Research Initiatives in Applied Linguistics
Department faculty are involved in several research initiatives aimed at advancing understandings of language use and language learning from a range of anthropological, sociological, and psychological perspectives.
The Penn State CA Research Group
The Penn State CA Research Group is a research group founded in 2009 by Dr. Joan Kelly Hall and several graduate students of the Applied Linguistics department here at The Pennsylvania State University. A shared interest in discursive data and conversation analytic methods comprise the core of the CA Research Group. The Group is particularly involved in data collection and analysis of classroom discourse, which may lead to significant understandings of teacher talk, student talk, teacher pedagogies and student learning. They have developed a digitized video corpus of classroom interaction called Practices and Actions in Classroom Talk-in-Interaction. The corpus consists of 24 hours of video-recorded classroom discourse. 18 hours are taken from split-level undergrad/grad and grad seminars on Applied Linguistics topics and 6 hours are taken from 3 different intensive English language classrooms.
The Migration Studies Project
The Migration Studies Project (MSP), under the Directorship of Professor Canagarajah, is spear heading research on skilled migration with member institutions of the Worldwide Universities Network. Skilled migration has attracted significant attention in the circles of development studies and globalization. Those who migrate from the global South for reasons of higher education and professional training are contributing to the development of their home communities in diverse ways. They send back remittances; they share their skills and knowledge to help education and industrial development; they outsource work from the North to companies in their home communities; and they provide consultation free of charge for new initiatives. From this perspective, their migration doesn’t lead in brain drain from the South as previously assumed, but brain gain for both the North and the South. The projects led by MSP address the circulation of knowledge through skilled migration, and the role of English language in facilitating the development of skills and knowledge. The activities involve qualitative research by multidisciplinary faculty in multiple locations to track the processes in sending and receiving countries. The following universities are represented by leading scholars who are studying migration: Bergen (Norway), Bristol (UK), Cape Town (South Africa), Leeds (UK), Sydney (Australia), Wisconsin, Washington, and York (UK). In addition to fieldwork in their own locations, the group has been meeting at Penn State periodically to analyze their data, plan collaborative publications, and develop grant proposals.
The Department is also affiliated with three college-based centers:
- The Center for Language Acquisition (CLA)
- The Center for Language Acquisition (CLA) is a research unit in the College of Liberal Arts at The Pennsylvania State University. It is charged with carrying out and supporting broad-based research on the teaching, learning, and assessment of foreign and second languages. In collaboration with the various foreign and second language-teaching components of the College the Center also develops and implements pedagogies grounded in the most recent advances in technology. For more information on this Center, please click here .
- The Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER)
- The Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at the Pennsylvania State University is one of fifteen Title VI Language Resource Centers in the United States which are funded by the U.S. Department of Education whose broad mission is to advance foreign language pedagogy. CALPER's particular focus is to improve the environment of advanced-level foreign language teaching and learning, and assessment. For more information on this Center, please click here.
- The Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) is a new college-based Center affiliated with the Department of Applied Linguistics. Directed by Joan Kelly Hall, CRELLT functions as a catalyst for advancing the Department’s established scholarly focus on the teaching and learning of ESL, with a particular focus on the non-credit Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) CRELLT regularly holds research meetings, such as monthly CA data sessions and biennial research meetings. Please click CRELLT (linked to http://crellt.la.psu.edu/ ) for more information.