs can be accounted for by linguistic and nonlinguistic factors. Finally, recent empirical studies have shown that explicit and implicit training contexts can lead to nativelike ERP effects at high levels of proficiency, but that implicit contexts may lead to the development of a fuller nativelike processing signature, at least for syntactic processing. With continued interdisciplinary approaches and sophisticated research designs, L2 ERP research is only beginning to reach its potential and promises to uniquely inform central questions of second language acquisition.
This article provides an overview of recent studies in second language acquisition that use tasks that elicit learners' judgments about the grammaticality of language or learners' interpretation of language. We discuss acceptability judgment tasks, preference tasks, truth-value judgment tasks, and other types of interpretation tasks. For each task type, recent studies that use that task are briefly summarized, with a focus on advantages and disadvantages of the methodology in relation to the study's objectives. A variety of topics related to task administration are covered, including (but not limited to) different types of rating scales; presentation of target sentences in isolation versus in the context of other sentences, stories, and/or pictures; visual versus auditory modality of presentation; and timed versus untimed tasks.
This article discusses methods used in second language (L2) research to analyze quantitative longitudinal data. Longitudinal studies are experimental and nonexperimental studies that collect repeated measures of the same variable(s) from the same participant(s) at two or more time points. Three challenging areas in longitudinal L2 research are first discussed: study design, measurement, and data analysis and modeling. Next, various traditional and recent quantitative approaches for analyzing longitudinal data are discussed, including difference or gain scores, repeated measures univariate and multivariate analysis of variance (RM ANOVA, MANOVA), multilevel modeling (MLM), autoregressive models and latent growth curve modeling (LGCM) within the structural equation modeling (SEM) framework, item response theory (IRT), single-case research designs and time series analysis (TSA), and event history analysis (EHA). Longitudinal L2 studies published in the last 10 years are reviewed to identify trends and patterns in the use of different quantitative approaches for analyzing longitudinal L2 data, describe best data analysis practices in such research, and provide recommendations for future longitudinal L2 studies. It is argued that, when feasible and appropriate, recent approaches (e.g., MLM, LGCM) have several conceptual, methodological, and practical advantages and can stimulate the development and empirical examination of more complex questions and models concerning L2 development over time than is possible with traditional techniques.
In this chapter, I review a statistical method for hypothesis or theory testing called structural equation modeling (SEM). First, I describe what a model of second language acquisition (SLA) is. I do this so anyone, even those new to the field of applied linguistics, can understand the basic concepts underlying SEM; that is, SEM researchers first articulate a model of SLA, then get empirical data from the real world that operationalize the variables in the model. Researchers use an SEM program to test the model on the data (to see if the model fits the data; if the model is plausible in relation to the learning context of the people from whom the data were collected). After explaining the basics of SEM, I provide a review of 39 applied linguistics studies that have been published in the last five years (between 2008 and 2013) and that present at least one SEM analysis as part of the results. I discuss four problematic areas related to the use of SEM that I believe these 39 studies highlighted: (a) sample size, (b) model presentation, (c) reliability, and (d) the number of Likert-scale points. I conclude with possible solutions for the four problem areas and outline future directions.
As an alternative paradigm, mixed methods research (MMR), in general, endorses
pluralism to understand the complex nature of a social world from multiple
perspectives and multiple methodological lenses, each of which offers partial,
yet valuable, insights. This methodological mixing is not limited to mixing of
methods, but extends to the entire inquiry process. Researchers in language
testing and assessment (LTA) are increasingly turning to MMR in order to
understand the complexities of language acquisition and interaction among
various language users, and also to expand opportunities to investigate validity
claims beyond the three traditional facets of construct, content, and criterion
validity. We use current conceptualizations of validity as a guiding framework
to review 32 empirical MMR studies that have been published in LTA since 2007.
Our systematic review encompassed multiple areas of foci, including the
rationale for the use of MMR, evidence of collaboration, and synergetic effects.
