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Applying Research Synthesis and Meta-analysis in the Language Sciences
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AAAL 2017 Preconference Workshop

Applying Research Synthesis and Meta-analysis in the Language Sciences

Luke Plonsky
University College London (through July, 2016, then Georgetown)


Research synthesis and meta-analysis (RS/MA) comprise a set of procedures for conducting comprehensive and empirically-grounded reviews of previous research. Consequently, the use of RS/MA has grown dramatically in applied linguistics (Norris & Ortega, 2010; Oswald & Plonsky, 2010). Building on such efforts, this workshop provides participants with a conceptual and procedural (hands on) introduction to RS/MA, addressing all steps involved: (a) defining the domain and searching for primary literature, (b) developing and implementing a coding scheme, (c) calculating and aggregating effect sizes, and (d) interpreting results. Extensive examples will be provided along with sample/practice data. The workshop will not be technical; only very basic knowledge of design and statistics is assumed.


As of August 2016, Luke Plonsky (PhD, Michigan State) is assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown. Luke’s teaching and research interests include second language acquisition and research methods, with a particular emphasis in research synthesis and meta-analysis. Recent publications, many of which apply meta-analytic techniques, can be found in Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Language Learning, and Modern Language Journal. Luke is currently preparing (with John Norris) a book-length guide to the use of meta-analysis in applied linguistics. He is Associate Editor of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Managing Editor of Foreign Language Annals, and Co-Director (with E. Marsden & A. Mackey) of IRIS. Luke has taught in The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, the US, and most recently in the UK at University College London.

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