Interpreting language-learning data

Amanda Edmonds   Pascale Leclercq   Aarnes Gudmestad  


This book provides a forum for methodological discussions emanating from researchers engaged in studying how individuals acquire an additional language. Whereas publications in the field of second language acquisition generally report on empirical studies with relatively little space dedicated to questions of method, the current book gave authors the opportunity to more fully develop a discussion piece around a methodological issue in connection with the interpretation of language-learning data. The result is a set of seven thought-provoking contributions from researchers with diverse interests. Three main topics are addressed in these chapters: the role of native-speaker norms in second-language analyses, the impact of epistemological stance on experimental design and/or data interpretation, and the challenges of transcription and annotation of language-learning data, with a focus on data ambiguity. Authors expand on these crucial issues, reflect on best practices, and provide in many instances concrete examples of the impact they have on data interpretation.


  • Introduction
    Reflecting on data interpretation in SLA
    Amanda Edmonds, Pascale Leclercq, Aarnes Gudmestad
  • L2 acquisition in a rich dialectal environment
    Some methodological considerations when SLA meets dialectology
    Linda Evenstad Emilsen, Åshild Søfteland
  • Comparing ERPs between native speakers and second language learners
    Dealing with individual variability
    Maud Pélissier
  • Replication
    Measuring the influence of typologically diverse target language properties on input processing at the initial stages of acquisition
    Marzena Watorek, Rebekah Rast, Xinyue Cécilia Yu, Pascale Trévisiol, Hedi Majdoub, Qianwen Guan, Xiaoliang Huang
  • On the relationship between epistemology and methodology
    A reanalysis of grammatical gender in additional-language Spanish
    Aarnes Gudmestad
  • Analysing interaction in primary school language classes
    Multilevel annotation and analysis with EXMARaLDA
    Heather E. Hilton, John Osborne
  • Transcribing interlanguage
    The case of verb-final [e] in L2 French
    Pascale Leclercq
  • Potential pitfalls of interpreting data from English-French tandem conversations
    Sylwia Scheuer, Céline Horgues



Amanda Edmonds

Amanda Edmonds is a Maître de Conférences (associate professor) in linguistics and language didactics in the English Department at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3. Her research is focused on the acquisition of additional languages (namely French, English, and Spanish), with a focus on the acquisition of lexical competence and variation. She is also interested in issues surrounding methodology and in recent calls for methodological reform in the broader field of second language acquisition.

Pascale Leclercq

Pascale Leclercq is a Maître de Conférences (associate professor) in linguistics and language didactics in the English Department at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3. Her main research interests include the acquisition of tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality in L2 French and English, within a developmental perspective. She also investigates the impact of study abroad experience in L2 acquisition, and has a keen interest in research methodology.

Aarnes Gudmestad

Aarnes Gudmestad is an associate professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her research centers on the intersection of second language acquisition and sociolinguistics. In particular, she examines language variation and change of morphosyntactic structures in Spanish and French. Her work has also addressed critical issues in research methods, such as the operationalization of variables and statistical analyses.


May 25, 2020
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Edmonds, Amanda, Leclercq, Pascale & Gudmestad, Aarnes (eds.). 2020. Interpreting language-learning data. (EuroSLA Studies 4). Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4032298


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