An Investigation of the Predictors of Statistical Literacy in Second Language Acquisition
Keywords:Statistical literacy, statistical training, quantitative research orientation, SLA
The use of statistics in second language acquisition (SLA) research has increased over the past 30-40 years and continues to increase in both complexity and sophistication (Gass, 2009; Loewen & Gass, 2009). The increased use of statistical procedures has drawn attention to the current state of statistical literacy among second language (L2) researchers. Statistical literacy is a critical skill to acquire on the parts of both the producers and consumers of L2 research. However, it is a relatively new research topic in the field. So, little is known regarding what factors play key roles in the development of statistical literacy. Therefore, this study attempted to investigate the predictors of statistical literacy in SLA. One hundred and twenty SLA doctoral students took a statistical background questionnaire and a discipline-specific statistics survey. A series of multiple regression analyses were conducted on the statistics survey data. The results indicated that number of statistics courses taken, quantitative research orientation, and self-training in statistics were the significant predictors of statistical literacy. In light of the findings of this study, several suggestions directed toward improving statistical literacy in the field of SLA were made.
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