Skip to Main Content

[FAS] ROM-LANG 220: Second Language Research and Practice: Home

Tips and advice for students completing their literature review assignment, spring 2019.


Welcome! This guide offers advice and some good starting places for conducting a literature review on second-language pedagogy. Please note: For this particular assignment, you are expected to reference only journal articles or books.

Learn the Methods for a Literature Review

The following two guides explain what a literature review is and provide extensive advice on how to conduct one:

We highly recommend using Zotero to save and keep track of your citations and PDFs:

Start with a "Baseline" Search

For each of the following databases, we provide a suggested starting search. Modify the search with terms relevant to the specific topic area you're interested in, or use our terms as inspiration as you build your own search from scratch.


3-in-1 Education Articles


MLA International Bibliography (Modern Language Association)

Search Tips

  • Search for "learning" or "learners" as well as "teaching"
  • You may need to specify a specific learner population


*These are the details for the 3-in-1 Education Search and the ERIC searches linked above:

SU ("second language acquisition" OR "second language learning" OR "second language instruction")
AND SU ("teaching methods" OR "instructional effectiveness")
AND SU (college* OR universit* OR "higher education")

Here's a screenshot of what it would look like if you typed the above search string into the Advanced Search form, using the different search boxes:

screenshot of the above search string


**These are the details for the MLA baseline search linked above:

SU(language AND teaching) OR (DE "physical settings (language)" OR DE "student characteristics (language)" OR DE "teacher characteristics (language)" OR DE "computer-assisted language instruction" OR DE "professional issues (language)" OR DE "teacher preparation (language)" OR DE "immersion program" OR DE "language laboratory" OR DE “languages for special purposes” OR DE "less commonly taught languages" OR DE "metaresearch (language)" OR DE "pedagogical grammar")

Professional Journals

The periodicals listed below are a good place to begin exploring topics for your review of literature and syllabus assignment.

    ▪    Annual Review of Applied Linguistics
    ▪    Applied Language Learning
    ▪    Applied Linguistics
    ▪    Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
    ▪    Brain and Language
    ▪    CALICO Journal
    ▪    Canadian Modern Language Review
    ▪    Computer Assisted Language Learning
    ▪    Current Issues in Language and Society
    ▪    Foreign Language Annals
    ▪    International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
    ▪    Language Teaching
    ▪    L2 journal
    ▪    Journal of Educational Research
    ▪    Journal of Second Language Writing
    ▪    Language and Communication
    ▪    Language, Culture, and Curriculum
    ▪    Language and Education
    ▪    Language in Society
    ▪    Language Learning
    ▪    Language Learning Journal
    ▪    Language Teaching
    ▪    Language Teaching Research
    ▪    Language Testing
    ▪    Language Testing Update
    ▪    Linguistics and Education: An International Research Journal
    ▪    Pragmatics and Language Learning
    ▪    Reading in a Foreign Language
    ▪    Reading Research Quarterly
    ▪    Review of Educational Research
    ▪    Second Language Research
    ▪    Studies in Second Language Acquisition
    ▪    System
    ▪    The Modern Language Journal


Ask Me!

Profile Photo
Ramona Crawford
Widener Library Rm. 220; (617) 384-5848