Foreign language learning and its impact on wider academic outcomes: A rapid evidence assessment

The primary aims for this REA are to understand what is known from the literature about the ways in which foreign language proficiency affects wider academic attainment, as well as the comparative effectiveness of different forms of foreign language teaching, including the use of the foreign language as the medium of instruction. This evidence will be used to inform policy and practice, with the possibility of providing the foundation for further primary research.

In order to obtain the most pertinent and up-to-date literature addressing each of these questions, the research team will adopt a multi-phase approach focused on appraising, synthesizing, and updating findings from previously conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Phase One of the project will consist of a wide-reaching trawl for systematic reviews addressing research themes stated above. The identified reviews will then be assessed for relevance and quality, with the aim of selecting the most relevant and highest quality ones as ‘seed’ reviews. In Phase Two, the researchers will update the seed reviews by replicating their methods, including search strategy and inclusion/exclusion criteria, limiting inclusion to papers published after the original search and to only RCTs and QEDs with a control group and pre- and post-tests. Any new studies meeting these inclusion criteria will be incorporated into the findings of the original reviews. Finally, the findings of the seed reviews and papers identified in the updated search will be analyzed thematically, across reviews, in a narrative synthesis to address the review questions described above.

Find out more information here.

Co-Investigator external to the Department: Robert Vanderplank (Emeritus Fellow Kellogg College)


Former team member: Jessica Briggs Baffow-DJan