We’re delighted to announce that the Institute for Language Education in Transcultural Context, (ILETC) at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at CUNY John Jay College of the City University of New York have secured a U.S. Department of Education IFLE (International and Foreign Language Education) grant for their Language Placement for Equitable Learning (LaPEL) project!
The three-year LaPEL project is a pioneering initiative to improve and strengthen instruction in modern heritage languages by investigating sustainable, proficiency-based placement methods for college-level heritage language learners, a historically underserved population. This project will investigate (1) the use of vocabulary knowledge as a proxy for proficiency level, and (2) the use of AI to assign a proficiency rating to a writing sample. Both investigations aim to lower the high cost of proficiency assessments, to help programs with limited financial resources place learners accurately, and, in this way, improve the rate of language development in the classroom. For this project, ILETC’s Director and Assistant Director, Dr. Alberta Gatti and Dr. Syelle Graves, are joined by Dr. Cristina Lozano Argüelles.