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Statistical knowledge and training in second language acquisition : The case of doctoral students

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Abstract

The present study investigated second language acquisition (SLA) doctoral students’ statistical training and knowledge of statistics. One hundred and twenty SLA doctoral students in North America took a comprehensive statistics survey, and 16 of them participated in follow-up interviews. The results showed that doctoral students were well trained in basic descriptive statistics, while their training in inferential statistics, particularly advanced statistics, was limited. When looking at their statistical knowledge, the results indicated that SLA doctoral students were good at understanding descriptive and inferential statistics, but they found it hard to interpret statistical analyses related to inferential statistics that are commonly encountered in SLA research. Several suggestions directed toward improving statistical literacy in SLA were provided.

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Keywords: Statistical literacy; quantitative research methods; second language acquisition; statistical training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 2, 2020

This article was made available online on April 2, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Statistical knowledge and training in second language acquisition: The case of doctoral students".

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