ERIC Number: EJ1126639
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
A Dynamic Ensemble for Second Language Research: Putting Complexity Theory into Practice
Hiver, Phil; Al-Hoorie, Ali H.
Modern Language Journal, v100 n4 p741-756 Win 2016
In this article, we introduce a template of methodological considerations, termed "the dynamic ensemble," for scholars doing or evaluating empirical second language development (SLD) research within a complexity/dynamic systems theory (CDST) framework. Given that CDST principles have yielded significant insight into SLD and have become central to the concerns of applied linguists in many domains, we propose the need for a practical blueprint to ensure compatibility between its theoretical tenets and empirical SLD research designs. Building on "complexity thought modeling" (Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008a), we present a practical catalog of 9 considerations intended to inform research design at multiple stages. We contextualize the 9 considerations of the dynamic ensemble by discussing how these have been framed and addressed within one previous CDST study. Finally, we address the issue of what practical implementation of this dynamic ensemble would entail and introduce several case-based methods for building off of the considerations in our dynamic ensemble. We hope that this user guide will help orient researchers interested in working within a complexity framework and spur continued methodological discussion in the field.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Language Research, Theory Practice Relationship, Scholarship, Systems Approach, Difficulty Level, Applied Linguistics, Research Design, Case Method (Teaching Technique)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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