Research methodology in the field of second language acquisition and learning

Country: France

City: Montpellier

Abstr. due: 30.11.2017

Dates: 30.05.18 — 01.06.18

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail: amanda.edmonds [at] univ-montp3.fr

Organizers: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3

 

With the conference Research Methodology in Second Language Acquisition and Learning, we hope to highlight the importance of decisions of methodology for our ability to draw conclusions about language acquisition. In particular, we aim to place questions of methodology at the center of the discussion and to foster exchange and reflection on research design and the role it plays in second language acquisition research and in teaching.
Generally speaking, researchers working within the field of second language acquisition and learning share an interest in questions of how learners build their interlanguage (what learning processes and mechanisms are mobilized, what developmental trajectories are followed), or an interest in examining what interlanguage can tell us about language more generally. In attempting to respond to these questions, SLA researchers are inevitably confronted with decisions that must be made concerning research method. These decisions are wide-ranging (design, tasks, participants, data analysis, etc.), and are guided not only by one’s research questions, but also by a myriad of other factors, including one’s theoretical framework, the abilities and competencies of the researcher, and practical concerns (time, access to participants). Importantly, decisions made concerning research design and methodology ultimately inform and constrain the observations we make about second-language learning (Norris & Ortega, 2003). They are thus central to the field, and their importance is attested by the various recent books that have been published in order to guide students and researchers in their research design choices (see, among others, Blanchet & Chardenet, 2011; Blom & Unsworth, 2010; Jergerski & VanPatten, 2013; Mackey & Marsden, 2016; McDonough & Trofimovich, 2008; Plonsky, 2016). If the importance of research methodology is generally accepted, the field of SLA rarely places it in the limelight, whether it be at conferences or in scholarly publications. With the conference Research Methodology in Second Language Acquisition and Learning, we hope to highlight the importance of this aspect of our field. In particular, we aim to place questions of methodology at the center of the discussion and to foster exchange and reflection on research design and the role it plays in second language acquisition research and in teaching.

Conference Web-Site: https://amaedmon.wixsite.com/slamethodmontpellier