Research Groups

Research Groups

The Applied Linguistics area will coordinate four research groups in Fall 2020 (all meetings held virtually):

  • Pronunciation (Meets rotating Fridays, 1-2pm)
  • Language Assessment (Meets rotating Fridays, 1-2pm)
  • Corpus Linguistics (Meets rotating Fridays, 1-2pm)
  • Historical Linguistics (New this semester! Meets every Wednesday, 9-10am)
  • Project-Based Learning (New this semester! Meets rotating Wednesdays, 5-6:30pm)
  • Computational Linguistics (New this semester! Meets every Wednesday at 8pm)

The flyer below provides additional information, as well as the schedule for each of the groups. These research groups are intended as collaborative spaces for discussions of issues related to these fields, skill development, and the collegial exchange of ideas.

All department members are invited to attend, and you can attend one or all, or any number in between. Contact information is provided on the flyer. Please contact the individual listed to learn more about each group’s plan for the semester, or to be added to the contact list for each group. More information about our research groups is also available below.

Corpus Linguistics Research Group

The Corpus Linguistics Research Group meets regularly to discuss foundational issues in corpus linguistics methodologies, explore current trends and research issues in corpus-based language studies, and pursue shared research goals and interests as determined by the group. The goal of this research group is to bring together members of the ISU community with a shared interest in corpus linguistics methods regardless of experience level, bringing together faculty and students to mutually benefit from scholarly exploration and skill development. The group considers (a) foundational issues such as corpus design and compilation along with implications for ISU corpus projects; (b) technological issues such as program/tool development and evaluation; and (c) corpus-based skill development through hands-on demonstrations and workshops. The group also provides workshopping opportunities for members to collaborate and provide feedback on projects, conference proposals, and presentations.

Language Assessment Research Group

The Language Assessment Group was formed to help language assessment students find jobs, obtain funding for their research, and find summer internships as well as to help support their individual research projects and move forward university-level language assessment projects. Currently, the group is developing an oral component for the English Placement Test, which is used to place students into appropriate language courses when they first arrive at the university. The group also provides feedback on individuals’ work by providing a safe environment to practice and receive feedback on presentations or possible publications.

Language Processing, Acquisition and Change (PACE) Lab

The Language Processing, Acquisition and Change (PACE) Lab researches cognitive processes that underlie the acquisition and use of first and second language, as well as historical changes in language development. Current projects include the development of a corpus-based grammar of Gothic, research into the role of high-variability input in the acquisition of second-language phonological contrasts and its implications for computer-assisted learning of pronunciation (in collaboration with the ISU-PRL Group), and development and application of novel research methods for investigating cognitive processes that underlie written text production. Visit this website for more information about the PACE Lab.

Pronunciation Research and Learning (ISU-PRL) Group

The Pronunciation Research and Learning (ISU-PRL) Group meets regularly to discuss current and potential research projects. Recent collaborative research studies between faculty and students have resulted in a TESOL Quarterly article on native and nonnative teachers of pronunciation, book chapters on connected speech processes, historical views of pronunciation and communicative approaches to teaching, student beliefs toward nonnative teacher of pronunciation, the role of segmentals in judgments of intelligibility, and online approaches to improving comprehensibility. Visit this page for more information about this research group.

STEM Writing Research Group

The STEM Writing Research Group was formed in response to the increasing demand for strong writing skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Working closely with the Center for Communication Excellence in the Graduate College, the project investigates academic and professional writing in academic disciplines. The goal is to discover and describe linguistic practices in STEM disciplines, to improve pedagogy of writing in disciplines, and to develop and apply computational methods for analysis and assessment of discipline-specific writing. Started at Iowa State University in 2013 with a Presidential Initiative for Interdisciplinary Research grant, the project goals are carried out through research, practice, and special events.

Project-Based Learning (PBL) Research Group

The Project-Based Learning (PBL) Research Group provides an academic and social networking space to bring together ISU researchers, faculty, and students with a shared interest in project-based language learning. The group members meet regularly to work together on various project-based learning/teaching research, each focusing on different aspects in this area to produce presentable and publishable work. The group also offers an opportunity for mentoring and exchanging feedback on individual members’ work in the field.

Computational Linguistics Research Group

The Computational Linguistics research group gathers students who are interested in studying language from a computational perspective. The group focuses on developing collaborative programming skills, reading and discussing Computational Linguistics literature, and exploring individual research questions and interests of group members. The group also creates software tools for other research groups (and individuals) to aid in research, annotation, and data analysis. All levels of programming skill and linguistic knowledge are welcome. Contact Noëmie Sollier and Kate Challis with questions.