The Think-Aloud Controversy in Second Language Research aims to answer key questions about the validity and uses of think-alouds, verbal reports completed by research participants while they perform a task. It offers an overview of how think-alouds have been used in language research and presents a quantitative meta-analysis of findings from studies involving verbal tasks and think-alouds. The book begins by presenting the theoretical background and empirical research that has examined the reactivity of think-alouds, then offers guidance regarding the practical issues of data collection and analysis, and concludes with implications for the use of think-alouds in language research. With its focus on a much-discussed and somewhat controversial data elicitation method in language research, this timely work is relevant to students and researchers from all theoretical perspectives who collect first or second language data. It serves as a valuable guide for any language researcher who is considering using think-alouds.
Chapter 1: The use of verbal reports in language research. Chapter 2: Controversy over the use of think-alouds. Chapter 3: Features that Make a Task Amenable to Think-Aloud: A Meta-analysis of Studies Investigating the Validity of Think-Alouds on Verbal Tasks. Chapter 4: Data Collection Considerations. Chapter 5: Data Analysis Considerations. Chapter 6: Conclusion. Appendix A: Studies Included in the Meta-Analysis. Appendix B: Summary of Unique Sample Studies.
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.