Encyclopedia of Language and Education

2008 Edition
| Editors: Nancy H. Hornberger

Third Language Acquisition Research Methods

  • Cristina Sanz
  • Beatriz Lado
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-30424-3_249


Research methods in third language (L3) acquisition are used to address questions about acquisition processes and products, their educational and social contexts, as well as the individual variables involved. The field only started in the late 1980s. Consequently, the methodology is innovative and highly eclectic, with designs borrowed both from linguistics and psychology by way of second language acquisition (SLA) research. Surprisingly for a young field, quantitative, hypothesis‐testing studies outnumber qualitative, question‐generating designs. Not uncommon are mixed designs combining description and interpretation with descriptive and even inferential statistics. Data are collected both longitudinally and cross‐sectionally, often from large samples in tutored contexts, only occasionally following experimental intervention and most often elicited by means of questionnaires, tests, and interviews. The most popular quantitative procedures include analyses of variance...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Sanz
    • 1
  • Beatriz Lado
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Spanish & PortugueseGeorgetown University, Bunn Intercultural CenterWashington, DCUSA