Data were collected through surveys that were mailed out to 72 participants in the United States and Canada. Participants in the project completed the survey anonymously and filled out a separate consent form. Recipients who choose not to participate were asked to simply return the materials. Respondents have appointments in a variety of departments, including English, Linguistics, foreign languages (e.g., Spanish, German), as well as in combined departments of Modern Languages. A significant percentage of respondents are members of departments dedicated specifically to the field, e.g., Second Language Studies.
Criteria for inclusion in the study were as follows:
Rank of associate of full professor at a Canadian or U.S. post-secondary institution
Published research in the field of second language acquisition
Respondents were faculty members from both private and public institutions, the majority being research oriented. To protect the anonymity of the respondents, we are unable to list the institutions here or to further identify them.
The survey is included here as an appendix. Respondents were asked questions regarding the minimum and optimum standards for tenure promotion to the rank of associate professor. Specifically, they were asked their views on the importance of various types of publications and presentations. They were also asked to rank various presses and journals for their importance in the field of SLA. Space was included for respondents to make comments on issues not covered by specific questions in the survey.
There were 45 respondents to the study (63%). Table 1 shows the breakdown for departmental affiliation, rank and language studied. In the subsequent tables, a ranking of 1 indicates strong disagreement with the statement and a ranking of 5, strong agreement. Table 2 shows the mean responses to questions pertaining to the publication of a book as a tenure requirement. Tables 3 and 4 display responses on issues other than book publication, principally, the use of journal articles as a criterion for tenure and promotion. Table 5 displays the ranking of major journals that publish work in SLA.