Corpus and Repository of Writing

With my colleagues Dr. Michelle McMullin (North Carolina State University) and Dr. Bradley Dilger (Purdue University), I am presenting our experience report on grant writing at the SIGDOC 2020 virtual conference (Oct. 5-9, 2020). 

Our experience report examines how grant writing helps students to meaningfully engage in the project management and technical communication skills needed to sustain practical and ethical professional development. Our designed case study demonstrates this practice and its successes in Crow, an interinstitutional and interdisciplinary research team. Read the experience report or watch this video summary:

SIGDOC 2020 Experience Report Video

Our work responds to a crucial exigence about designing antiracist pedagogy in large research teams, undergraduate and graduate studies in US higher education. You can also have access to the content of this work on SIGDOC’s conference website as well as have the chance to engage with other excellent presentation and proceedings content that peer contributors have shared.

Edit: In October 2021, we followed up on this work with a second SIGDOC presentation, “Using iterative persona development to support inclusive research and assessment.

We promised to more often share APPLAWS posts — a celebration of the team’s Awards, Publications, Plans, Leadership, Achievements, Wooots, and Surprises. Here we go!

Hadi Banat (UMass-Boston)

Dr. Hadi Banat relocated to Boston to begin his appointment as assistant professor in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he will direct their ESL program.

Hadi writes: “I sincerely thank Bradley Dilger who supervised my dissertation defense and deposit this past summer. He and Michelle McMullin also did a wonderful job mentoring me to write for a tech comm audience during our writing group meetings in May and June while collaborating on the SIGDOC 2020 manuscript, “‘Initiating and Sustaining Student Professionalization through Grant Writing.’”

Mariana Centanin Bertho (Arizona)

Mariana Centanin Bertho developed an online course for the Portuguese Language Program. This intermediate level course focuses on the development of learners’ production of a variety of non-academic written and oral texts, such as podcasts, short movies, movie reviews, social media posts, etc. The learning objectives are also to expand learners’ vocabulary to cultural and social topics beyond their personal life, such as migration and racial issues. The course also includes data-driven activities developed with MACAWS.

She attended talks and workshops promoted by LAEL (PUC, Brazil), including Shelley Staples’s talk, Adriana Picoral’s talk and workshop, and Larissa Goulart’s workshop.

Adriana Picoral has extensively helped me with the procedures of processing MACAWS data,” wrote Mariana.

Jianfen Chen (Purdue)

Jianfen Chen worked as a Crow RA for summer, focusing on the Ciabatta project and assisting with grants and other projects. Her academic blog entitled “The Assemblage Rhetoric of Face Masks in COVID-19 in China” was included in the Blog Carnival 17 of Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC). She has been selected as a DRC Graduate Fellow for 2020–21.

Bradley Dilger (Purdue)

Dr. Bradley Dilger concluded a four-year term as director of Introductory Composition at Purdue, and co-authored a conference presentation:

Smith, A., Bay, J., Clark, A., Mast, E., Elvir, O., Chernouski, L., & Dilger, B. (2020, July.) Teaching students to seek answers to their questions: Writing programs as incubators for undergraduate research. Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Biennial Conference, West Lafayette, IN. (Online.)

Jie Gao (Fudan University)

Dr. Jie Gao relocated to Shanghai, China to begin an appointment as Lecturer at the College of Foreign Languages and Literature, Fudan University.

Jhonatan Henao-Muñoz (Arizona)

Jhonatan Henao-Muñoz was a research assistant in two projects, one on UX Research Methods in the Department of French & Italian, and the other on Translation in the School of Government and Public Policy, at the University of Arizona.

Aleksey Novikov (Arizona)

Aleksey Novikov authored three conference presentations:

Novikov, A. (2020, July). Lexico-grammatical Development of Russian Learners. Teaching and Language Corpora (TaLC). Perpignan, France (online).