The analyses revealed several key trends including: (a) triangulation and
complementarity were the prevalent uses of MMR in LTA; (b) the majority of the
studies took place predominantly in higher education learning contexts with
adult immigrant or university populations; (c) aspects of writing assessment
were most frequently the focus of the studies (compared to other language
modalities); (d) many of the studies explicitly addressed facets of validity,
and others had significant implications for expanding notions of validity in
LTA; (e) the majority of the studies avoided mixing at the data analysis stage
by distinguishing data types and reporting results separately; and (f)
integration occurred primarily at the discussion stage. We contend that LTA
should embrace MMR through creative designs and integrative analytic strategies
to seek new insights into the complexities and contexts of language testing and
The importance of narrative inquiry as an alternative approach to research in the humanities and social sciences has grown considerably over the past 20 years or so. Over the past decade, it has also become an established approach to research on second and foreign language learning and teaching through the publication of numerous data-based studies and several texts on narrative inquiry for applied linguistics. Focusing on studies published since 2008, this article outlines the scope of narrative research on language learning and teaching at the present time. It discusses recent innovations in data collection (the use of mixed and longitudinal methods and the use of narrative frames and multimodal data) and data analysis (focus on the discourse of narrative and the use of narrative writing). It concludes that these innovations represent a welcome trend toward methodological diversity that is strengthening the contribution of narrative inquiry to our understanding of the experience of language teaching and learning.
For the last decade, conversation analysis (CA) has increasingly contributed to
several established fields in applied linguistics. In this article, we will
discuss its methodological contributions. The article distinguishes between
basic and applied CA. Basic CA is a sociological endeavor concerned with
understanding fundamental issues of talk in action and of intersubjectivity in
human conduct. The field has expanded its scope from the analysis of
talk—often phone calls—towards an integration of language
with other semiotic resources for embodied action, including space and objects.
Much of this expansion has been driven by applied work.
After laying out CA's standard practices of data treatment and
analysis, this article takes up the role of comparison as a fundamental
analytical strategy and reviews recent developments into cross-linguistic and
cross-cultural directions. The remaining article focuses on applied CA, the
application of basic CA's principles, methods, and findings to the
study of social domains and practices that are interactionally constituted. We
consider three strands—foundational, social problem oriented, and
institutional applied CA—before turning to recent developments in CA
research on learning and development. In conclusion, we address some emerging
themes in the relationship of CA and applied linguistics, including the role of
multilingualism, standard social science methods as research objects,
CA's potential for direct social intervention, and increasing efforts
to complement CA with quantitative analysis.
The critical turn arrived in the field of applied linguistics in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the field has since witnessed a burgeoning body of literature drawing on a variety of analytical frameworks and methodological approaches that are loosely labeled as critical discourse analysis (CDA). A methodological review of the role of CDA in the field is thus timely both to provide signposts for researchers wishing to draw on CDA methods in applied linguistics research and to provide some theoretical and methodological resources to evaluate the rapidly growing body of CDA-oriented applied linguistics research. Unlike some methodological tools, such as corpus analytic tools that can be inserted into a diverse range of theoretical frameworks (e.g., positivist studies, interpretive studies, critical studies), CDA cannot be applied divorced from its paradigmatic theories, as it is closely related to a specific set of social theories about the nature of language, literacy, identity, social practice, and the social world. CDA methods thus cannot be applied without also a concomitant commitment to CDA's theoretical orientations. In this review, the theoretical commitments as well as the classic methods of CDA will first be discussed and then the major areas in which CDA researchers typically conduct their studies are outlined together with a review of the variety of methodological approaches used in these different areas. The strengths as well as the limitations of these approaches will be discussed with examples of recent studies using CDA in the field of applied linguistics. The article will conclude with some suggestions for future directions of CDA methodological development.
Case study research has played a very important role in applied linguistics since the field was established, particularly in studies of language teaching, learning, and use. The case in such studies generally has been a person (e.g., a teacher, learner, speaker, writer, or interlocutor) or a small number of individuals on their own or in a group (e.g., a family, a class, a work team, or a community of practice). The cases are normally studied in depth in order to provide an understanding of individuals’ experiences, issues, insights, developmental pathways, or performance within a particular linguistic, social, or educational context. Rather than discuss constructs, hypotheses, and findings in terms of statistical patterns or trends derived from a larger sample or survey of a population of language learners, as in some quantitative research, a qualitative case study of a person presents a contextualized human profile. Case study has contributed substantially to theory development, generating new perspectives or offering a refutation or refinement of earlier theories in applied linguistics by analyzing linguistic, cultural, and social phenomena associated with children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults.
In recent years, the purview of case studies in applied linguistics has expanded to include many previously underrepresented topics, linguistic situations, theoretical perspectives, and populations. This article provides an overview of some traditional areas of coverage and then newer foci in terms of methodology, thematic areas, and findings pertaining to language learners in transnational, multilingual, and diaspora contexts especially.
Boldface numerals indicate the ARAL volume in which the contributor's work appears; numbers following the backslash indicate the beginning page number of the contributor's chapter. For example, Clapham, C. 2000. Assessment and testing 20/147 means that C. Clapham's 2000 chapter on Assessment and testing begins on page 147 of volume 20.