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 research done within applied linguistics, especially in terms of how we think and conduct ethical research. To that end, my research can be found in two main areas: (1) meta-research in applied linguistics, and (2) research ethics in applied linguistics. I have published work on these topics in a variety of journals, including Language Teaching, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, and TESOL Quarterly. In recent years, I have been able to work with a great group of colleagues on an international project dedicated to improving our understanding of questionable research practices (QRPs) within the field. You can find more about or research and the training materials we developed on our website

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. The interest is there, but it isn’t clear how well the field provides answers that are available to everyone. I have also been able to collaborate on projects with local communities in my area that 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.