Vol. 171:1 (2020) ► pp. 62–89
Statistical knowledge and training in second language acquisition
The case of doctoral students
The present study investigated second language acquisition (SLA) doctoral students’ statistical training and knowledge of statistics. One hundred and twenty SLA doctoral students in North America took a comprehensive statistics survey, and 16 of them participated in follow-up interviews. The results showed that doctoral students were well trained in basic descriptive statistics, while their training in inferential statistics, particularly advanced statistics, was limited. When looking at their statistical knowledge, the results indicated that SLA doctoral students were good at understanding descriptive and inferential statistics, but they found it hard to interpret statistical analyses related to inferential statistics that are commonly encountered in SLA research. Several suggestions directed toward improving statistical literacy in SLA were provided.
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