Seminar: Second Language Acquisition

HISP-S716 — Spring 2022

Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
BH 012
Days and Times
MW 11:30A-12:45P
Course Description

VT: Instructed Second Language Acquisition Research Methods

This course offers an in-depth examination of research methods utilized in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) and their application in empirical studies. Grounded in SLA theory, the course will examine the main overarching methodological approaches in the field —quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, and replication research — and will discuss in detail considerations that apply to all research in ISLA contexts, including but not limited to the recruitment/use of intact classes, reducing observer effects, accounting for smaller sample sizes, and measuring and accounting for learner individual differences. The seminar will then proceed to discuss research methods examining the L2 development of the following competencies in ISLA: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, speaking (complexity, accuracy, fluency, and functional adequacy), listening, reading, and pragmatics. Throughout we will contextualize our work within dynamic and ethical turns in SLA, ensuring that our research aligns with the understanding there are myriad variables (including individual differences) at play in ISLA settings and that many change over multiple timescales; we will also approach with a critical lens ensuring that our work includes all stakeholders and is accessible, inclusive, and potentially impactful for the most diverse group of learners possible, paying particular attention to historically overlooked participant populations, and bringing in studies on L2 Spanish whenever possible. Finally, we will examine concrete examples of research methods that incorporate collaboration among stakeholders with impact within and outside academia including but not limited to curriculum development, materials design/implementation, and language policy revision. This seminar will be the first to use a forthcoming textbook edited by the professor and colleague YouJin Kim (Georgia State University) and students will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the final draft, participating actively in the larger ISLA research methods community.

As an advanced seminar, students will be responsible for demonstrating superior command of course material. Coursework will include a narrative synthesis, student-led methodological discussions and applications, keeping a methods-focused research journal, instrument and data analysis (both with data provided by the professor and collected by students), and a final research project. For the project, students will choose the option that is most appropriate/forward-moving for their current graduate status, including but not limited to an in-depth pilot of specific research method(s)/instrument(s), a mini methodological pilot for a dissertation proposal, or a full study. While the readings for the course will be in English, languages shared among all registered students are welcome; assignments may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, depending on individual student goals for the course and future plans with ISLA research methods.

Students should have at least one course in ISLA or SLA before enrolling in S716; please contact with questions.

HISP-S 716    #31876    11:30A-12:45P    MW      BH 012      Prof. Laura Gurzynski-Weiss 

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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