Second Language Research

Second Language Research

2015 Impact Factor: 1.568
2015 Ranking: 39/231 in Education & Educational Research | 19/181 in Linguistics
2016 Release of Journal Citation Reports, Source: 2015 Web of Science Data

Silvina A. Montrul University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
Roumyana Slabakova University of Southampton, UK and University of Iowa, USA
Review Editor
Margaret Thomas Boston College, USA

eISSN: 14770326 | ISSN: 02676583 | Current volume: 33 | Current issue: 2 Frequency: Quarterly

Second Language Research is an international peer-reviewed, quarterly journal, publishing original theory-driven research concerned with second (and additional) language acquisition and second language performance. This includes both experimental studies and contributions aimed at exploring conceptual issues. In addition to providing a forum for investigators in the field of non-native language learning, it seeks to promote interdisciplinary research which links acquisition studies to related non-applied fields such as neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, theoretical linguistics, bilingualism, and first language developmental psycholinguistics.

Note that studies of foreign language teaching and learning are outside the scope of Second Language Research, unless they make a substantial contribution to understanding the process and nature of second language acquisition. Types of publications include full-length research articles (about 9,000 words), research notes (about 4,000 words), review articles of recent books or timely topics (about 5,000 words), discussion and commentary (about 5,000 words), invited keynote articles (about 11,000 words) and guest-edited, thematic issues.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Electronic access:

Second Language Research is available electronically on SAGE Journals Online at

Second Language Research is a central resource in the field, especially for cutting-edge work on linguistic and cognitive issues in SLA. It is clearly among our first-tier journals.” Professor Michael Long University of Maryland, USA

Second Language Research publishes theoretical papers, original research and review articles on simultaneous or consecutive second and additional language acquisition in children and adults. In addition to providing a forum for investigators in the field of non-native language learning, the journal seeks to promote interdisciplinary research which links second language acquisition studies to related non-applied fields such as:

* Theoretical linguistics focused on second and additional language acquisition
* Neuroscience and cognitive science
* First language developmental psycholinguistics
* Heritage language studies
* Psycholinguistics.

The journal does not publish papers that focus on educational and pedagogical issues in language teaching and language testing.

Associate Editor
Christine Shea University of Iowa, USA
Assistant Editor
Alice Foucart Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Founding Editors
James Pankhurst Germany
Michael Sharwood Smith Heriot-Watt University, UK
Editorial Board
Joe Barcroft Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Ellen Broselow State Univ of New York at Stony Brook, USA
Joyce Bruhn de Garavito University of Western Ontario, Canada
Susanne Carroll University of Calgary, Canada
Vasiliki Chondrogianni University of Edinburgh, UK
Robert DeKeyser University of Maryland, USA
Laurent Dekydtspotter Indiana University, USA
Paola Escudero University of Western Sydney, Australia
Claudia Felser University of Potsdam, Germany
Alison Gabriele University of Kansas, USA
Theres Grüter University of Hawaii, USA
Marianne Gullberg University of Lund, Sweden
Ayse Gürel Bogaziçi University, Turkey
Rachel Hayes-Harb University of Utah, USA
Makiko Hirakawa Chuo University, Japan
Holger Hopp Technical University Braunschweig, Germany
Shunji Inagaki Doshisha University, Japan
Tania Ionin University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA
Alan Juffs University of Pittsburgh, USA
Helen Koulidobrova Central Connecticut State University, USA
Donna Lardiere Georgetown University, USA
Ronald Leow Georgetown University, USA
Juana M. Liceras University of Ottawa, Canada
Theo Marinis University of Reading, UK
Florence Myles University of Essex, UK
Manfred Pienemann University of Paderborn, Germany and University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Philippe Prevost Universite Francois Rabelais, France
Leah Roberts York University, UK
Antonella Sorace University of Edinburgh, UK
Gretchen Sunderman Florida State University, USA
Darren Tanner University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA
Annie Tremblay University of Kansas, USA
Ianthi Maria Tsimpli University of Cambridge, UK
Lydia White McGill University, Canada
Virginia Yip Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Martha Young-Scholten Newcastle University, UK
Boping Yuan University of Cambridge, UK
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    1. Peer review policy
    2. Article types
    3. Publishing Policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.1.1 Plagiarism
    4. How to submit your manuscript
    5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement
      5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
    6. Declaration of conflicting interests policy
    7. Other conventions
    8. Acknowledgments
      8.1 Funding acknowledgement
    9. Permissions
    10. Manuscript style
      10.1 File types
      10.2 Journal style
      10.3 Reference style
      10.4 Manuscript preparation
      10.4.1 Keywords and abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
      10.4.2 Corresponding author contact details
      10.4.3 Statistical reporting
      10.4.4 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
      10.4.5 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
      10.4.6 English language editing services
    11. After acceptance
      11.1 Proofs
      11.2 E-Prints
      11.3 SAGE production
    12. Further information

