Multilingual Learning, Teaching, and Measurement

Multilingual Learning, Teaching, and Measurementresearchers employ cognitive, neurocognitive, educational, social, psychological, and linguistic approaches to investigate multilingualism across the life span in individuals and classrooms. Research examines three key areas: (a) multilingual development, including the nature of representations, kinds of knowledge, and processing mechanisms involved as well as the host of cognitive, linguistic, and contextual factors that moderate successful multiple language learning across the life span; (b) theories and practices of language instruction that can optimally support the attainment of advanced levels of multilingual proficiency and literacy, put at the service of a variety of linguistic minority and majority populations in need of multilingual competencies, including heritage, second, and foreign language learners; and (c) measurement, assessment, and evaluation practices needed to ensure rigorous research into multilingualism, fair and accurate assessments of language learners and users, and useful evaluation of language programs that offer effective curriculum and instruction. Some of the theories employed in this strand include systemic-functional linguistics (Byrnes, Ryshina-Pankova), usage-based and cognitive linguistics (Ortega, Tyler), statistical learning paradigms (Newport, Ullman), general cognitive-interactionist approaches (Leow, Mackey, Mori, Ortega, Potter, Ryding, Sachs, Sanz, Spielmann, Supalla, Ullman), experiential, learner-centered, self-reflective, and outcomes-driven education (Byrnes, Mackey, Mori, Ortega, Potter, Ryding, Ryshina-Pankova, Sachs, Spielmann), and evidence-based measurement and utilization-based evaluation (Malone). A unique strength of this work at GU is expertise in multilingualism across not only spoken languages but also signed languages (Supalla) and dialects (Nycz).