Novikov, A., Picoral, A., Sommer-Farias, B., Swatek, O., Velazquez, A., & Staples, S. (2020, July). Designing Pedagogical Materials Using Interactive Data-Driven Learning with Multilingual Learner Corpora. Teaching and Language Corpora (TaLC). Perpignan, France (online).

Bertho, M., Novikov, A., Picoral, A., Sommer-Farias, B., & Staples, S. (2020, May). Taking Flight with MACAWS: Learner Corpus Data from and into the Classroom. Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL). Tucson, AZ (online).

Aleksey praises Shelley Staples and Adriana Picoral for “continuing to be my mentors in most things I do.”

Emily Palese (Arizona)

Emily Palese started a new position as the Graduate Assistant Director of Global Foundations Writing, providing teacher support and developing curricula for the University of Arizona’s global microcampuses. She received the Carter Travel Award and the Graduate Center’s Professional Development Award.

Emily is nearing the end of data analysis for her dissertation and is focused on drafting and revising her research findings. She has three (of seven) chapters drafted, and partial drafts of the remaining four chapters. Despite the pandemic, she plans to defend in April 2021.

Kevin Sanchez (Arizona)

Kevin Sanchez wrote for Pine Reads Review. He writes, “I would like to shoutout Shelley Staples for being such a positive and encouraging figure who is always willing to provide useful feedback and advice.”

Hui Wang (Arizona)

Hui Wang joined the Crow team! (Welcome, Hui!) She accepted a fellowship in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) program at University of Arizona.

Ali Yaylali (Arizona)

Ali Yaylali coordinated the Crow high school workshop group during the summer, and published a book review:

Yaylali, Ali (2020). [Review of the book Learner corpus research: New perspectives and applications, by V. Brezina & L. Flowerdew, Eds.]. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 25(2), 235-240.

Ali also attended a LAEL workshop on Stanford dependency parser and some other presentations offered by LAEL. He also attended the REMOTE conference on online teaching at Arizona State University. He completed two short online courses on teaching online and online discussions. Finally, he completed two MOOC courses on Python programming (introductory and data analysis). As a service, he worked as a reviewer for AAAL 2021.

Last year, the Crow team grew a lot… and we accomplished a lot! Though we did not publish an APPLAWS post: a celebration of the team’s Awards, Publications, Plans, Leadership, Achievements, Wooots, and Surprises.

We’ll be doing these more often from now on!

Dr. Hadi Banat (Purdue)

Dr. Hadi Banat finished his PhD degree in English with a dual concentration in Second Language Studies and Rhetoric & Composition, and defended his dissertation, “Assessing intercultural competence in writing programs through linked courses” on May 14, 2020. In Fall 2020, he will be joining UMass Boston’s English Department as a tenure track assistant professor in Rhetoric and Composition and Director of the ESL program.

Dr. Banat earned one grant and prepared five conference presentations: 

  • Sims, R., Banat, H., Panahi, P. L., Tran, P. M., & Dilger, B. (2020, January). Transculturation in Introductory Composition. Center for Intercultural Learning Mentorship, Assessment, Research (CILMAR) Special Initiatives Grant. $10,000.
  • Banat, H., & Panahi, P. (2020, March 25-28). Inclusive internationalization: Developing intercultural competence in writing programs [Conference session]. CCC Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. (Conference Canceled) 
  • Palese, E., Banat, H., & Staples, S. (2020, March 31-April 3). A web-based archive of pedagogical materials for professional development [Conference session]. TESOL Conference, Denver, Colorado, United States. (Conference Canceled)
  • Banat, H. (2019, November 13-16). Transitional genres in professional writing [Conference session]. The Symposium of Second Language Writing, Phoenix, AZ, United States. 
  • Tran, P., Panahi, P., Banat, H., & Sims, R. (2019, November 13-16). Pilot results of a mixed-methods study on developing intercultural competence through first-year writing courses [Conference session]. The Symposium of Second Language Writing, Phoenix, AZ, United States. 
  • Shin, J., Velazquez, A.J., Yalyali, A., Palese, E., Lan, G., Banat, H., & Staples, S. (2019, November 13-16). Using a learner corpus and a repository of pedagogical materials for L2 writing research and teaching [Conference workshop]. The Symposium of Second Language Writing, Phoenix, AZ, United States.

