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End-of-semester Spring 2020

New to all of us at APLNG: A semester-end-gathering online. Congratulations to all graduates and awardees.

Sharon Childs receives College award

Congratulations to Dr. Sharon Childs who has been named the recipient of the College of the Liberal Arts 2020 Outstanding Teaching Award for Teaching Faculty in recognition of her contributions to the undergraduate teaching program. 

New book co-edited by Drs. Kelly Hall and Looney

Hall, J. K. & Looney, S. D. (eds.). (2019). The embodied work of teaching. Bristol, OK: Multilingual Matters.

The chapters in this volume build on a growing body of ethnomethodological conversation analytic research on teaching in order to enhance our empirical understandings of teaching as embodied, contingent and jointly achieved with students in the complex management of various courses of action and larger instructional projects. Together, the chapters document the embodied accomplishment of teaching by identifying specific resources that teachers use to manage instructional projects; demonstrate that teaching entails both alignment and affiliation work; and show the significance of using high-quality audiovisual data to document the sophisticated work of teaching. By providing analytic insight into the highly-specialized work of teaching, the studies make a significant contribution to a practice-based understanding of how the life of the classroom, as lived by its members, is accomplished.

Publisher's website

2019-2020 Opening Town Hall and Social

All graduate students, visiting scholars, and faculty are invited to our opening orientation meeting and Beginning-of-The-Year Social.

APLNG Annual Town Hall
Friday, August 23
Sparks 10

APLNG Opening Social
Friday, August 23
Home of Bob Schrauf
(information to follow)

Yingying Liu receives STAR award

Congratulations to Yingying Liu, who has received a STAR award from the RGSO to support her travel to Birmingham, UK. She will attend the Corpus Linguistics Summer Workshop hosted by the Centre for Corpus Research at the University of Birmingham in June 2019.

Amber Martin won College award

Amber Martin, Assistant Teaching Professor in Applied Linguistics, won the 2019 College of the Liberal Arts Outstanding Faculty Advising Award. Congratulations, Amber!

Alex Magnuson receives STAR award

Congratulations to Ph.D.student Alex Magnuson, who has received a STAR award from the College RGSO. The grant will support his travel to Poland. Alex will participate in the International Summer School on Quantitative Methods in L2 Research in June, which is hosted by the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warsaw.

Jamie Kim and Marika Criss win awards at Grad Exhibition

Congratulations to our doctoral students Jamie Kim and Marika Criss for earning awards in the division "Arts and Humanities" at the 2019 Graduate Student Exhibition at Penn State. Jamie won second prize for her work on "What makes students talk: Mobilizing student responses in classroom interaction". Marika was awarded third prize for "Riding on commitment and marketing: Language teachers as policymakers in a Finnish Secondary and Upper Secondary school".






Grant to Xiaofei Lu and Elliott Casal

Dr. Xiaofei Lu (PI) and Ph.D. cand. J. Elliott Casal (Co-I) have been awarded a TOEFL Committee of Examiners (TOEFL COE) grant for a one-year pilot study of their project entitled “Mappings between linguistic features and rhetorical moves in TOEFL essays and their relationship to writing quality.” This project aims to systematically investigate learners’ use of lexical, formulaic language, and syntactic complexity features in relation to the rhetorical goals they are deployed to realize and the relationship of such form-function mappings to writing quality using the TOEFL iBT Public Use Dataset. Congratulations to both!

More information on the grant program is here.

New book co-edited by Dr. Xiaofei Lu

New book co-edited by Dr. Xiaofei Lu

Lu & Chen 2019

We congratulate Dr. Xiaofei Lu on the publication of his co-edited volume, which just appeared with Springer.

Lu, X., & Chen, B. (Eds.) (2019). Computational and corpus approaches to Chinese language learning. New York: Springer

This book presents a collection of original research articles that showcase the state of the art of research in corpus and computational linguistic approaches to Chinese language teaching, learning and assessment. It offers a comprehensive set of corpus resources and natural language processing tools that are useful for teaching, learning and assessing Chinese as a second or foreign language; methods for implementing such resources and techniques in Chinese pedagogy and assessment; as well as research findings on the effectiveness of using such resources and techniques in various aspects of Chinese pedagogy and assessment.


