Dr. Kevin McManus, director of the Center for Language Acquisition, has been awarded a three-year grant from the US Department of Education’s International Research and Studies program. This grant will research the use of technologies in foreign language education for improving the teaching and learning of foreign languages. Congratulations to Dr. McManus and the Center for Language Acquisition!

Information about this CLA project, including its abridged abstract, is detailed below.



Investigating Teachers’ Use of Technologies in Foreign Language Programs: A Mixed-Methods Study of Attitudes and Practices

Abstract (abridged):

Despite the rapid development and widespread use of technologies in daily life, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), the use of advanced and innovative technologies in foreign language (FL) education is understood to be minimal and constitutes a cause for concern (Godwin-Jones, 2021; Lomicka & Lord, 2019; Tafazoli & Picard, 2023). Indeed, as described in the World-Readiness Standard for Learning Languages, technologies can and should be used to support FL instruction, opportunities for practice/use in the classroom, and assessment. A well-discussed challenge to doing this, however, is that teachers’ attitudes and their practices utilizing technology in FL instruction are not well understood, especially in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs). Furthermore, how to effectively integrate technology into instructional practice are also not well understood but are needed to support LCTL teachers and their use of technology to enhance FL learning. These knowledge gaps negatively impact teacher preparation, professional development, benchmarking, and assessment in US-based LCTL classrooms.

To address these gaps in understanding, the current project investigates the use of technology in FL programs and attitudes toward its use among LCTL teachers in the US from a variety of educational settings and with a broad range of experiences. Our mixed methods design begins with a large-scale survey to provide an overview of teachers’ current usage, attitudes, and perceptions toward technology in FL teaching. Following the survey, qualitative interviews will be conducted with LCTL teachers to explore and explain the survey results in more detail.

Because this project intends to develop new knowledge about (i) teachers’ use of technologies in FL programs; (ii) the needs for increased or improved instruction in FL; (iii) the use of technology in FL programs emphasizing LCTLs, its results will be critical to research projects and programs with similar interests.

Research team:

Kevin McManus (Project director), Jialing Wang, Brody Bluemel (Delaware State University)


US Department of Education


$306,000 for three years

Doctoral student Minjin Kim was awarded a Graduate Student Travel grant through Penn State Global.  The funds support travel related to internationalizing education and research opportunities. Congratulations, Minjin!

Congratulations to doctoral student Lyana Sun Han Chang, who received a College of the Liberal Arts STAR (Superior Teaching and Research) award this year.

Congratulations to doctoral student Jingyuan Zhuang, who received a College of the Liberal Arts STAR (Superior Teaching and Research) award this year. She also was awarded second place in the Arts and Humanities category of the 2023 Graduate Research Exhibition.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) awarded a 2023 AAAL Graduate Student Award to Sally Wang, one of our doctoral students. The title of her special presentation at AAAL was "Teaching the concept of conceptual metaphor for L2 learners' development in academic English communication". Congratluations, Sally!

Yuanheng Wang, one of our doctoral students, received a Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award. The Martin Award is given by the Graduate School, the Office of the Vice President and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. We congratulate Yuanheng on his accomplishment and this recognition!

We are very pleased to announce that Eunhae Cho, doctoral student in Applied Linguistics, received one of this year's Liberal Arts External Funding Incentive Awards. Congratulations Eunhae!

Congratulations to Tianfang (Sally) Wang and Yuanheng (Arthur) Wang on receiving Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) Awards from the College of the Liberal Arts. The STAR award recognizes graduate students who have excelled in all aspects of their graduate program.


Dr. Katherine Masters (APLNG '20), who holds a position at the University of Texas at San Antonio, received one of the 2022 Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE) Concha Delgado-Gaitan Presidential Fellow award. The award supports research of early career scholars. Congratulations, Katie!

We congratulate APLNG doctoral student Eunhae Cho, who received a Doctoral Dissertation Grant from TIRF,  the International Research Foundation for English Language Education.