Spring 2021 Grant Winners!

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s graduate student research grants! The entries were quite competitive and truly showcased the breadth of wonderful research happening in our department. Congratulations to all of our grant winners!

This is a collaborative grant with multiple students working on it.  From left to right — Agata Guskaroska, Erik Goodale, Sebnum Kurt, Emily Dux Speltz, and April Tan.

  • Final Title of Project: Say that again? An exploratory study of face coverings and speech perception for native and nonnative speakers of English
  • Brief Description: Inspired by “the new normal” and the potential communication issues due to face coverings, this study aims to investigate the effect of face coverings on speech intelligibility by collecting a large data set of spoken language from native speakers and nonnative speakers of English, both with and without face coverings. Upon completion of this project, we hope to better understand and improve the communication that goes on between masked speakers on a day-to-day basis.

Congratulations to Tim Kochem.

  • Final Title of Project: Second language teacher cognition development in an online L2 pronunciation pedagogy course: A quasi-experimental study
  • Brief Description: Pronunciation is arguably the most challenging skill to teach to language learners, yet we continue to see a lack of attention paid to this skill in language teacher preparation programs. One potential solution is the use of the online medium, where hundreds of language professionals worldwide can come together to learn about the phonetic and phonological processes of spoken language, how to analyze learner errors, and how to create and deliver effective instruction. However, since we know very little about how to deliver such a course online, the goal of this project is to create and pilot four sections of an eight-week online pronunciation pedagogy course using different instructional modalities to determine how to provide the most effective and efficient professional development opportunity.

Congratulations to Kimberly Becker.

  • Final Title of Project: Extending our understanding of unpublished academic writing: An analysis of graduate student writing in applied sciences 
  • Brief Description: When graduate students begin their study, they are essentially committing to learning a new language: Academic Writing. As no one speaks or writes this language “natively” and support may be limited, graduate students often struggle to produce discipline-specific writing successfully. The purpose of this study is to collect and analyze examples of graduate student writing in applied-science disciplines. The findings have the potential to provide a better understanding of the full range of text varieties expected of graduate students, which can contribute to enhancing support for graduate student writers.