Visit the Publisher's page for more information on the book.

New book co-authored by Dr. Kevin McManus

We congratulate Dr. Kevin McManus on the publication of his co-authored book:

Porte, G., & McManus, K. (2019). Doing replication research in Applied Linguistics. New York: Routledge.


Doing Replication Research in Applied Linguistics is the only book available to specifically discuss the applied aspects of how to carry out replication studies in Applied Linguistics. This text takes the reader from seeking out a suitable study for replication, through deciding on the most valuable form of replication approach, to its execution, discussion, and writing up for publication. A step-by-step decision-making approach to the activities guides the reader through the replication research process from the initial search for a target study to replicate, through the setting up, execution, analysis, and dissemination of the finished work.


Visit the Publisher's website for more information on the publication.

Study Abroad Survey

Dr. Celeste Kinginger and Dr. Kevin McManus are seeking study abroad alumni to participate in a large-scale survey investigating the career choices and pathways of people who studied abroad as college students. The study is conducted in collaboration with the Forum on Education Abroad and American Councils. It is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education Title VI IRS grant. Please help us distribute the call widely!

RGSO Grants to Marika Criss, Jamie Kim, and Jungwan Yoon

Three of our doctoral students received a grant to support their dissertation research through the Dissertation Support funding from the Research and Graduate Studies Office (RGSO) in the College of the Liberal Arts. Congratulations to Marika Criss, Jamie Kim, and Jungwan Yoon!

Sinfree Makoni Awarded Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Dr. Sinfree Makoni was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to collaborate with Laikipia University (Kenya) and Professor Khasandi-Telewa on curriculum co-development and enhancement of a PhD program in Linguistics through online learning and Graduate Student Training and Mentoring. The project is part of a broader initiative that will pair 51 African Diaspora scholars with one of 43 higher education institutions and collaborators in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to work together on curriculum co-development, research, graduate teaching, training and mentoring activities in the coming months. The visiting Fellows will work with their hosts on a wide range of projects that include controlling malaria, strengthening peace and conflict studies, developing a new master's degree in emergency medicine, training and mentoring graduate students in criminal justice, archiving African indigenous knowledge, creating low cost water treatment technologies, building capacity in microbiology and pathogen genomics, and developing a forensic accounting curriculum.

The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, now in its sixth year, is designed to increase Africa's brain circulation, build capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and the United States and Canada. It is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council. A total of 385 African Diaspora Fellowships have now been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program's inception in 2013.

Penn State creates new Global Engagement Special Living Option

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has made becoming a global university a strategic priority in recent years. This focus can be seen in all aspects of University life, from the creation of international research partnerships to tackle pressing global issues, to the increased presence of international students on campus, to major growth in the number of Penn State students going abroad.

Read full story here...

Penn State English Language Services - new website

Penn State English Language Services is a service of the Department of Applied Linguistics.  The faculty and advanced doctoral students in the department are specialists in advanced English proficiency, and our goal is to help second language speakers of English to acquire the knowledge and tools they need to speak, read, and write professional English in pursuit of their academic and career goals.  The department offers a number of programs for international undergraduate and graduate students, international teaching assistants, international visiting scholars and faculty, and all faculty who work with international students.

Visit the new website at

New book by Dr. James P. Lantolf and Dr. Matthew E. Poehner

We congratulate Jim Lantolf, Matt Poehner, and Merrill Swain (UToronto-OISE, emerita) who co-edited "The Routledge Handbook of Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Development" published by Routledge.

The Routledge Handbook of Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Development is the first comprehensive overview of the field of sociocultural second language acquisition (SLA). In 35 chapters, each written by an expert in the area, this book offers perspectives on both the theoretical and practical sides of the field. This Handbook covers a broad range of topics, divided into several major sections, including:

  • concepts and principles as related to second language development;
  • concept-based instruction;
  • dynamic assessment and other assessment based on sociocultural theory (SCT);
  • literacy and content-based language teaching;
  • bilingual/multilingual education;
  • SCT and technology; and
  • teacher education.