    1. Peer review policy

    Each submission is subject to an in-house evaluation process and once this is completed, the article is either determined unsuitable for publication in SLR or sent for external review. This process of initial editorial evaluation may take up to two weeks. Once this review has been conducted, the manuscript is either returned to the author or assigned to an acting editor who sends it out to reviewers. 

    The Editors of Second Language Research typically ask for 3 independent reviews of submissions they judge to be potentially publishable. Guidelines for reviewers can be found here.


    Submissions must be submitted in a format that will allow double-blind reviewing of the manuscript. 

    The author's name(s) should not be included in headers or footers or in any part of the file (such as in 'Properties') which can reveal her/his/their identity. All funding sources should also be anonymized if they can be used to identify the author(s).

    Any references to previous work by the same author within the text or in the references themselves should use the formant ‘Author XXX’.

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    2. Article types

    The Journal considers the following kinds of articles for publication. Any submission that does not respect the word limit will be sent back to the author without review. Please note that he manuscript length described below includes only the main body of the text, footnotes and all citations within it. The manuscript length does not include abstract, section titles, figure and table captions, funding statements, acknowledgments and references in the bibliography. 

     (a) Full Articles (9,000 words) 

    Full research reports must include original experimental findings related to an area of relevance to second language acquisition research and theory. Authors must clearly state their hypotheses or research questions and the results must include a quantitative presentation of the data. Research reports must make an important contribution to the field of second language research and demonstrate rigorous methodology and statistical analysis of the results. We do not discourage contributions that present null results if the authors clearly state the hypothesis tested and the meaning and relevance of the null results themselves.  

    All research reports must include an introduction (brief and focused), methods, discussion and conclusions. The conclusion must address the broader implications of the results and clearly state how the study contributed to the field of SLA.

    (b) Research Notes (4,000 words) 

    Research notes are short reports and discussion papers of interest to the second language research community. Research notes also include original research and follow the same outline as above but should be highly focused on one specific question related to SLA. Research notes may include replications of previously published studies.

    (c) Review Articles (5,000 words) 

    Review articles that provide a synthesis in areas covered by the journal, or which assess methods, professional resources (including publications), or conceptual advances in the field. Normally, review articles are broader in focus than research notes and do not include original research.

    All books for the review articles section should be sent to the review editor:

    Margaret Thomas 
    Program in Linguistics 
    Lyons Hall 
    Boston College 
    Chestnut hill, MA 02467 


    (d) Keynote Articles with commentaries (11,000 words)

    Keynote articles are normally commissioned by the Editors. They present a relevant new theory or model, or address a specific topic that is being currently debated in the field and take a clear position on one side of the debate. The goal of a keynote article is to present the issues most relevant to the topic, take a particular perspective on this topic and situate it in the broader field of SLA. Once a keynote is submitted, other experts on the topic will be invited to comment on the keynote article from their particular perspective.

    (e) Discussion and Commentary  (5, 000 words) 

    Discussion and commentary are short articles addressing questions and concerns of a theoretical nature. Their goal is to initiate a conversation on a particular burning issue related to second language acquisition and encourage exchange of ideas, opinions and perspectives on that issue among researchers in the field.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Second Language Research and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

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    4. How to submit your manuscript

    Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Manuscripts should have a separate title page with the author's name, full postal address and email address. The first page of the text should carry the title of the article without the name of the author (see also section on Anonymity below). Each article must be accompanied by an abstract of about 200 words.

    Manuscripts and illustrations should be submitted online to the Second Language Research SAGE Track site:

    If you are a new user, you will first need to create an account. Submissions should be made by logging in and selecting the ‘Author Center’ and the 'Click here to Submit a New Manuscript' option. Follow the instructions on each page, clicking the 'Next' button on each screen to save your work and advance to the next screen. If at any stage you have any questions or require the user guide, please use the ‘Online Help’ button at the top right of every screen.

