Dorothy Chun Award For Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology

This award was established in 2020 through a generous gift from Dorothy Chun administered by the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. The award is given to one Language Learning & Technology article published in a volume. The award criteria establish that the topic of the selected article should be about innovative Computer Assisted Language Learning research that may benefit a broad scope of language learners. The article is selected by a committee appointed by the director of the Center for Language & Technology and the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dr. Julio C. Rodriguez. A single award of $1,000 is given to the article author(s).

2020 Dorothy Chun Award for Best Journal Article in LL&T

Pronunciation Development and Instruction in Distance Language Learning

by Ines A. Martin, U.S. Naval Academy

The inaugural 2020 award is presented by the Award Committee Chair, Phillip Hubbard, PhD, LLT Associate Editor:

 

I am delighted to announce a new award from the journal, the Dorothy Chun Award for Best Journal Article in Language Learning & Technology. Dorothy Chun, Professor Emerita in Education and Applied Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been one of LLT’s Editors-in-Chief since 2000, volunteering hundreds of hours of her time and expertise in support of the journal and its mission. As one of the pioneers of using technology for language teaching and learning, her contributions to the field include innovative research in L2 phonology and intonation, L2 reading and vocabulary acquisition, multimedia learning, and telecollaboration for intercultural learning. The award was made possible by a generous endowment from Dr. Chun. 

I had the honor to serve as chair of the selection committee for this inaugural year. The committee was organized by Julio C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Language & Technology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, one of the sponsors of LLT. The committee reviewed a number of promising candidates in the three issues from Volume 24 (2020), and the final choice was not an easy one. In the end, the majority of votes went to Ines Martin for "Pronunciation development and instruction in distance language learning" (https://www.lltjournal.org/item/3135). 

Martin’s paper explored two online groups of language learners of German during their first semester of university language study following the same overall curriculum. The treatment group received targeted pronunciation training over the course of the semester while the control group did not. To quote the author. “Learners who received targeted pronunciation training improved significantly from pre- to posttest and significantly outperformed learners in the control group on measures of perception and production accuracy at the end of the semester. These findings suggest that distance language instruction can benefit from including targeted pronunciation training.” 

In terms of innovation, the paper represents the first major study comparing the effect of online language learning with and without focused attention to pronunciation. Additionally, it demonstrated the value of the particular method used by the researcher. In terms of potential broad impact, this method based on cued pronunciation readings uses widely available technology and can thus be readily incorporated by teachers of other languages and in other online learning contexts. 

This years’ award winner, Ines A. Martin, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Languages and Cultures Department at the United States Naval Academy, where she teaches courses in German, French, and linguistics. In 2018, she received the Emma Marie Birkmaier Award for Doctoral Dissertation Research in Foreign Language Education from ACTFL. Her research focuses on instructed second language acquisition, with a focus on second language pronunciation, computer-assisted pronunciation training, and peer corrective feedback. 

Congratulations Dr. Martin: we hope to see more of your fine work here in the future.

In closing, I would like to thank Dorothy personally and on behalf of the field of technology-mediated language learning for her unprecedented generosity in endowing this award. We look forward to seeing the next round of candidates for the prize, beginning with this issue from February 2021. 

 Phil Hubbard, LLT Associate Editor