A Word from the Editor
Three years ago we ushered in a new rubric of SSLA, Replication Studies.
still do-as did many researchers and consumers of second language and foreign language
(S/FL) acquisition research that the problems of reliability and generalizability are best
resolved through attempts at replication.
We realized that the system of rewards in academe inhibited investment
in research that
could be viewed as lacking originality. However, we have been gratified by the response
from workers in our field who perceived the potential contribution of replication studies and
have availed themselves of this new venue.
With this issue, we inaugurate yet another rubric, Point and Counterpoint.
policy states that, although we prefer to publish theoretically oriented papers and reports of
empirical research (qualitative as well as quantitative, I might add), we also welcome the
discussion of pedagogical matters "if they refer to major theoretical issues in the field."
Point and Counterpoint is designed to encourage the latter type of submissions. We invite
producers and consumers of S/FL research to nominate issues for discussions or to send
papers that address issues of interest to teachers, provided these are related to
methodological or theoretical concerns of the field.
This first Point and Counterpoint features an exchange of views about
the relevance of S/FL
research for language pedagogy between two colleagues who have contributed to the
development of our journal as authors and members of the editorial team. Rod Ellis has
served on the SSLA Editorial Board since the journal joined the Cambridge University
Press family; Graham Crookes is currently a member of our Advisory Committee. As
members of our editorial team, they play a central role in vetting contributions and helping to
chart editorial directions. It is thus fitting that these two productive and distinguished SLA
workers launch the new rubric by examining a question that all researchers have no doubt
asked themselves: What does this particular piece of research contribute to more effective
and efficient instruction? The reader will note that, in addition to this central question, the
discussion deals with broader epistemological and social issues, notably those of the
respective responsibilities of researchers, teacher trainers, and educational institutions in
the initiation and dissemination of S/FL research.