Modern Language Students and Faculty Present Research Findings at Texas Linguistic Conference

By Jim Garringer Published: Dec 07, 2017

A team of Taylor University modern language students and faculty presented research findings during the recent 2017 Texas Linguistic Conference. The team of students from the Modern Languages Department was led by Dr. A. Chin Chang and presented data related to the study of teaching second languages to adult learners.

Chang and his students presented a paper titled Vocabulary Learning vs. Vocabulary Acquisition to the Texas Linguistic Society. The paper was a summary of a faculty-directed research project. Chang and his students spent two semesters studying how age affects learning a second language. While traditional theories of linguistics support both children and adults learning new vocabulary through illustrations and multimedia, the Taylor team proposed that images may not be as effective in teaching adults a secondary language, although it is an increasingly popular technique.

“This experience has made me appreciate how much Taylor professors invest in the lives of their students, encouraging them to develop their gifts and seeking opportunities that will enrich their learning,” said Greta Kiers, a senior Spanish major. “We were able to dig a little deeper into the field of linguistics and discover that there is so much more to learn about language than we realized. It has been a real privilege to work on this project.”

“I was so honored that the work of our research team was chosen to be presented at the Texas Linguistics Society Conference,” said Meyer, a senior Spanish Education major. The experience was invaluable to me on many levels. First of all, the process of conducting the research was in and of itself an excellent opportunity to see firsthand what the reality of research looks like, from performing an experiment, to collecting and analyzing data, to presenting the data. It was gratifying to see all of our hard work pay off.

“Secondly, being able to present research in the company of doctoral students and professors was an eye-opening experience,” she added. “It gave me a glimpse into the world of post-undergraduate academia, and repeatedly drew my attention to the importance of having a Christian presence at the forefront of research and higher education. It has given me much to think about as to the direction of my career and future pursuits.”