I like a good story. Stories are interesting, intriguing and often capture and maintain our interest. While I enjoy a good story or pleasant anecdote, I need more than a story of success and suggestion based on experience when I’m looking introspectively at my practice as a language teacher.
I actually like reading research that is conducted in applied linguistics and, more specifically, in the field of second language acquisition (SLA). I quite enjoyed my graduate school days when we dove deep into empirical research and used it to inform our understanding of the cognition and social dynamics that govern learning a first or second language. Who doesn’t like spending a little quality time with Krashen, Vygotsky, Swain, VanPatten or Asher?
While I do enjoy a good, quality, peer-reviewed, empirically sound research project I don’t always have the time, and, let’s be honest, the focus, to read all about it.
OK. Get ready for it. This is the the type of thing that I get incredibly excited about….On an episode of Bill Van Patten’s podcast, Talkin’ L2 with BVP, a guest mentioned the Website OASIS . It is quite remarkable what they provide and are able to produce.
OASIS summaries are one-page descriptions of research articles on language learning, language teaching, and multilingualism that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. The summaries provide information in accessible, non-technical language about each study’s goals, how it was conducted ,and what was found. There are often ideas for using the information to inform classroom teaching as well.
Just use the search bar on the OASIS Webiste to look for articles any topic of language acquisition of interest to you and you will soon have accessible research findings that allow you to move beyond anecdotal evidence. Enjoy, and try not to fall down the rabbit hole. I always do.