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

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)