The Center for Urban Language Teaching and Research (CULTR) conducts and disseminates research on foreign language learning, teaching, and assessment of LCTLs that can be translated into improvements in practice. Located at Georgia State University, faculty members in both AL and MCL are actively involved in projects on the analysis, use, assessment, and teaching of LCTLs amongst other areas for foreign language education
With funding from the Department of Education, CULTR has provided seed funding for additional projects on a competitive basis. Accordingly, proposals from faculty at Georgia State University for research projects were assessed by fit to the scope and mission of CULTR. Specifically, each proposal was reviewed by the project coordinators for (a) relevance to the LRC, (b) the quality of the proposal and (c) the feasibility of conducting the study with the proposed budget and other resources. All in all, four projects were chosen to best exemplify the criteria. These projects are identified below:
Project A1. The Role of Task Complexity in Promoting Foreign Language Learning (Kim)
This study will explore Robinson’s Cognition Hypothesis which predicts that increasing the complexity of instructional tasks will promote more interaction opportunities for language learners during task-based interaction, and therefore, facilitate their language knowledge and use (Robinson, 2001, 2007).To date, the majority of studies targeted English language learners, and a little attention has been given to the acquisition of LCTLs such as Korean. The study will test the Cognition Hypothesis in light of the relationship between task complexity and their linguistic performance (complexity, accuracy, fluency) during task performance.
Project A2. Geolocative Linguistic Landscape Project (Lee)
This place-based language learning project offers opportunities to university students to explore how Korean is used outside of language class. In groups, students will visit a site or site(s) where Korean is used for different purposes and investigates the use of language within that context. The students collect data (picture, video, sound files, etc.) and then make a short video describing their results. Finished products will be shared on the center website, along with instructions for how to replicate this project in other cities or with other languages.
Project A3. Chinese Pragmatics Listening Test (Li)
Dr. Li has been developing and will validate a Chinese pragmatic listening comprehension test (CPLT). During the test development phrase, a spoken corpus of natural conversations (in Chinese) was used to identify segments containing implicatures. These conversation segments were used to develop test items. A series of pilot studies was carried out to finalize the CPLT. During the test validation phrase, the CPLT will be administered to 165 learners of Chinese recruited from elementary, intermediate, and advanced classes in a university in China. Test validation will follow Messick’s (1989) framework and conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses according to the following six aspects: analyses of reliability, judgmental/logical analyses, correlational analyses, analyses of group difference, analyses of test-taking processes/strategies, and analyses of test practicality
Project A4. Content Validity of Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Mazzotta)
This study aims to investigate the content validity of the gap-filling (or rational deletion cloze) test included in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), a high stake standardized test offered by the Ministry of Education. One validity question is whether cloze tests measure only local linguistic knowledge or global comprehension ability. The study attempts to clarify this issue by qualitatively examining test-takers’ retrospective verbal reports.