Research Spotlight: Becoming multilingual via the Net

Student at computerAs an undergraduate German major at the University of Kentucky and a prize-winning writer in English, Paige Daniel Ware was surprised when the written intricacies of a foreign tongue did not come as easily as verbal fluency. Her second language flowed more naturally in conversation than it spilled onto the page, an experience that influences her research involving young English learners who often have “to perform [in school] in a language in which they are not yet proficient.”

Now an assistant professor in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Ware received a 2006 Ford Fellowship for her research on the integration of instructional technologies, particularly Web-based tools and applications, into second language learning and teaching. In support of further research in this area, she recently received a prestigious National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship for a two-year project involving adolescent English language learners in the United States and their peers in Spain who are learning English as a foreign language.

Ware expects the results to have practical applications for teachers. “The findings should provide evidence that the type of engagement and language use generated around multimedia literacy also can lead to the growth of students’ more traditional writing skills.”

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