Three projects were awarded funding in the CERCLL Faculty Research Fellows competition for work to take place during the summer. Congratulations to: Julieta Fernandez and Janice McGregor, Hongyi Jia, and Blaine Smith!

Abstracts follow; webinars, white papers and teacher guides resulting from the research will be online in 2020.

Discourses of Access to Study Abroad

Julieta Fernandez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Janice McGregor, Department of German Studies

Although many factors contribute to why students fail to go on study abroad (SA) programs (of particular importance are recent findings highlighting the underrepresentation of minoritized populations; e.g., Booker, 2001; Stroud, 2010), to date very few studies have examined these factors by interviewing students whose initiated but ultimately unsuccessful applications remain a mystery for researchers and program administrators alike. This project focuses on the experiences of undergraduate students who started applications for 2018-2019 Study Abroad programs with a language learning emphasis in Spain and Germany but will not be part of these programs in summer 2019. We will conduct semi-structured interviews with these students and the program administrators, and use discourse analytic methodology to analyze the descriptions of affordances and constraints throughout the application experience. Implications are relevant for global offices and faculty who design and lead SA programs vis-a-vis scholarship application processes and potential structural programmatic inequities.

PUBLICATION RESULTING FROM THIS PROJECT: FERNÁNDEZ, J., McGREGOR, J. and YULDASHEV, A. (2021), Discursive Enactment of Agency in Study-Abroad Interviews. The Modern Language Journal, 105: 877-896.


Curricular Development of K-12 Chinese Immersion Program in Arizona

Hongyi Jia, Department of East Asian Studies

This project aims to develop an effective Chinese language immersion curriculum for the Beyond Textbooks open educational framework currently in use by more than 100 K-12 schools throughout the US. This curriculum will include detailed class materials and provide expert guidance to educators who would otherwise use impromptu lesson plans and practices. Using the new resources, teachers will be able to improve students’ Chinese language reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in a more balanced manner than would otherwise be possible. Moreover, the adverse effects that immersive language study can sometimes have on early educational development in adjacent subjects (e.g. math and science) will be mitigated by this new curriculum. These improvements to Chinese language immersion pedagogy draw on recent scholarship that documents improvements in Chinese language learning—especially character recognition—using techniques that integrate literacy, cultural awareness, and school subject overlap to enhance second language acquisition.


Collaborative Multimodal Composing in Multilingual Classrooms

Blaine Smith, Department of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies

While research on multimodal composition primarily focuses on the benefits for fostering engagement, identity expression, and agency (Hull, Stornaiuolo, & Sahni, 2010; Vasudevan, 2009), less research has closely explored students’ collaborative processes. This project builds upon current research by examining how 15 small groups (n=42) of 10th grade bilingual students co-created hypertexts, podcasts, and videos in their English Language Arts class. In particular, sociocultural and social semiotics theoretical frameworks will be integrated to understand how students collaboratively designed and discussed ideas while composing. Data sources will include screen capture, video observations, design interviews, written reflections, and multimodal products. Data analysis will involve multimodal analysis of screen capture and video data to closely examine composing processes, and qualitative analysis of interviews and reflections to understand students’ perspectives on collaboration. This study will contribute new insights for researchers and educators on understanding the role of collaboration for bilingual students’ multimodal meaning-making.


For further details about this program and links to previous projects that it funded, click here.