Research Methodology in Second-Language Acquisition

Research Methodology in Second-Language Acquisition

Research Methodology in Second-Language Acquisition

Research Methodology in Second-Language Acquisition

Synopsis

This volume addresses salient theoretical issues concerning the validity of research methods in second-language acquisition, and provides critical analysis of contextualized versus sentence-level production approaches. The contributors present their views of competence versus performance, the nature of language acquisition data, research design, the relevance of contextualized data collection and interpretation, and the desirability of a particularistic nomothetic theoretical paradigm versus more comprehensive consideration of multiple realities and complex influencing factors. This book presents varying and antithetical approaches to the issues, bringing together the thinking and approaches of leading researchers in language acquisition, language education, and sociolinguistics in an engaging debate of great currency in the field.

Excerpt

Many of the chapters in this volume were originally presented at a conference on Theory Construction and Research Methodology in Second-Language Acquisition held on the campus of Michigan State University in October 1991. We are grateful to Alan Beretta for his participation in the organization of the original conference. Other chapters were solicited because of their particular relevance to the issues debated in this book.

During the spring of 1992, the editors met on the campus of the University of Minnesota. At that time it became apparent that our interests were overlapping and complementary (if not complimentary) and that joining efforts in a venture such as this one would take us in an enjoyable and fruitful direction. We were not disappointed. In determining the order of names for this volume, we decided to put the names in reverse alphabetical order, for no reason other than to be different. Thus, the ordering does not imply lesser or greater contributions by any of the editors.

Judith Amsel of Lawrence Erlbaum Associates deserves our thanks for seeing us through with this project. The anonymous reviewers of our original proposal were helpful in showing us how a slightly different direction and organization of the book would greatly enhance the finished project. We followed their suggestions and are convinced that they were right. We are grateful to all of the authors for their promptness and good-naturedness in responding to our queries. It was indeed a pleasure to work with each and every one of them. We also wish to thank India Plough of Michigan State University . . .

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