Language Teaching and Learning Research Grants

COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 Response: Learn how the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies is working under the current operational posture at ucis.pitt.edu/creees/covid.

Language Teaching and Learning Research (LTLR) Grants for Summer 2021
REEES at the University of Pittsburgh will award up to two Language Teaching and Learning Research (LTLR) Grants for scholars to conduct research projects on-site or remotely at the Summer Language Institute in June – July 2021. Funded projects must focus on the teaching and learning of one or more of the following priority languages: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Other languages that are taught at the SLI may be included in a project proposal in addition to these priority languages; see sli.pitt.edu for the complete list of language courses offered. 

Applicants may propose to be in residence in Pittsburgh for all or a portion of the two-month duration of the SLI, according to the needs of their projects. However, please note that applicants should be prepared to conduct their projects entirely remotely in the event that pandemic conditions prevent the 2021 SLI from offering in-person instruction, and/or if University of Pittsburgh restrictions on non-essential travel prohibit the use of grant funds to cover travel expenses in Summer 2021.

Guidelines: Applicants should propose projects that will take advantage of the unique environment and resources available at an intensive summer language institute, while not placing excessive demands on the time of SLI instructors or students. Projects involving the development of online language instructional materials are of particular interest, but other types of projects that make significant contributions to language teaching and learning will also be considered. Successful applicants will be responsible for obtaining IRB approval or exemption for research projects involving human subjects and for obtaining the informed consent of research subjects, if applicable, before starting to work on their projects.

LTLR grant recipients will be expected to submit a report of their research results to REEES by October 2021; to acknowledge REEES and the SLI as sponsors in any publications based on their funded projects; and to make their research products (including raw data, if possible) available for dissemination to other language instructors and scholars on a University of Pittsburgh website.

Eligibility: Applicants must hold a master’s or doctoral degree in an academic field related to foreign language education or be enrolled in a relevant graduate degree program. As REEES and the SLI are unable to provide mentors to supervise research projects, applicants must demonstrate the ability to conduct self-directed research by presenting evidence of academic publications or other documentation of their capacity for independent work.

How to Apply: Applications will be processed via the Submittable online system at ucis.submittable.com/submit/48081. Upon first accessing the application form, applicants will be directed to a welcome screen at Submittable.com and invited to create a new user account. All other required documentation may then be uploaded through this account. A complete application must include:

  1. Application form.
     
  2. Curriculum vitae, including a list of any previous publications on language teaching and learning and any foreign language teaching experience.
     
  3. Research proposal of up to two pages, clearly outlining the rationale and expected outcomes of the project and how the applicant will utilize the unique resources at the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to the wide range of intensive less-commonly-taught language courses at the SLI, resources available at Pitt include the Robert Henderson Language Media Center (polyglot.pitt.edu) and the University Center for Teaching and Learning (teaching.pitt.edu).  
     
  4. Itemized budget of anticipated expenses to carry out the project. Applicants may request a total of up to $4,000 for housing, food, and other living expenses; round-trip travel to Pittsburgh, if applicable; and research-related costs such as materials or software purchases, statistical or technology consulting services, etc. (please note that hardware purchases are not eligible for LTLR funding). All expenses should be justified in a brief budget narrative. Applicants are encouraged to seek supplemental funding from their home institutions. REEES will require budget requests that include travel expenses to be revised if pandemic conditions prevent in-person SLI instruction and/or grant funding of travel costs in Summer 2021.
     
  5. Letter of recommendation from a faculty member in a field related to foreign language education, addressing the intellectual merit and significance of the proposed project and the applicant’s qualifications to carry it out. For graduate students and applicants without a publication record, this letter should also address the applicant’s scholarly potential and ability to conduct independent research.

Priority consideration will be given to applications submitted by February 10, 2021.  Only complete applications will be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all documentation is submitted by the deadline. A selection committee at the University of Pittsburgh will review all eligible applications. Award notifications will be made by March 19, 2021. 

For questions about the LTLR program, please contact REEES Assistant Director Gina Peirce at gina.peirce@pitt.edu.

Past Grantees’ Research Reports

  • Victoria Hasko (University of Georgia) conducted a psycholinguistic eye-tracking study to investigate cognitive and verbal aspects of bilingual processing of temporal, spatial, and motion relations by learners of Russian.
     
  • Olena Sivachenko (University of Alberta) examined the motivational profiles of students enrolled in domestic and overseas intensive Slavic language courses, while also interviewing language instructors to compare their perspectives with those of the student learners. Download research report.
     
  • Rachel Stauffer (Independent Scholar) conducted a study of teaching methodology for the presentation and acquisition of Russian second-person pronouns, ty and vy, at the novice level. Download research report.
     
  • Sergii Gorbachov (University of Alberta) conducted a needs assessment for mobile/web applications and game-based language learning with students and instructors of East European languages. Download research report.
     
  • Hope Wilson (Ohio State University) conducted a study on the effects of online ethnographic projects on the sociolinguistic learning and intercultural competence of students in an intensive summer Russian language program.  Download research report.
     
  • Frane Karabatic (University of Kansas) developed four online modules on topics of everyday culture in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian speaking areas and collected data on Elementary BCS students’ performance on communicative tasks after using the modules. Download research report.
     
  • Olga Savchenko (University of Kansas) conducted a study on the effects of teaching gestures on beginning-level learners’ pragmatic comprehension of Russian. Download research report.