Department faculty and graduate students are involved in several research projects and initiatives aimed at advancing understandings of language use, language learning, and assessment from a range of perspectives. Below find brief overviews of current or recently completed projects as well as established and newly founded initiatives.

Computerized Dynamic Assessment of Language Proficiency in French, Russian and Chinese

This project developed formal assessments of language proficiency for learners of Chinese, French, and Russian that provide a more sensitive and fine-grained perspective of learner abilities than other assessments by taking account of learner responsiveness to mediating support. This approach is known as Dynamic Assessment (DA) and is based on Vygotsky’s theory of development, according to which observation of learners’ independent functioning reveals only a part of their capabilities. The project was carried out under the sponsorship of a grant from the Title VI International Research Studies program of the U.S. Department of Education. More information is available at

Corpus of English for Academic and Professional Purposes (CEAPP)

The Corpus of English for Academic and Professional Purposes (CEAPP) is a joint project being undertaken by the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) and the New Professional Initiative (NPI). CEAPP is a collection of video-recorded and transcribed data from ESL and STEM contexts from around the university. CEAPP aims to support research on interaction in U.S. university settings. We are particularly concerned with the interactional practices that promote effective pedagogical interactions in multiple learning contexts. Further information about CEAPP will become available at

International Research and Studies

The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded a three-year grant to the Center for Language Acquisition for a project entitled, “Investigating Teachers’ Use of Technologies in Foreign Language Programs: A Mixed-Methods Study of Attitudes and Practices.” This grant will research the use of technologies in foreign language education for improving the teaching and learning of foreign languages. 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. More information is available at

Meeting Halfway: Strategies for Native English Speakers in Communication with Non-Native Speakers

This project has been conducted by the 2022 PhD cohort, consisting of Merve Özçelik, Julian Canjura, Xiaozheng Dai, Pedro Augusto de Lima Bastos, and Mfundo Jabulani Msimango. In 2022, they received a $500 grant from the Graduate Alliance for Diversity and Inclusion (GADI) at Penn State for this year-long initiative. The grant facilitated the creation of a five-video series that promotes linguistic diversity, equity, and justice, offering practical communication strategies. The series focuses on an often-overlooked aspect of multilingual communication: the role of so-called ‘native speakers.’ By equipping native speakers with these strategies, the project not only highlights their part in successful communication but also aims to empower ‘non-native’ speakers or those speaking less dominant English varieties.

Tab #1

This video is designed to enhance understanding of accents and diverse non-dominant English varieties and dispel myths and misconceptions related to these topics. The video also highlights that communication challenges are normal and emphasizes the need for collaborative effort from all parties involved in a conversation.

Migration Studies Project

Migration Studies Project

The Migration Studies Project (MSP) is an interdisciplinary group of faculty members and graduate students. MSP is conducting research on skilled migration with member institutions of the Worldwide Universities Network. The research explores the role of language competence in facilitating development activities through skilled migration. In addition to fieldwork, the group meets to analyze data, plan collaborative publications, develop grant proposals, and organize seminars and lectures for the university community. Further information about the Migration Studies Project is available at

Multilingual Writing Research Group

The Multilingual Writing Research Group (MWRG) is an interdisciplinary, student-led group with members primarily from the Departments of Applied Linguistics and English. The group supports research related to multilingual writing and writers through data sessions and workshops of members’ individual research projects. Additionally, the MWRG advocates for excellent multilingual writing instruction through creating and leading student and faculty workshops. In the past two years, the MWRG created and led workshops for multilingual graduate student writers through the graduate writing center. Additionally, we have provided professional development workshops for faculty at the Penn State University Park campus as well as the Erie, York, and Scranton campuses and the Dickenson School of Law.
Contact: Brooke Ricker Schreiber at

New Professional Initiative (NPI)

The New Professional Initiative (NPI) is a research project based in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. The NPI is charged with carrying out and supporting broad-based research on professional and pedagogical communication in the U.S. university as well as the development of teaching assistants (TAs). In collaboration with the various Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) departments and the ITA Program, the NPI also designs and implements TA development materials grounded in the analysis of video-recorded classroom discourse and interaction. Further information will become available

Novice Language Teacher Development of ICT 

Specific information will become available soon. In the meantime, please consult the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT)T