Using Priming Methods in Second Language Research: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Using Priming Methods in Second Language Research

1st Edition

By Kim McDonough, Pavel Trofimovich


240 pages

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Using Priming Methods in Second Language Research is an accessible introduction to the use of auditory, semantic, and syntactic priming methods for second language (L2) processing and acquisition research. It provides a guide for the use, design, and implementation of priming tasks and an overview of how to analyze and report priming research. Key principles about auditory, semantic, and syntactic priming are introduced, and issues for L2 researchers to consider when designing priming studies are pointed out. Empirical studies that have adopted priming methods are highlighted to illustrate the application of experimental techniques from psychology to L2 processing and acquisition research. Each chapter concludes with follow-up questions and activities that provide additional reinforcement of the chapter content, while the final chapter includes data sets that can be used to practice the statistical tests commonly used with priming data.


"Priming methods provide an important window into implicit processes involved in language use, learning and memory. They reveal how usage impacts upon language representation and subsequent processing. In this superbly marshaled review of auditory, semantic and syntactic priming, two leading SLA researchers present a state-of-the-art overview of contemporary priming research - findings, analysis, and implications. Anyone involved in serious research in second language acquisition, cognition, interaction, or psycholinguistics will benefit from this volume. Its crystal clear analysis and explanation prescribes the appropriate techniques that will save a research cycle - one less flawed study to relegate to pilot status. An invaluable resource for seasoned and student researchers alike."

-Nick C. Ellis, University of Michigan

"This book is an indispensable resource for graduate students and researchers interested in using experimental priming methods in second language research. The text not only provides an accessible introduction to psycholinguistic studies using priming, but also gives the reader the necessary tools to design and implement a priming study, as well as analyze the data and report the results. This book is a perfect combination of theory and application; I look forward to teaching with it."

-Gretchen Sunderman, Florida State University

About the Authors

Kim McDonough is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include second language acquisition and task-based language teaching.

Pavel Trofimovich is an Associate Professor in the Applied Linguistics Program at Concordia University. His research interests include psycholinguistic aspects of second-language/bilingual processing and learning, the use of technology in second-language teaching, and the development of materials for classroom teaching of second-language pronunciation.

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:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General