Event date:

Issues in Second Language Learning and Teaching - IAS Invited Lecture Series

We have the honor to invite you to the sixth lecture in the "IAS Invited Lecture Series in Issues in Second Language Learning and Teaching" by Luke Plonsky (Northern Arizona University) entitled "Pitfalls and pet peeves in quantitative L2 research: A look behind the curtain". If you are interested in participating in the lecture, which will take place on 8th March 2022 at 5 pm CET, register here by 6th March 2022 (we will send you a link to the meeting after this date):

Luke Plonsky is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches courses in SLA and research methods. His work in these and other areas has resulted in over go articles, book chapters, and books. Luke is Senior Associate Editor of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Managing Editor of Foreign Language Annals, Co-Editor of De Gruyter Mouton's Series on Language Acquisition, and Co-Director of the IRIS Database (iris-database.org). In addition to prior appointments at Georgetown and University College London, Luke has lectured in China, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Puerto Rico.

Abstract: For better or for worse, it wasn't until fairly recently that we as a field began to reflect on and systematically examine our methodological practices (see Gass et at, 2022). This work has led to real progress on fronts ranging from sampling and design to data analysis, researcher training, and open science (e.g., Marsden & Plonsky, 2018; Norouzian, 2020; Sudina, 2021; Verissimo, 2021). But a wide range of problems persist. In this talk, I discuss several major methodological challenges we face as well as several advances—the "methodological turn", as Heidi Byrnes (2013) put it—that has been taking place in recent years. In particular, I'll address the need for stronger validity arguments behind our instruments, and I will encourage a healthy skepticism toward quantitative approaches which (still) dominate in the field. I will also explain why, despite these concerns and reservations, I am generally (if cautiously) optimistic about the future of research methods in the applied language sciences.