Applying meta-analysis to research on bilingualism: An introduction

Luke Plonsky, Ekaterina Sudina, Yuhang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Meta-analysis overcomes a number of the limitations of traditional literature reviews (Norris & Ortega, 2006). Consequently, the use of meta-analysis as a synthetic technique has been applied across a range of scientific disciplines in recent decades. This paper seeks to formally introduce the potential of meta-analysis to the field of bilingualism. In doing so, we first describe a number of advantages to the meta-analytic approach such as greater systematicity, objectivity, and transparency relative to narrative reviews. We also outline the major stages in conducting a meta-analysis, highlighting critical considerations encountered at each stage. These include (a) domain definition, (b) coding scheme development and implementation, (c) analysis, and (d) interpretation. The focus, however, is on providing a conceptual introduction rather than a full-length tutorial. Meta-analyses in bilingualism and nearby fields are referred to throughout in order to illustrate the points being made.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-824
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 27 2021


  • bilingualism
  • effect sizes
  • meta-analysis
  • quantitative research methods
  • research synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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