He helped to coordinate Crow’s SSLW 2019 workshop, which was an outreach event as part of a conference, and the virtual 2020 TESOL co-sited outreach event with Ashley Velazquez and Shelley Staples. Dr. Banat also participated in a job market workshop series at Purdue, hosted by Dr. Nush Powell and Bradley Dilger.

Crow researchers Emily Palese, Ashley Velázquez, Hadi Banat, Ji-young Shin, Ge Lan, and Ali Yaylali at SSLW 2019.

Dr. Banat would like to give a GIGANTIC shout to Bradley Dilger, who mentored him “from A-Z throughout my job market season, in addition to continuous guidance in the Transculturation Lab.” He gives a big shout to Ashley Velázquez and Michelle McMullin who read and gave feedback on job materials and also to Shelley Staples for providing guidance during the decision making process.

Mariana Centanin Bertho (Arizona)

Mariana Centanin Bertho was recently awarded the CERCLL (Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy) Graduate Fellowship for one of the terms of the academic year 2021 with the project “Supporting oral production and comprehension of L2/L3 Portuguese learners.”

On May 18, 2020, she presented the webinar “Taking Flight with MACAWS: Learning Corpus Data from and into the Classroom” with the MACAWS Team.

Marina wrote, “I would like to highlight Adriana Picoral for her mentoring introducing me to MACAWS and helping me out with my own research project.” 

Chen Chen (Arizona)

Chen Chen accepted an summer internship at Middlebury College as Middlebury Language Instructor. In AY20–21, she will be a Chinese Language TA at Arizona. 

Chen won a College of Humanities Graduate Research Grant and participated in an Arizona Python workshop. 

She would like to recognize mentoring from Shelley Staples, for helping her achieve her internship goals, Aleksey Novikov, for walking through the process of data management, and Adriana Picoral, for help with python questions. 

Jianfen Chen (Purdue) 

Jianfen Chen concluded Spring 2020 as a graduate tutor in the Purdue Writing Lab, where she was recognized as Graduate Tutor of the Spring Semester! She will be working as a graduate teaching assistant teaching ENGL 106 of First Year Composition in Fall 2020 at Purdue.

She won travel grants from Purdue Graduate Student Government ($500), the Department of English ($250), and East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA) 2020 Travel Award ($200).

Jianfen also won the Crouse Promising Scholarship Award ($5,000) in Professional Writing. 

In addition to co-hosting a workshop on Writing in Plain Style at the Purdue Writing Lab, Jianfen prepared three conference presentations: 

  • Chen, J., Steinman, A., and Agnew, A. (2020). Embracing language differences & breaking down institutional barriers: A recognition of cultural influence. 2020 Conference of East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA 2020). Indianapolis, IN. March 5-7, 2020.
  • Chen, J. (2020). Writing in web 2.0 setting: A student’s project experience of building a chatbot using Chatfuel. 2020 CCCC Annual Convention (conference canceled due to COVID-19). Milwaukee, WI. March 25-28, 2020.
  • Chen, J. (2020). A comparative and multimodal rhetorical analysis of news reports on US and China trade war.  Annual Conference of Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW 2020) (conference canceled due to COVID-19). Milwaukee, WI. March 24-25, 2020.

She would like to thank Bradley Dilger, Hadi Banat, and Jie Gao for reaching out to help her get familiarized with Crow, and Adriana Picoral and Larissa Goulart for their help with programming learning and questions.

Nina Conrad (Arizona)

Nina Conrad was awarded a Predoctoral Research Grant from the University of Arizona Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute. She also published one article and prepared three conference presentations: 

Nina participated in the workshop “Identifying and Reporting the Societal Impacts of Your Research” at the University of Arizona. 

