ERIC Number: EJ777264
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jun
Reference Count: 0
A Short Survey on Causal Inference, with Implications for Context of Learning Studies of Second Language Acquisition
Lazar, Nicole A.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v26 n2 p329-347 Jun 2004
The study of SLA, as is true for much social science research, aims broadly at answering questions of causality--for instance, "Is one learning context more likely than another to promote gains in second language learning?" Context-of-learning research in the study of SLA, however, often involves observational, rather than experimental, manipulation of subjects. As is well known, this compromises the ability to draw causal inferences. There are some interesting possibilities for overcoming this handicap, arising from recent statistical theory. In particular, the so-called Rubin causal model has some advantages over other approaches, such as path analysis, that are more familiar to social scientists. The purpose of this article is to relate ideas of causal inference to the studies presented in this thematic issue and to suggest how they may be useful to future research in SLA, particularly in context-of-learning studies.
Descriptors: Social Science Research, Causal Models, Second Language Learning, Social Sciences, Inferences, Language Acquisition, Context Effect, Language Research
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