The Lab School was created to conduct high-quality research
on low-level adult second language acquisition and pedagogy.
It is designed to conduct research in ongoing ESOL classrooms
using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies,
including experimental studies. There is also a longitudinal
component to follow a subset of Lab School students for
several years. The purpose of the Lab School is to answer
the following question: What instructional strategies
and program characteristics are effective, for whom are
they effective and to what degree to learners develop
English language proficiency as a result.
The current focus of Lab School research can be divided
into two parts. They include the studies of dyadic interaction
and the microgenetic studies of language development.
of Dyadic Interaction The Lab School is set up to capture student interaction
as they work in pairs in the classroom. Research in
this area is looking at the co-construction of meaning
as students engage in pair work tasks, the degree of
participation in pairs of particular students and how
task design and structure influence how students participate
Studies of Language Development Research in this area follows the language development
and the contexts for that development of focal students
over the course of several quarters of instruction at
the Lab School. Resources available to researchers include
video data of classroom interaction, written material
used in the classroom, written material produced by the
student as well as student demographic data and other
personal information collected from in-home interviews
focusing on language use outside the classroom.