Stimulated Recall Methodology in Second Language Research (Paperback) book cover

Stimulated Recall Methodology in Second Language Research

By Susan M. Gass, Susan M. Gass, Alison Mackey, Alison Mackey

© 2000 – Routledge

192 pages

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Paperback: 9780805832242
pub: 2000-02-01
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Hardback: 9780805832235
pub: 2000-02-01
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pub: 2013-05-13
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The methodology of introspection, and especially of stimulated recall, is gaining increasing popularity in second language research. This book provides a "how-to" guide for researchers considering using this technique, contextualized within a history of the procedure and a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses. Topics covered in depth include:

* research questions for which this methodology is (and is not) well-suited,

* preparing for data collection,

* transcribing, coding, and analyzing stimulated recall data, and

* avoiding common pitfalls in the use of this methodology.

By way of demonstration, the authors walk readers, step by step, through several studies in different areas of second language education which have used this technique, including L2 writing, reading, oral interaction, and interlanguage pragmatics.

This book is one of several in LEA's Second Language Acquisition Research Series dealing with specific data collection methods or instruments. Each of these monographs addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method/instrument is best suited, its underlying assumptions, a characterization of the method/instrument and extended description of its use, and problems associated with its use. For more information about these volumes, please visit LEA's Web site at


"In my opinion, this is an excellent research methods volume--and one that should be in the library of any applied linguist who conducts second language research or trains graduate students to do so."

Studies in Language Acquisition

"Gass and Mackey's Stimulated Recall Methodology in Second Language Research is an invaluable resource for gaining insights, research perspectives, and a specific guide on issues related to introspective methodologies in general, and stimulated recall in particular. It is clear from this book that stimulated recall methodology has a secure place within second language research and will continue to develop as an exciting aspect of second language research methodology."

Applied Linguistics

"…[T]he meat of this book is the chapters that spell out how to classify, design, code, and assess stimulated recalls quantitatively and qualitatively. They offer both researcher and prospective reader of stimulated recall studies a thorough grounding in the subject matter. The overview of SLA research is concise and comprehensive, as are the distinctions between types of stimulated recall with regard to design variables."

The Modern Language Journal

"…[T]he authors do an excellent job of defining stimulated recall, clarifying the relationship to introspective methods, detailing the assumptions behind the methodology, and explaining how this relates to research in SLA."

Language and Education

"…Gass and Mackey have created a concise, readable book aimed particularly, it seems, at students and those early in their research careers. It shoudl prove very useful to those wishing to carry out the kind of study advocated here."

Contemporary Psychology

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgments. Introduction to Introspective Methods. Introspection and Second Language Research. Characterization of Stimulated Recall. Using Stimulated Recall Methodology. Limitations and Additional Uses. Appendices.

About the Series

Second Language Acquisition Research Series

The Second Language Acquisition Research series presents and explores issues bearing directly on theory construction and/or research methods in the study of second language acquisition. Its titles (both authored and edited volumes) provide thorough and timely overviews of high-interest topics, and include key discussions of existing research findings and their implications. A special emphasis of the series is reflected in the monographs dealing with specific data collection methods or instruments.  Each of these monographs addresses the kinds of research questions for which the method/instrument is best suited, offers extended description of its use, and outlines the problems associated with its use. The volumes in this series will be invaluable to students and scholars alike, and perfect for use in courses on research methodology and in individual research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Bilingual Education