The Longitudinal Study of Advanced L2 Capacities

By Lourdes Ortega, Heidi Byrnes

© 2008 – Routledge

312 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415882194
pub: 2010-02-22
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780805861730
pub: 2008-02-21
US Dollars$120.00

About the Book

Researchers and educators routinely call for longitudinal research on language learning and teaching. The present volume explores the connection between longitudinal study and advanced language capacities, two under-researched areas, and proposes an agenda for future research. Five chapters probe theoretical and methodological reflections about the longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities, followed by eight chapters that report on empirical longitudinal investigations spanning descriptive, quasi-experimental, qualitative, and quantitative longitudinal methodologies. In addition, the co-editors offer a detailed introduction to the volume and a coda chapter in which they explore what it would take to design systematic research programs for the longitudinal investigation of advanced L2 capacities. The scholars in this volume collectively make the argument that second language acquisition research will be the richer, theoretically and empirically, if a trajectory toward advancedness is part of its conceptualization right from the beginning and, in reverse, that advancedness is a particularly interesting acquisitional level at which to probe contemporary theories associated with the longitudinal study of language development. Acknowledging that advancedness is increasingly important in our multicultural societies and globalized world, the central question explored in the present collection is: How does learning over time evolve toward advanced capacities in a second language?

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The longitudinal study of advanced L2 capacities: An introduction

Lourdes Ortega & Heidi Byrnes

Part I- Theoretical and methodological explorations

Chapter 2. Developing qualitative longitudinal case studies of advanced language learners

Linda Harklau

Chapter 3. Systemic Functional Linguistic explorations into the longitudinal study of the advanced capacities: The case of Spanish heritage language learners

Mariana Achugar & M. Cecilia Colombi

Chapter 4. Investigating learner language development with electronic longitudinal corpora: Theoretical and methodological issues

Florence Myles

Chapter 5. Planning, collecting, exploring, and archiving longitudinal L2 data: Experiences from the P-MoLL Project

Romuald Skiba, Norbert Dittmar, & Jana Bressem

Chapter 6. Issues in the quantitative longitudinal measurement of second language progress in the study abroad context

Jonathan Rees & John Klapper

Part II- Empirical investigations

Chapter 7. Advancedness and the development of relativization in L2 German: A curriculum-based study

Heidi Byrnes & Castle Sinicrope

Chapter 8. Advanced learners’ development of systematic vocabulary knowledge: Learning German vocabulary with inseparable prefixes

Katherine A. Sprang

Chapter 9. Teaching grammatical meaning to advanced learners: A cognitive-semantic perspective

Olga Liamkina

Chapter 10. L1-L2 Translation vs. No Translation: A longitudinal study of Focus-on-FormS within a meaning-focused curriculum

Marie Källkvist

Chapter 11. Longitudinal gain of higher-order inferential abilities in L2 English: Accuracy, speed, and conventionality

Naoko Taguchi

Chapter 12. Histories of engagement and sociolinguistic awareness in study abroad: Colloquial French

Celeste Kinginger & Géraldine Blattner

Chapter 13. Acquiring oral language skills over the course of a high school year abroad: What’s in it for absolute beginners?

Allison J. Spenader

Chapter 14. An ethnographic longitudinal approach to the development of assessment for advanced competencies of medical interpreters

Claudia V. Angelelli


Chapter 15. Theorizing advancedness, setting up the longitudinal research agenda

Lourdes Ortega & Heidi Byrnes

About the Authors

Lourdes Ortega is Associate Professor of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i. Her research interests include second language acquisition, second language writing, and research methods. Recent publications are Synthesizing Research on Language Learning and Teaching (co-edited with John Norris, Benjamins) and Understanding Second Language Acquisition (Arnold).

Heidi Byrnes is George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German at Georgetown University. Her research focus is the acquisition of L2 academic literacy by adult instructed learners. Recent publications include Educating for Advanced Foreign Language Capacities: Constructs, Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment (co-edited with Heather Weger-Guntharp and Katherine A. Sprang, Georgetown University Press); and Advanced Language Learning: The Contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky (Continuum).

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 / Teaching Methods & Materials / Arts & Humanities
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General