This is the ideal resource for graduate students and researchers working in the areas of SLA and second language development.

Visit the Publisher's page for more information on the book.

New book authored by Dr. Joan Kelly Hall

We congratulate Dr. Joan Kelly Hall on the publication of her new book.

Hall, J. K. (2019). Essentials of SLA for L2 Teachers: A Transdisciplinary Approach. New York: Routledge.

Essentials of SLA for L2 Teachers: A Transdisciplinary Framework presents an accessible and comprehensive account of current understandings of second language acquisition (SLA) geared towards those studying to become L2 teachers. Grounded in the pragmatic and problem-oriented transdisciplinary framework of SLA, this textbook draws connections between SLA research and practices for L2 teaching. It aims to build L2 teacher expertise by strengthening teachers’ understandings of the many facets of L2 learning and their skills for designing transformative learning environments in their teaching contexts. The author includes pedagogical implications and inquiry-based activities in each chapter that engage readers in further explorations of the topics covered in the chapter. Short and straightforward, Essentials of SLA for L2 Teachers is the ideal main resource for SLA courses taught at undergraduate and graduate-level teaching programs.

Visit the Publisher's site for more information on the book.


New book co-authored by Dr. Susan Strauss

We congratulate Dr. Susan Strauss, Dr. Parastou Feiz and Dr. Xuehua Xiang on the publication of their new book on a discourse-based approach to English grammar.

Strauss, S., Feiz, P., & Xiang, X. (2018). Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts: A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar. New York: Routledge

Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts: A Discourse-Based Approach to English Grammar is a book for language teachers and learners that focuses on the meanings of grammatical constructions within discourse, rather than on language as structure governed by rigid rules. This text emphasizes the ways in which users of language construct meaning, express viewpoints, and depict imageries using the conceptual, meaning-filled categories that underlie all of grammar. Written by a team of authors with years of experience teaching grammar to future teachers of English, this book puts grammar in the context of real language and illustrates grammar in use through an abundance of authentic data examples. Each chapter also provides a variety of activities that focus on grammar, genre, discourse, and meaning, which can be used as they are or can be adapted for classroom practice. The activities are also designed to raise awareness about discourse, grammar, and meaning in all facets of everyday life, and can be used as springboards for upper high school, undergraduate, and graduate level research projects and inquiry-based grammatical analysis. Grammar, Meaning, and Concepts is an ideal textbook for those in the areas of teacher education, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, second language teaching, ESL, EFL, and communications who are looking to teach and learn grammar from a dynamic perspective.

Visit the Publisher's site for more information on the book.

IECP accredited by UCIEP

After a site visit to Penn State and review by their governing board, the consortium of University and College Intensive English Programs (UCIEP) has extended membership in the consortium to the APLNG Intensive English Communication Program (IECP).  The letter of acceptance stated, “Our review team had strong praise for your program’s many accomplishments, in particular: CEA re-accreditation, high quality curriculum and teaching practices, program scholarship and professional opportunities for faculty.”  Congratulations to the faculty of the IECP!

Miso Kim receives Dissertation Support grant

Congratulations to Miso Kim, who received a grant to support her dissertation research through the Dissertation Support funding from the Research and Graduate Studies Office (RGSO) in the College of the Liberal Arts.


Two new courses will be offered in Fall 2018

APLNG 597: An EMCA approach to understanding and researching teaching

Instructor: Joan Kelly Hall <>

This graduate seminar is an introduction to understanding and researching the specialized work of teaching through the sociological lens of ethnomethodologically informed conversation analysis – EMCA. EMCA is the study of the observable multimodal and embodied practices that people routinely use to produce meanings and make sense of others’ meanings in the interactional activities comprising their social worlds. As a research method, EMCA is capable of identifying and describing the rich empirical details of the specialized actions of teaching, the learner actions they engender and the larger pedagogical projects they accomplish, without reducing them to “atomized collection of discrete and unconnected tiny acts (Ball & Forzani, 2009, p. 507).

