My research focuses on:
I. FOREIGN LANGUAGE TEACHER DEVELOPMENT
What should the content of graduate student professional development in U.S. collegiate
language departments include? How do foreign language teachers develop conceptual
knowledge related to teaching language, literature, and culture? My work, grounded in a
sociocultural theory perspective, examines the developmental experiences of graduate
student instructors and the use of the overarching concept of literacy in structuring
professional development. I am collaborating on a related project called PERCOLATE with
Beatrice Dupuy of the University of Arizona's Center for Educational Resources in
Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL), a Title VI Language Resource Center (see link to
project site on right).
II. LITERACY-BASED LANGUAGE INSTRUCTION
How do we answer calls for change such as the 2007 MLA Report and merge language and
content in the undergraduate foreign language curriculum? My work explores the use of a
literacy-based framework (Kern, 2000; New London Group, 1996) in designing courses and
III. LANGUAGE-LEARNING MOTIVATION
Why do some learners go from the language classroom to study abroad and thrive in target
language communities overseas whereas others fail to take advantage of opportunities for
meaningful language use abroad? My work examines the motives and goals of language
learners and the evolution of motivation during and after study abroad. I am also
interested in how the undergraduate foreign language curriculum and the types of
language-learning activities included in it shape learner agency.
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