2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Graduate Research Support Grant Recipients


University of Minnesota

Saem Heo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include multimodal literacy pedagogies for students with diverse backgrounds, especially those having refugee backgrounds, in elementary language immersion contexts. With several years of domestic and international teaching experiences, she has taught undergraduate courses in the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program at the University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on the ways in which immersion teachers enact multimodal literacy pedagogies to promote refugee-background students’ immersion language learning in elementary Korean language immersion classrooms.

Marina Tsylina

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I am a PhD Candidate in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests focus on how research informs teaching and curriculum planning. For my dissertation, I am investigating FL Russian learners’ perceptions of their Russian writing skills in instructed learning through the lens of their identities, juxtaposing the viewpoints that learners have of three groups of people: the learners themselves, their teachers, and Russian native speakers. I am honored to receive the 2021 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Award, and I am excited about the opportunity to share the results of my research with the community of like-minded people at the NCOLCTL Annual Conference.

Elizabeth Huntley

Michigan State University

I am deeply honored to receive the 2021 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Grant in support of my doctoral research. Both NFMLTA and NCOLCTL have worked tirelessly to create spaces where questions relevant to the language classroom and to less commonly taught (but no less important) languages can be discussed. My dissertation focuses on how Arabic language learners can acquire both Modern Standard Arabic and spoken Arabic dialects. By funding my research, NFMLTA and NCOLCTL are helping us to better understand the role that sociolinguistic variation – a feature of nearly all of the world’s natural languages – plays in the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar.

Junyuan Chen

University of Arizona

Junyuan Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in Japanese sociolinguistics in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona. She also claimed a minor in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching. Her research interests include teaching Japanese as a foreign/second language, teacher-teacher/teacher-student interaction and positioning analysis, with a special focus on Japanese language teacher identities and teacher education. Currently, she is working on a research project exploring Japanese language teachers’ teaching beliefs and perceptions during the pandemic.

Giseung Lee

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

I am so grateful and feel honored to be one of the recipients of the 2021 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL research grant. Through receiving this research grant, I will explore more practical pedagogical approaches of Interlanguage Pragmatics (ILP) in the Korean as a foreign language (KFL) context. Since enrollment in Korean language has been skyrocketing the past couple of decades, it is apparent that more ILP studies, especially in the KFL context, are imminent. This grant will help me tremendously in my investigations of students’ perceptions of learning ILP in comparison with instructors’ views, in order to cultivate current ILP instruction in any postsecondary institutions that have Korean courses.

Lee Her

Michigan State University

With the support of this grant, I will explore how dual language immersion (DLI) programs shape family language policy for Hmong American families in California. Specifically, the qualitative case study will investigate parental beliefs about the dynamic relationship between the school and the home and how those beliefs translate into practice for effective Hmong teaching and learning by analyzing natural family language use. I am honored to receive a 2022 NFMLTA- NCOLCTL research grant and am excited to share my process and results with the community.

Hoa Le

University of Hawaii – Manoa

It is a great honor to receive this year’s NFMLTA/NCOLCTL Graduate Research Award. Through action research, my dissertation studies the development of a task-based language teaching curriculum for online Vietnamese classes that have a mix of both heritage and second language learners. The co-presence of these students in classes poses substantial challenges for many LCTL programs, underscoring the need for more classroom-based research on the development of comprehensive pedagogical practices for these mixed classes. This grant is a wonderful aid that makes it possible for the multiple methods of research needed to improve the quality of my study. I’m excited to share the work with the LCTL community.

Teh-yi Dori Huang

University of Utah – Salt Lake City

I am truly honored and grateful to receive the 2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL graduate award in support of my dissertation project. My research interest lies in the proficiency attainment and discourse competence development of Chinese language learners, and my dissertation focuses specifically on the Chinese Dual Language Immersion (DLI) learners. As DLI programs have proliferated across the U.S., research that measures DLI students’ competences is critically needed to determine to what extent they are moving toward bilingualism and biliteracy. My project seeks to bridge theoretical and empirical gaps. This grant will help me tremendously for data collection and analysis that will contribute to offer informative instructional and policy decisions for the field.

Jing Crystal Zhong

University of Hawaii – Manoa

I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. I am interested in the role previous linguistic knowledge plays in the course of second and third language (L3) development. My dissertation project focuses on comparing the L3 acquisition of Mandarin by (i) Cantonese-English bilinguals and (ii) Korean‑English bilinguals, with the goal to understand the influence of Cantonese/Korean and/or English on the acquisition of Mandarin. I am honored to receive the 2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Award, and I am excited about the opportunity to share my research at the NCOLCTL Annual Conference.

Gina Scarpete Walters

Arizona State University – Tempe

I am deeply grateful to receive the 2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Award. I am a Ph.D. student in the Comparative Culture and Language program at Arizona State University. The goal of my doctoral research is twofold. First, it seeks to identify universal human concepts in culture-specific configurations of the term “heart” in several distinct cultures and languages – Romanian, Modern Greek, Albanian, Piipaash, and O’odham – while highlighting the embodied nature of conceptual metaphors. Second, my research explores cognitive processes that L2 learners utilize to infer the meaning of metaphors. This research award will support initial execution of the first phase of data collection for the aforementioned languages.

Peizhu Liu

University of Pennsylvania

I am a PhD candidate in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. I am honored to become one of the recipients of the 2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL research grant. My research seeks to critically analyze a Chinese two-way dual language program from different perspectives, paying attention to teaching and learning, the experiences of major participants, and how social factors at micro- and macro- levels influence the realization of the program. This grant will help me with the initial data collection, and I would be more than happy to share my research with the NFMLTA-NCOLCTL community.

Mariana Centanin Bertho

University of Arizona

I am truly honored to receive the NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Award to support data collection for my dissertation on the acquisition of L3 Portuguese. I am a PhD candidate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona and an instructor of Portuguese. As a Hispanic-serving institution, the majority of our student population speaks Spanish. This population of English-Spanish bilinguals have different linguistic profiles which require different pedagogical approaches for them to benefit from their linguistic background when learning Portuguese. My dissertation aims at describing their oral production of L3 Portuguese in order to better support their process of phonological acquisition.

Olesia Pavlenko

Kent State University

Hello everyone. My name is Olesia Pavlenko, and I am a student and graduate assistant in the M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language Program at Kent State University. My research focuses on task-based language teaching and peer-interaction of learners of Russian as a Second Language. This is an understudied area in the field of Second Language Acquisition, my main area of research. It is a great honor for me to receive the 2022 NFMLTA-NCOLCTL Research Award. I hope that my research will ignite further interest in the area of Russian SLA. Thank you for your support.