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LINGUIST List 20.2293

Thu Jun 25 2009

Qs: Foreign Language Training Meta-analysis

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        1.    Amy DuVernet, Foreign Language Training Meta-analysis

Message 1: Foreign Language Training Meta-analysis
Date: 23-Jun-2009
From: Amy DuVernet <amyduvgmail.com>
Subject: Foreign Language Training Meta-analysis
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Dear Colleagues,

We are requesting your assistance in locating published or unpublished
studies for a meta-analysis on foreign language criteria/outcomes (e.g.,
tests, assessments, self-ratings, instructor ratings, etc.) and their
prediction. The meta-analysis has two foci: (1) the relationship between
different language criteria/outcomes; and (2) the prediction of these
different criteria/outcomes. These studies could be journal articles,
technical reports, conference presentations/posters, briefings or
theses/dissertations related to our specific topic. We need a document to
cite. Studies need to have quantitative results (e.g., correlation
coefficients) to be included. Studies on any language, including ESL or
EFL, are appropriate as well as studies from any population. If you have a
relevant study (or studies), please send electronic copies to
studiesswa-consulting.com or to Dr. Eric Surface. Citations to published
work are appreciated as well. We would like to close out our search on July
15, 2009. More detailed information about the request is provided below.
Your assistance in locating relevant studies is greatly appreciated.

The Project Team

Ms. Amy DuVernet
Dr. Reanna Poncheri Harman
Dr. Eric Surface
Dr. Marinus van Driel
Mr. Aaron Watson
Ms. Sheila Wilcox

Details of Request
A meta-analysis is a statistical summary of existing primary research
studies. Our analysis has two goals: 1) to determine the relationships
among various foreign language criteria/outcomes; and 2) to investigate
possible antecedents/predictors of these foreign language
criteria/outcomes. Although we are more interested in adult learners or
testers, we are looking for K-12, college, work, government and military

For our first goal, we are searching for studies that present a correlation
(or enough information to derive a correlation; see below for details)
between two or more foreign language learning, proficiency or performance
criteria. For example, a relevant study might include the correlation
(relationship) between a measure of reading achievement and reading
proficiency or the correlation between speaking proficiency and listening
proficiency ratings. We are defining criteria broadly so self-assessment,
instructor assessment, participant/student reactions, achievement tests,
proficiency tests, performance tests, simulations, job performance/transfer
and organizational level measures are desirable. Specific examples include
the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT), the ACTFL Oral Proficiency
Interview (OPI), ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and the Test of
English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as well as many others.

Our second goal relates to predicting post-acquisition levels of these
foreign language criteria/outcomes. Consequently, we are also searching for
studies that provide an index of the relationship between various
individual difference variables [e.g., motivation, locus of control,
effort, self-efficacy, cognitive ability (e.g., AFQT), heritage speaker
status, and general language aptitude (e.g., DLAB)] and the aforementioned
language proficiency criteria. Silva and White (1993) would be an example
of a published article that provides relevant information for our
meta-analysis (relationship between DLPT and DLAB).

Finally, we are specifically interested in adult learner or tester
populations (e.g., military, corporate; expat studies); however, we are
also including k-12 and college learner samples. We are not limiting our
search to any specific foreign language. Studies with one or multiple
foreign languages are welcome as well as studies with English as a foreign
language. We are not limiting our study to any specific type of instruction
or methodology.

Hopefully, we will find a sufficient number of studies to address our
research goals. Do you know of any studies that provide this type of
information using these kinds of samples? If so, we would like to hear from
you. We want to avoid publication bias in this study and ensure that our
analysis is conducted on a complete set of studies. We want to include your
work in this important meta-analysis. Any assistance you can provide in
directing us to these types of studies or providing us documents is greatly
appreciated. We will be closing out our search for studies on July 15, 2009.

Study Information Requirements
In terms of statistical information, we need the correlations, sample size,
and reliability coefficients (if available). If the study does not present
the correlation coefficient, we can compute it using Eta or Eta2 from ANOVA
studies, d statistics, and t-statistics when one of the variables in
question has been used to assign groups and these statistics are used to
determine differences between those groups in another relevant variable.
Eta equals the square root of the sum of squares for an interval variable y
between classes divided by the total sum of squares. Eta2 is computed as
between-groups sum of squares divided by total sum of squares. Thus, taking
the square root gives you Eta.

In addition, we need enough contextual information about the study and its
sample to code for various relevant factors to determine if they act as
moderators. These factors include (but are not limited to): the sample's
mean age, SES, mean experience level (number of years or courses taken
previously), first language, second language (language that is being
learned), class size, language immersion status (whether or not the sample
participants are located in an area where the second language is the
primary language spoken), purpose of collecting the proficiency data
(research, assessing the student, etc.) and the study setting (high school,
university, business, military, etc.). If your study has any of this
information available (or similar information), it would be useful in
addition to the correlations.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Language Acquisition

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