Pedagogy Research Workshop: Advancing what we know about L2 learning through replication

by Kevin McManus (Pennsylvania State University)

The ways in which research projects are carried out, evaluated, and disseminated are changing. In applied linguistics, there is an increasing move towards transparency, including the sharing of research materials, data, and making research findings open and accessible (Marsden 2019, Marsden & Plonsky 2018). Part of this change is that researchers and language educators are beginning to ask more critical questions about the nature of research findings (Byrnes 2013, Ellis 2015). Replication studies contribute to this goal by repeating a study in a particular way so as to better understand how the research data were collected, measured, and analyzed, and the extent to which unexpected and/or unanticipated factors potentially shaped that study’s findings. In short, replication research helps us to better understand the stability and nature of previous research findings while advancing what we know about L2 learning and assessment (McManus & Liu 2020, Porte & McManus 2019), including, for example, the specific contribution of instructional methods to learning outcomes (e.g., McManus & Marsden 2018).

This workshop responds to a groundswell of interest in carrying out replication research by demonstrating in a step-by-step approach how to go about replicating research in instructed L2 learning. Participants will be shown how to go about designing and carrying out their own replication study. The workshop will focus on two components: (1) asking questions about previous research to motivate replication and (2) a step-by-step guide to executing a replication study using models published in high-quality journals. In addition to study questions designed to promote critical evaluation of previous research, participants will be encouraged to choose a study in their area of interest to motivate and design a replication study. In short, the workshop seeks to answer a number of questions on the practical aspects of replication research, in particular:

  • what a replication study is
  • how to select a suitable study for replication
  • why such a study lends itself to such an approach
  • what kind of replication approach is most useful given the nature of the target study
  • how to carry out the study to maximize its replicative potential

Published: Sunday, May 24, 2020