Multi-site studies in SLA research: Opportunities for increasing ecological validity

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2018 | 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM | 

Multi-site studies in SLA research: Opportunities for increasing ecological validity

Organizers: Dr. Nicole Ziegler, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa & Dr. Kara Moranski, University of Cincinnati

Investigations conducted via partnerships across multiple sites hold tremendous potential for empirical SLA research. Expanding study populations promotes ecological validity (the extent to which results are generalizable in real-world settings) given that including groups representing multiple geographic regions bolsters demographic diversity. Increasing participant groups through multi-site collaborations also strengthens statistical power and thus better equips researchers to detect significant effects (Fields, 2009). Though these benefits have made multi- site studies hallmarks of various applied sciences, the great majority of contemporary SLA research is conducted within the context of a single institution, laboratory, or classroom.

Discussants in this colloquium will explore the value of multi-site studies for creating new empirical knowledge within SLA as well as the logistical and methodological challenges presented by such collaborations. Presentations will include examples of multi-site SLA studies in distinct experimental contexts (intact classrooms, study-abroad, laboratory settings) and will focus on statistical methods that enable the analysis of data from multiple participant pools (multilevel modeling, ANCOVA, etc.). Discussants will also address procedural and funding considerations for multi-site studies. Finally, areas of SLA investigation particularly well suited for future research will be identified.

Individual contributions:

  • Assessing the impact of meta-cognitive instruction on interactional feedback across multiple learner populations and modalities: A multi-site investigation, Kara Moranski, University of Cincinnati & Nicole Ziegler, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • Multi-site research on study abroad and L2 development: First steps, challenges, and opportunities, Janire Zalbidea, Temple University, Bernard Issa, University of Tennessee, Mandy Faretta-Stutenberg, Northern Illinois University & Cristina Sanz, Georgetown University
  • “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”: Challenges and solutions for multi-site research, Luke Plonsky, Northern Arizona University
  • Technological obstacles for multi-site psycholinguistic research in SLA, Phillip Hamrick, Language and Cognition Research Laboratory, Kent State University