Dr. Phil Hiver’s research and teaching expertise lies in two main areas. Within the first area, instructed second language acquisition, he is interested in issues related to programmatic and personal engagement and participation in second and foreign language (L2) learning. His work adopts an explicit focus on context, temporal change, and complex causality to examine learners’ intentional effort and deliberate involvement in language education (e.g., questions of how individual and contextual factors impact the quality of students’ engagement). His work also addresses how teacher thought and action, broadly conceived, contributes to language learners’ engagement and learning.
The second area relates to methodological innovation and explores the contribution of complexity theory/dynamic systems theory to language education research. Dr. Hiver’s work is part of a broader pivot to acknowledge interconnectedness and change, and to address issues of precision and rigor through open science practices in language learning research. His scholarship explores methods for identifying temporal structure and variation, quantifying trends, estimating complex causality, capturing group membership, applying spatial analysis, tracing dynamic processes, and investigating networked and nested phenomena. Methodologically, this work takes a transdisciplinary perspective (i.e., crossing borders and boundaries in a problem-oriented approach) to tackle “wicked” problems in language education and use.