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Scientific Research on Bilingualism
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Description

This interdisciplinary research-based community of practice conducts empirical research on bilingualism and second language acquisition. We have a broad range of content expertise and use a wide variety of data collection methods and analytic techniques. Our research and training programs have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Homeland Security. We believe that the global and local importance of bilingual communication make it imperative to achieve a better scientific understanding of bilingualism. UTEP, being located in a bilingual, bicultural, and bi-national region, is the ideal location to conduct basic and applied scientific research on bilingualism. Current activities include developing plans and research proposals for collaborative interdisciplinary research; training in content and methodology for undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty; and mentoring of junior faculty. Our mission is multifaceted and includes (1) conducting and promoting high-quality scientific research on bilingualism and language acquisition; (2) fostering interdisciplinary collaboration; (3) fostering a better understanding of the factors that impact bilingual language proficiency across the lifespan; (4) fostering better understanding of the cognitive, social, educational, and health implications of bilingualism, biculturalism, and linguistic minority status; (5) providing a broad range of training opportunities for UTEP students and faculty, as well as researchers from other institutions; (6) providing consultation for researchers, educators, or health service providers who work with bilingual populations by design or necessity; (7) leveraging the bilingual skills of UTEP students; (8) fostering a better understanding of the global relevance of bilingualism and biculturalism in the scientific community; and (9) disseminating research results to the scientific community, as well as educators, health service providers, and lay people.

Aspirations

We aspire to create a world-class consortium for scientific research on bilingualism and become a national hub for bilingual research and training. In order to advance in this direction, we plan to conduct research that is methodologically rigorous, interdisciplinary, and international; obtain federal research funding for faculty- and student-initiated research projects; and publish in top journals in psychology, linguistics, communication disorders, education, and related fields. Doing so will allow us to attract top graduate student applicants; train undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty from UTEP and elsewhere in a broad range of content areas and methodologies; and provide experiences for researchers to work with diverse populations. With increased visibility, we hope to be considered as a national resource for consulting on bilingual content, methodology, and population-specific research strategies and to attract high-profile scholars for colloquia, workshops, and collaborative research projects. Activities that we hope to incorporate in the future include sponsoring colloquia and workshops, training postdoctoral scholars, hosting a visiting scholars program, and conference organization. We also hope to impact bilingual and linguistic minority communities through education and outreach activities.

KEYWORDS

  1. Bilingualism
  2. Cognition
  3. Communication Disorders
  4. Health Disparities
  5. International
  6. Language Acquisition
  7. Learning
  8. Lifespan Development
  9. Memory

UTEP STRATEGIC AREAS

  1. Health and Biomedical Sciences and Engineering
  2. Education for the 21st Century Demographic
  3. Cross-cutting: U.S.-Mexico and Latin America: Social and Behavioral Issues

COMMUNITY MEMBERS

Assistant Professor
Liberal Arts - Languages and Linguistics
bilingualism, laboratory phonology, language variation and change, phonetics, sociolinguistics

Associate Professor
Liberal Arts - Psychology
bilingualism, Cognition, language processing, lexical processing

Associate Professor
Health Sciences - Speech-Language Pathology
language impairment, language performance in bilingual children, mediated learning strategies, speech language pathology

MEMBERS FROM PARTNER INSTITUTIONS

Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard and MIT

Related Efforts

MA Program in Speech and Language Pathology
UTEP Related Effort

The Program in Speech-Language Pathology offers a five-year plan culminating with the Master of Science Degree.

Certificate in Bilingual Speech & Language Pathology
UTEP Related Effort

To provide additional educational and practicum experience for speech-language pathologists in the area of diagnosis and treatment of Spanish only and Spanish/English individuals who are suffering speech-language-voice-swallowing disorders.

Speech, Hearing, and Language Clinic
UTEP Related Effort

The UTEP Speech, Hearing and Language Clinic provides quality diagnostic and therapy services for UTEP students, faculty, staff and their families as well as for community members who may have communicative disorders.

Bilingual Proficiency and Memory: An Associative Strength Approach
External Resource
Education
Wendy Francis

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Amount: $453,000
Funding period: 2014-2017

DIALOG SOURCES

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This community engages in dialog as follows:

None specified to date.