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    5. Journal contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access

    If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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    6. Declaration of conflicting interests

    Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. Second Language Research does not require a declaration of conflicting interests but recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    7. Other conventions

    None applicable.

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    8. Acknowledgements

    Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an `Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

    8.1 Funding Acknowledgement
    To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), Second Language Research additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. All research articles should have a funding acknowledgement in the form of a sentence as follows, with the funding agency written out in full, followed by the grant number in square brackets:

    This work was supported by the Medical Research Council [grant number xxx].

    Multiple grant numbers should be separated by comma and space. Where the research was supported by more than one agency, the different agencies should be separated by semi-colon, with “and” before the final funder. Thus:

    This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]; the Natural Environment Research Council [grant number zzzz]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number aaaa].

    In some cases, research is not funded by a specific project grant, but rather from the block grant and other resources available to a university, college or other research institution. Where no specific funding has been provided for the research we ask that corresponding authors use the following sentence:

    This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

    Please include this information under a separate heading entitled “Funding” directly after any other Acknowledgements prior to your “Declaration of Conflicting Interests” (if applicable), any Notes and your References.

    For more information on the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers, please visit:

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    9. Permissions

    Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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    10. Manuscript style

    10.1 File types .
    Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC (NOTE, not PDF), RTF, XLS. Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork [and supplemental files] below.

    To embed special fonts within a document, you will need to do the following:

    Steps to save word doc (2003) with embedded fonts:

    1) Open file in Word

    2) Select TOOLS menu

    3) Select OPTIONS from the drop down

    4) Click on the SAVE tab

    5) Activate (click on) EMBED TRUE TYPE FONTS

    6) Save and reupload file

    With Word 2007, you will need to do the following:

    1) Open file in Word

    2) Click: "Save As"

    3) Click 'Tools' (bottom left)

    4) Click on 'Save Options'

    5) Under 'Preserve Fidelity', select: Embed Fonts and click both boxes that appear beneath to ensure fonts that are used only in this file are saved.

    6) Save and reupload file

    10.2 Journal Style
    Second Language Research conforms to the SAGE house style. Click here to review guidelines on SAGE UK House Style

    10.3 Reference Style
    Second Language Research operates a SAGE Harvard reference style. Click here to review the guidelines on SAGE Harvard to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    10.4. Manuscript Preparation
    The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

    10.4.1 Your Title, Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online
    The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

    10.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact details
    Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

    10.4.3 Statistical reporting
    In addition to the SAGE author guidelines (see above), authors must follow the following style requirements for SLR with respect to reporting the results of statistical tests:

    i) Reporting of statistical significance should follow the APA Style (see Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edn.), chapter 4).

    ii) Avoid zero in front of the decimal if the number cannot be greater than 1.00, e.g. probability and correlation, p-values and r-values should not include pre-decimal zeros.

    iii) All statistical reporting must include p-values and tables with all relevant statistical results (F-values, coefficient values, means, standard deviations, confidence intervals). Every effort must be made to guarantee that the reporting of the statistical procedures is thorough and precise and permits replication.

    iv) Effect sizes for all statistical tests must be reported along with a meaningful, contextualized interpretation.

    v) We request that authors address the assumptions of all statistical tests and whether they were met, whether any adjustments were necessary to the data and how they were carried out.

    vi) All discussion of the statistical results must be contextualized within the hypotheses and research questions set out at the beginning of the manuscript.

    10.4.4 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics
    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.
    If, together with your accepted article, you submit usable colour figures, these figures will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. If a charge applies you will be informed by your SAGE Production Editor. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    10.4.5 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files
    Second Language Research does not currently accept supplemental files.

    10.4.6 English Language Editing services
    Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service. Visit for further information.

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    11. After acceptance

    11.1 Proofs
    We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

    11.2 E-Prints

    SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit

    11.3 SAGE Production
    At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication ( We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

    We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Second Language Research with SAGE.

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    12. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the Manuscript Submission process should be sent to the Editors:

    Silvina Montrul 
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese
    4080 Foreign Languages Building, MC-176
    707 S. Mathews Ave
    Urbana, IL 61801

    Roumyana Slabakova
    Department of Modern Languages
    University of Southampton
    Avenue Campus 65/3029
    Southampton SO17 1BF

    Editorial office email:

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