Mackey, Alison (2006) From introspections, brain scans, and memory tests to the role of social context:advancing research on interaction and learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28 (2). pp. 369-379. ISSN 0272-2631
The goal of this epilogue is to use the methodological contributions of the studies presented in this special issue as a starting point for suggestions about methodology in conducting future interaction research. As is the case in most developing fields, interaction research develops methods internally as it continually borrows and extends techniques used in other disciplines and revitalizes older techniques by adding new or different angles unique to interaction. Interaction researchers have also begun to forge relationships in new areas (e.g., by working with psychologists and developing working memory [WM] tests). This sort of cooperation is an important step in the drive to uncover more information about the relationship between interaction and learning. As several contributors to this special issue have noted, the most recent advances in methodology have been driven by questions about how interaction works (as opposed to whether it works). In turn, some of the methodological innovations discussed here will also ultimately allow new questions to be asked. Indeed, the relationship between questions (i.e., suggestions about what needs to be investigated next) and methods (i.e., plans for how to carry out such investigations) is particularly close in interaction research, which is a relatively new but vibrant and quickly developing area. Consequently, this epilogue considers both methods and questions conjointly, beginning with a discussion of methodological issues in the most recent theorizing about the interaction hypothesis.
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