The development of statistical literacy in applied linguistics graduate students
Statistics play an important role in analyzing data in applied linguistics research. Given the increase over time in the field’s
reliance on quantitative analysis (Brown, 2004; Gass, 2009), statistical literacy is critical for both producers and consumers of L2 research. Although there has been
some investigation into statistical literacy among applied linguists, no research to date has examined how such literacy is
obtained by masters and doctoral students in the field. The present study investigated the development of statistical literacy in
a sample of such students taking semester-long discipline-specific quantitative research methods courses. Participants completed a
pre-course and post-course survey. The results indicate that participants increased their knowledge of basic descriptive
statistics and common inferential statistics to a great extent. Furthermore, participants reported that they felt more confident
interpreting and using statistics. Based on these findings, recommendations for improving methodological practices and graduate
training in our field are provided.
Keywords: quantitative research methods, statistical literacy, L2 research
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