We are pleased to announce that two of our doctoral students won prizes at the 37th Graduate Exhibition for their research in applied linguistics. Shuyuan Liu won second prize in the category "Arts and Humanities" and Tianfang Sally Wang won second prize in the category "Social and Behavioral Sciences". Our congratulations to both of our doctoral students!

Dr. Stephen Looney and colleagues from Northern Arizona University and the University of Texas-Dallas received an EAGER Collaborative Research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). EAGER grants are awarded to support "exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches."

The title of the project is "Second Language Speech Production: Formulation of Objective Speech Intelligibility Measures and Learner-Specific Feedback ". The research team will be gathering speech samples from students in ITA courses, doing acoustic analysis and listener ratings of the samples, and using them to create models for generating individualized pronunciation feedback based on highly intelligible speakers of the same L1 instead of native speakers. Congratulations Dr. Looney!

Stephen D. Looney

The National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded a new grant of approximately $800,000 to Kate Yun, M.D. (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; PI), Priscilla Ortiz (same; APLNG alumna Ph.D.'17; Co-PI) and Dr. Robert Schrauf (Co-PI) for a project  entitled The Commonwealth Short Course on Multilingual Research Methods. Congratulations to the research team!

The Penn State Workshops in Research Methods for Applied Linguists, organized by the Center for Language Acquisition, provide graduate students and faculty with hands-on training in cutting-edge research methods, including mixed method, qualitative, and quantitative approaches. The workshops involve all stages of the research process. Our instructors are experts in their respective research methods. This fall we are offering four workshops, taking place on Friday afternoons (2:00pm - 5:00pm). Registration is free and participation is via Zoom.

For more information about these workshops and to register, please go to



Professor of Applied Linguistics, Sinfree B. Makoni, Teaching Professor in Applied Linguistics, Deryn P. Verity, and Assistant Teaching Professor in Education, Anna Kaiper-Marquez, are the editors of a recently published book by Routledge, "Integrational Linguistics and Philosophy of Language in the Global South". This collection represents a selection of papers presented at the 2019 conference held at Penn State, organized by Professor Sinfree Makoni, entitled “Integrationism and Philosophies of Language: Emerging Alternative Epistemologies in the Global North and Global South”. In addition to the conference chapters, there are two invited chapters and a preface by Prof. John Joseph, of the University of Edinburgh.


For an overview of the conference visit the site at


Sun Yin Khor, Shuyuan Liu, Tianfang (Sally) Wang, and Guadalupe Rincon received grants 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. We congratulate our doctoral students to winning these competitive grants!

Sun Yin Khor

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin McManus who received this year's ACTFL-NFMLTA/MLJ Pimsleur Award for Research in Foreign Language Education. Together with his co-author Dr. Marsden, the award was given to the two researchers for their article "Using Explicit Instruction About L1 to Reduce Crosslinguistic Effects in L2 Grammar Learning: Evidence from Oral Production in L2 French." This prestigious award is given each year to an author or authors whose high quality research will have a potentially significant impact on language learning and language teaching. The article was published in The Modern Language Journal in May 2019. More information is at  

Pimsleur Award to Kevin McManus

Professor Celeste Kinginger has accepted the nomination to serve through April 2021 as an American Language Fellow working on the implementation of recommendations by the Commission on Language Learning of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, at the behest of a bipartisan group of members of Congress, the Academy constituted the Commission on Language Learning to investigate the state of language education in the United States. The Commission issued two reports, one in 2016, entitled “The State of Languages in the US: A Statistical Portrait,” and a second in 2017, entitled “America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century.”  The latter document included a series of recommendations and distinguished language scholars and educators from across the nation have been invited to advance and solidify these recommendations.

Celeste Kinginger named American Language Fellow

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin McManus, who received a new grant from the U.S. Department of Education, International Research and Studies Program for the period of 2021-2023. The grant will support Dr. McManus' project on usage-based language instruction to strengthen Korean and Russian language teaching. More information on the project will become available at the website of the Center for Language Acquisition.


Kevin McManus

Dr. Sinfree Makoni and his colleague Dr. Bassey Antia (University of the Western Cape, SA) received a grant from SSRC for their project "Humor as a Semiotic Resource: Coping with Covid-19 Stress in Africa".

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), in partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation and with the support of the Wenner-Gren, Ford, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, has awarded 62 Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grants for projects from across the social sciences and related fields that address the social, economic, cultural, psychological, and political impact of Covid-19 in the United States and globally, as well as responses to the pandemic’s wide-ranging effects.



Dr. Sinfree Makoni