CLA Research Methods for Applied Linguists Workshop

Friday, October 4, 2024
2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
CLA Research Methods for Applied Linguists Workshop
“Using Social Network Analysis in Second Language Research” | Kristen Kennedy Terry, Arizona State University


A growing body of research demonstrates that social network analysis (SNA) is uniquely positioned to predict the course of second language (L2) development for diverse populations of learners. The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with both the conceptual background and the necessary methodological tools to carry out research using SNA to examine the relationship between social networks and the development of various aspects of L2 proficiency and use.

The workshop will first provide an introduction to the evolution of SNA in sociolinguistics, with a focus on early studies of monolingual communities and later applications in bi- and multilingual communities, both at the macro level of minority language maintenance and the micro level of sociolinguistic variation. The remainder of the workshop will focus specifically on the last twenty years of research applying SNA to the L2 context with an emphasis on the contributions of selected model studies demonstrating the innovative ways that scholars have used SNA and related frameworks to better understand the L2 learner, the influence of the L2 learning context and the participants within that context, and the process of L2 development.

Using selected model studies, workshop participants will consider the diverse populations of L2 learners that have been examined through the lens of SNA, such as study abroad learners and others residing temporarily in the target-language environment, immigrant student groups in the target-language educational system, and at-home language learners. The model studies will also be used to provide a comprehensive overview of the varied foci of L2 research employing SNA, including oral proficiency and fluency, grammatical and sociolinguistic competence, learner stance, identity, and socialization, and academic language proficiency. Importantly, the model studies will be leveraged to demonstrate the data collection methods that have been widely used to gather data related to L2 learners’ social networks and how researchers use this quantitative and qualitative data to measure and depict learners’ social networks with target-language speakers, and others, and how these measurements may be correlated with specific linguistic outcomes. Finally, the workshop will discuss current methods of inferential statistical analysis used to investigate the relationship between social networks and L2 acquisition as well as the impact of whole and egocentric network structure and composition on specific linguistic and sociolinguistic outcomes among L2 learners.


Kristen Kennedy Terry is assistant professor of French linguistics at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on the intersection of second language acquisition and sociolinguistics, specifically the acquisition of variation by second language learners. She has published her research on social networks and study abroad in Studies in Second Language Acquisition, The Modern Language Journal, The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition and sociolinguistics, Variation in second and heritage languages: Crosslinguistic perspectives, and the L2 Journal. In 2024, she published a monograph with Robert Bayley in the Routledge Second Language Acquisition Research Series entitled Social Network Analysis in Second Language Research: Theory and Methods.

Virtual Event