ESOL Lab School
 Portland State University Department of Applied Linguistics 
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Introduction to Research at the Lab School  
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.

Studies 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 in dyads.

Microgenetic 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.
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