We will begin with an examination of EMCA’s main theoretical, conceptual and methodological constructs and then move to an exploration of various EMCA studies of teaching from different contexts. We will use CEAPP to engage in observing, transcribing and analyzing data from a range of teaching contexts. Through your engagement in the course, it is expected that you will increase your powers of observation and skills for transcribing and analyzing data from teaching contexts. In addition, you will gain an understanding of and appreciation for the usefulness of EMCA in revealing instructive distinctions between idealized understandings of the work of teaching and its interactional reality.


APLNG 597: Usage-Based Approaches to Second Language Learning and Teaching

Instructor: Kevin McManus <>

Language is essentially human. Cognition, usage, and communication fundamentally shape how we acquire, process, and use language and are usage-based linguistics’ foundational tenets. As a consequence, language is a complex adaptive system that emerges gradually through usage. In this course, we will explore and critique foundations to contemporary research about the cognitive processes underlying language structure, language learning and language teaching. This course introduces participants to key ideas in usage-based linguistics that drive theoretically-oriented research in second language (L2) acquisition and teaching.

Suresh Canagarajah Receives Award from AAAL

Suresh Canagarajah, the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor in Applied Linguistics, English, and Asian Studies, was named the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award (DSSA) by the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). He will be presented with the award at the annual conference of AAAL later this week. (March 2018)

Olesya Kisselev receives NFLMTA/MLJ grant

Doctoral candidate Olesya Kisselev was awarded a 2018 Dissertation Support Grant from the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (NFMLTA) / Modern Language Journal. Congratulations, Olesya!  The award will be presented to Olesya at the annual meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, which will be held later this month in Chicago. (March 2, 2018)

Naseh Shari Awarded an RGSO Grant

Congratulations to Mohammad Naseh Nasrollahi Shahri, who received a grant to support his dissertation research through the Dissertation Support funding from the Research and Graduate Studies Office (RGSO) in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Michael Amory receives NFLMTA/MLJ grant

Doctoral candidate Michael Amory was awarded a dissertation support grant from the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (NFMLTA) / Modern Language Journal. Congratulations, Michael!

Jungwan Yoon receives STAR Award

Doctoral candidate Jungwan Yoon has been awarded a Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) Award from the College of the Liberal Arts. The award will support her attendance of the 4th Learner Corpus Research Conference in Bolzano/Bozen in Ocotber. Congratulations Jungwan!


Lantolf Research Center For Second Language Studies

On May 19, 2017 The School of Foreign Studies of Xi’an Jiaotong University in Xi’an, China dedicated the Lantolf Research Center for Second Language Studies. The Center is named in honor of Professor James P. Lantolf, Director of Penn State’s Center for Language Acquisition and the Greer Professor in Language Acquisition & Applied Linguistics in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Professor Lantolf also received a Changjiang (Yangtze River) Scholar Award in Applied Linguistics in the School of Foreign Studies at Jiaotong University in 2016. The ceremony for this award, the highest academic honor given by the Chinese Ministry of Education, was also held on May 19, 2017 with the Vice-President representing the central administration of the university. 

Graduate Exhibition - 2nd & 3rd Place

Two of the department's doctoral candidates were honored for their work at the 2017 Graduate Exhibition, which was held on March 26. Pin-Yun (Ben) Wang was recognized with a 2nd Place Win for his research on “A Cognitive-Pragmatic Study on Modal Verbs of Possibility in Chinese: The Case of Neng”. Lindsey Kurtz was recognized for her research on “Conceptual Development of Analogical Reasoning in the Second Language Legal Classroom" with a 3rd Place Win. There were 200 graduate students who participated in the Arts & Humanities Research Presentation category this year, of which 41 students received awards. The story on Penn State News.

AAAL Award and RGSO to Katie Masters

Congratulations to Katherine (Katie) Masters who was recognized for her work through a Graduate Student Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). She received the award at this year’s AAAL Conference in Portland, OR. Katie also received a grant to support her dissertation research from the Research and Graduate Studies Office (RGSO) in the College of the Liberal Arts.