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Researching Second Language Writing

Instructor: Dr. Charlene Polio, Michigan State University

Friday, September 25, 2020, 2pm-5pm (EST)

Second language writing draws from a very wide range of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches because of its ties to both cognitively orientated SLA research and more socially oriented composition research. As such, this workshop will begin by looking at what has been researched and by comparing how quantitative and qualitative paradigms have approached the same topics (e.g., voice, peer feedback).  We will then consider a range of research questions and which quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches are best suited to the questions.  In doing so, we discuss the various strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches and consider exemplary studies within the different approaches.  The second part of the workshop will focus on specific data collection and coding procedures including retrospective and introspective methods (e.g., think alouds and stimulated recall), learner text analysis (e.g., complexity, accuracy, and fluency assessment), and target text analysis (e.g., move analysis, corpus-based analyses). Short assignments (e.g., discussion questions, data analysis) will be given before the workshop and discussed during the workshop. Note that the workshop will focus on research design and various methods of data collection but not on statistics or the coding of qualitative data.