Scott Sterling


I am an Associate Professor of Linguistics and TESL at Indiana State University. My research mainly focuses on methods of improving the quality of the research done within applied linguistics, especially in terms of how we think and conduct ethical research. To that end, most of my research can be found in two main areas: (1) meta-research in linguistics, and (2) research ethics in applied linguistics. I have published work in a variety of journals, including Language Learning, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, and TESOL Quarterly.

In addition to research, I focus heavily on community engagement and science communication efforts within my local community. Linguistics and second language studies are utterly fascinating topics, yet most people don't seem to know all that much about them. When I discuss linguistics with people (sorry random person sitting next to me, but you did ask what I do for a living!!), I find that people have a multitude of interesting questions on all things language related. They ask why language works in a particular way or what is the hardest language to learn. They are interested in why they struggled to learn a new language in school or why anyone would want to study linguistics in college. They have the interest, but it isn’t clear how well the field provides answers available to everyone. I have also been able to collaborate on projects with local communities in my area. These projects range from providing support for language learners of all ages to helping teachers better understand how to work with non-native English speaking students. Taking our research and expertise to a more diverse audience (instead of only talking to other scholars) is rewarding, fun, but also useful to the health of our field. For more information on some of my projects, see the Community Engagement tab.