1st Edition

Quantitative Methods for Second Language Research
A Problem-Solving Approach

ISBN 9780415814027
Published July 28, 2017 by Routledge
268 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Quantitative Methods for Second Language Research introduces approaches to and techniques for quantitative data analysis in second language research, with a primary focus on second language learning and assessment research. It takes a conceptual, problem-solving approach by emphasizing the understanding of statistical theory and its application to research problems while paying less attention to the mathematical side of statistical analysis. The text discusses a range of common statistical analysis techniques, presented and illustrated through applications of the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program. These include tools for descriptive analysis (e.g., means and percentages) as well as inferential analysis (e.g., correlational analysis, t-tests, and analysis of variance [ANOVA]). The text provides conceptual explanations of quantitative methods through the use of examples, cases, and published studies in the field. In addition, a companion website to the book hosts slides, review exercises, and answer keys for each chapter as well as SPSS files. Practical and lucid, this book is the ideal resource for data analysis for graduate students and researchers in applied linguistics.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations




1 Quantification

2 Introduction to SPSS

3 Descriptive Statistics

4 Descriptive Statistics in SPSS

5 Correlational Analysis

6 Basics of Inferential Statistics

7 T-Tests

8 Mann-Whitney U and Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Tests

9 One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)

10 Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA)

11 Repeated-Measures ANOVA

12 Two-Way Mixed-Design ANOVA

13 Chi-Square Test

14 Multiple Regression

15 Reliability Analysis



Key Research Terms in Quantitative Methods


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Carsten Roever is Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Aek Phakiti is Associate Professor in TESOL in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Australia.


"This book affords beginning applied linguists an enjoyable journey through all important inferential tests to regression analysis. With their clear style, a wealth of language learning and testing examples, and online SPSS exercises, the authors make it easy to become statistics savvy and learn to love statistics. A fantastic resource!"
Lourdes Ortega, Georgetown University, USA

"Quantitative Methods for Second Language Research cuts through the mathematical jargon of statistical analysis and teaches researchers the necessary skills to carry out quantitative studies in applied linguistics. With real case studies and a problem-solving approach, it is a must-have resource for those who are embarking on quantitative research for the first time."
Heath Rose, The University of Oxford, UK

"In each of their coverage of twelve commonly used parametric and non-parametric statistical procedures, the authors discuss assumptions, significance testing, effect sizes, and SPSS examples. The straightforward writing style, practical problem-solving approach, and companion website make this book accessible and useful for beginners and veteran quantitative researchers alike."
James Dean Brown, The University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA

Support Material


  • eResource

    Quantitative Methods for Second Language Research

    Here you will find the following downloadable materials organized by chapter: (1) PowerPoints; (2) SPSS Data sets; (3) Exercises, and (4) Answers to Exercises. Each chapter comes with a PowerPoint and sets of Exercises and Answers while only Chapters 4 through 15 have data sets.


    The PowerPoint for each chapter summarizes key points addressed in the chapter. The PowerPoints are useful for instructors, students or readers of the book. For instructors, the PowerPoints can be used directly for classes but of course instructors can personalize or modify them to suit their teaching context. SPSS screenshots are provided in the PowerPoints for users’ convenience. For students or readers, each PowerPoint can be used before or after reading a chapter as it recaps key concepts.

    SPSS Data Sets

    The SPSS data sets are made available for instructors, students or readers, so that they can have hands-on experience in analysing data through the use of SPSS. The data sets are those mentioned in various book chapters. The data set for each chapter or chapter exercise has been simplified to include only relevant variables being examined in the chapter. A file name is labelled with a chapter (e.g., CH4 to indicate that this file is used in Chapter 4). If the file is related to an exercise (see below), ‘ex’ is included in the file name (e.g., CH4TEPex).


    The aim of the exercises is to help students check their understanding of the key concepts or issues associated with a particular chapter. The exercises allow students to evaluate their learning as well as practice data analysis in SPSS. Exercises can also be used for classroom discussion, which will allow student-student and student-teacher interaction. The exercises in each chapter should be used after students or readers have completed reading and studying the chapter.

    Answers to Exercises

    Suggested answers for each set of chapter exercises are provided. Students should attempt to do the exercises on their own before checking the answers or discussing them with their friends or instructors.