Event on 12/7/2023! “The Speaking Proficiency Outcomes of Face-to-Face and Online Intensive Language Instruction”

Come join us on Dec. 17, 2023 at 1:00 PM for a presentation by Dianna Murphy and Lidia Gault.

This presentation shares findings from a mixed-methods research study to document the speaking proficiency gains made by students enrolled in face-to-face (F2F) and online intensive summer programs in one of fourteen less commonly taught languages. The online programs were offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, when F2F instruction was impossible or impractical. Data for the study include (1) pre- and post-program ratings obtained with  ACTFL OPIs (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Oral Proficiency Interview) conducted over five years, and (2) interviews with over 90 students conducted over two summer terms. The study compares the speaking proficiency outcomes of the F2F and online programs, and provides insights into the students’ subjective experiences in the F2F and online intensive learning contexts.  

Dianna Murphy, PhD, is director of the Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a center for collaborative initiatives in research, education, advising, and outreach related to the study of human languages. She also co-directs the UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program and serves as a core member of the Doctoral Program in Second Language Acquisition. She is principal investigator of the study, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education International Research and Studies Program and ACTFL on the Speaking Proficiency Outcomes of Face-to-Face and Online U.S. Intensive Postsecondary Summer Programs in Less and Least Commonly Taught Foreign Languages. Her other current research includes a survey-based study on the reasons U.S. undergraduate students are (not) studying languages other than English in a collegiate setting, and a project to document languages (not) represented in U.S. doctoral programs in languages and literatures other than English. 

Lidia Gault is a PhD student in second language acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, where she received her Master’s in Education. A certified ACTFL OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) tester for Russian, Gault has extensive experience teaching Russian at the university level and for the government. Her main research interests include foreign language comprehension, bilingualism, and heritage language acquisition. 

More information about the study can be accessed at languageinstitute.wisc.edu/speaking-proficiency.

Date: Thursday December 7, 2023

Time: 1:00-2:00

To attend, register here to get the Zoom link.

ILETC receives U.S. Department of Education grant for their Language Placement for Equitable Learning (LaPEL) project!

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! 

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Event on 10/5/2023! “Fitting the Program to the Learners:  Adapting Translation Competence Models to Heritage Speakers”

Come join us on Oct. 5, 2023, at 3:00 PM, for a presentation by Cristina Lozano Argüelles and Aída Martínez-Gómez.

This presentation is part of the Center for Integrated Language Communities (CILC) Heritage Interpreting research project, which aims to develop an interpreting curriculum that capitalizes on the strengths of heritage learners.  

The field of translation and interpreting is experiencing significant growth, with a projected 20% increase in job opportunities between 2021 and 2031. While college language departments are responding to this trend by introducing translation and interpreting programs, these programs typically overlook both the distinct needs of heritage speakers—who make up a sizable portion of these majors—and their valuable previous experience as informal translators and interpreters for their families and communities. This presentation addresses these students’ current language use; their language acquisition trajectories; their language proficiency in English and Spanish (both self-assessed and ACTFL-rated); their interpreting competence; and their experience as child language brokers. This presentation will also describe how knowledge of these particular linguistic characteristics can support the development of a curriculum better tailored to these future interpreters.    Read more

Event on 8/10/2023! Introducing We Authors, an L2 Writing Website

Landscape view of a wall with welcome signs in different languages at the Anne Frank Museum with a bicycle leaning on the wall.
A wall at the Anne Frank Museum on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Photo credit: Adam Szuly Photography / Alamy Stock Photo.

We invite you to learn about We Authors | Second-Language Writing (slweauthors.commons.gc.cuny.edu), a website for students enrolled in second language courses across CUNY.  

A daughter site of We Authors | Heritage Writing (https://weauthors.commons.gc.cuny.edu/), We AuthorsSecond-Language Writing was created in response to requests from CUNY faculty. Both sites provide students with a public-facing component to their assignments (under instructor supervision), which allows them to write with a purpose, something known to be instrumental in increasing learner engagement and advancing writing proficiency. 

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ACTFL Workshop on 12/6/2022! “Developing Interpretive Reading and Listening Proficiency”

ILETC invites you to participate in a day-long, virtual ACTFL workshop (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) on text typology, led by Professor Cynthia Martin. 

This workshop will explain how to use the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to develop learners’ general proficiency in interpretive modes (Listening and Reading) in the target language. Participants will review the Guidelines, which will be followed by an introduction to text typology for these interpretive modes. The majority of the workshop will be spent engaging in hands-on activities to guide participants in how to 1) evaluate the effectiveness of their existing teaching materials in terms of overall goals and target audience, and 2) select authentic reading and aural texts and use them to design appropriate proficiency-based activities at various levels. At the end of the workshop, participants will also have the opportunity to discuss implications for assessment of these interpretive modes. 

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Workshop on 11/11/2022! “Process Writing in the Heritage Language Class: An approach to biliteracy development”

Come join us on Friday, November 11, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM, for an interactive presentation online.   

What are the differences between traditional writing assignments (prompts-draft-feedback-final copy) and assignments created following a genre-based approach? What do students and instructors gain by using a genre-based approach? More specifically, what are the distinct benefits for heritage language learners, who typically express an understanding that writing is their weaker skill in the heritage language?  

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Interactive Presentation in October, 2022! “Bilingual Writing Proficiency of CUNY Students”

When working with multilingual students in your heritage language, English comp, or ESL classes, have you ever wondered about these learners’ ability to do things in “the other” language? For instance, should we assume that bilingual CUNY students who received most of their education in the U.S. write better in English than in their heritage language? What about how large the gap is between writing abilities in the two languages? Can our students accurately evaluate whether they are better at one of the two languages? And, is there anything in their biographical profile that seems to help predict language dominance in writing? 

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ILETC receives funding to bring our National Language Resource Center, CILC, back to CUNY!

We are pleased to announce that ILETC has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to reopen the Center for Integrated Language Communities (CILC), one of only sixteen National Language Resource Centers. This puts CILC and the Graduate Center in a prestigious national network of innovative Language Resource Centers, housed at universities across the country, including Duke, Georgetown, Penn State, and UCLA.

Originally founded in 2014, CILC’s mission is to help students in the United States develop the translingual and transcultural competence they need to navigate between the communities they come from and the ones they aim to engage with in their post-college lives. Read more