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Professor to Research Language Assessment as a Fulbright Scholar

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Paula Winke, Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, to be a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Germany for the 2020 summer semester (April through July) at the University of Leipzig.

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for Michigan State University to connect with Leipzig University on international language assessment projects,” Winke said. “I am extremely honored to serve as a Fulbright Scholar to Germany in this capacity.”

During Winke’s four-month term as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar, she will work on language assessment research in collaboration with the Herder Institute at the University of Leipzig and will co-teach a graduate seminar on language assessment with Erwin Tschirner, Gerhard-Helbig-Professor of German as a Foreign Language and Chair of the Herder Institute.​

The Herder Institute develops foreign and second language assessments that are used in Germany and around the world. The Institute also monitors the quality of ongoing language assessment programs, including the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) listening and reading proficiency assessments.

“I hope to take this opportunity to showcase our language assessment work in the College of Arts & Letters to our international colleagues at the University of Leipzig.”

Winke and her colleague in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, University Distinguished Professor Susan Gass, have been using these tests, under a National Security Education Program (NSEP) grant-funded proficiency initiative at Michigan State University, to monitor the listening and reading proficiency of undergraduate students at MSU learning Chinese, French, Spanish, and Russian. At the Herder Institute, Winke will contribute to methods in validating tests through qualitative measures.

“I hope to take this opportunity to showcase our language assessment work in the College of Arts & Letters to our international colleagues at the University of Leipzig,” Winke said, “and to bring home innovations from the world-renowned Herder Institute that we can apply in our language assessment programs here.”

Winke has been a faculty member in the Second Language Studies program and the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Michigan State University since August 2005. She is the Co-Director of the Second Language Studies Eye-Tracking Lab with Associate Professor Aline Godfroid and is Co-Editor of the journal Language Testing.

Via College of Arts & Letters

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