Of Crow mentoring, she wrote, “Aleksey Novikov helped me a lot with using AntConc to create materials for the CUES project, and Emily Palese was very helpful during the early phases of the project. It was also great to work in the lab together before social distancing!”

Ryan Day (Purdue) 

Ryan Day (Purdue) accepted a Spring 2020 Civil Engineering internship with the US Army Corps of Engineers. He presented at two conferences and published his research as well: 

Bradley Dilger (Purdue) 

Bradley Dilger (Purdue) is concluding his rotation as director of Introductory Composition at Purdue and pausing #wpalife for sabbatical leave. With Crowbird Hadi Banat, he won a special CILMAR grant for Transculturation, funding summer research. He conducted expert evaluations with Ji-young Shin at SSLW 2019 in Tempe, Arizona.

Bradley prepared three conference presentations: 

  • Baird, N., Blythe, S., DePalma, M., Prior, H., Ringer, J., Wilson, J., & Dilger, B. (2020, March). Coding as common ground: Making adaptive transfer visible. Conference on College Composition & Communication, Milwaukee, WI. (Cancelled.)
  • Wooten, C., Babb, J., Saidy, C., Baird, N., Dilger, B., & Ritter, K. (2020, March). Rethinking our commonplaces: Learning from first-generation students in writing programs. Conference on College Composition & Communication, Milwaukee, WI. (Cancelled.)
  • Yan, Y., Gao, J., & Dilger, B. (2020, March). Linking a corpus & repository for research, teaching, & professional development. (Workshop.) Purdue Digital Futures Symposium, West Lafayette, IN. (Cancelled.)

Mark Fullmer (Texas)

Mark Fullmer (Texas) published a software patent: Parkhurst, E.S, & Fullmer, J.M. (2020). Method and System for Rewriting Gendered Words in Text. US 2020/0117706. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Larissa Goulart (Northern Arizona)

Larissa Goulart (Northern Arizona) won the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (NFMLTA) travel grant, the AZTESOL Outreach and Communication Grant, and NAU’s Graduate College Award. She also published one article and prepared seven conference presentations:

  • Goulart, L. & Matte, M. (2020) “Formulaicidade em Livros Didáticos de Português como Língua Adicional”. III Simpósio Sobre o Ensino de Português como Língua Adicional. Coimbra, Portugal (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Goulart, L.  (2020) “Investigating register variation in English as a Second Language Writing: A key-feature analysis”. Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies, Limerick, Ireland (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Goulart, L. (2020) “Analyzing the use of lexico-grammatical complexity features in L2 writing across registers”. American Association of Applied Linguistics, Denver, CO (Online due to COVID-19)
  • Goulart, L. (2020) “Exploring Academic Portuguese using Lexical Bundles”. 9th Annual Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics Conference, Phoenix, AZ (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Goulart, L. (2019) “Understanding L2 university writing: a lexico-grammatical analysis across registers”. Symposium in Second Language Writing, Tempe, AZ.
  • Goulart, L. (2019) “What’s in a graded reader? Analyzing grammatical complexity in GRs”. AZTESOL, Flagstaff, AZ.
  • Goulart, L. (2019) “The use of collocations across proficiency levels”. GSAAL Conference, Flagstaff, AZ.

Larissa defended her dissertation proposal and became ABD! She also won the AAAL Graduate Student Award

Larissa recognizes these Crowbirds for their mentoring: “Aleksey Novikov and Adriana Picoral have helped me every step of the way with my coding questions. I have been working on the NAU header with Aleksey. He has taken the time to explain to me what every line of the code does. Adriana has also helped me improve my coding skills and gave advice on my research projects.”

Jie Gao (Purdue)

Dr. Jie Gao (Purdue) completed her Doctor of Philosophy at Purdue! She defended her dissertation, “Linguistic Profiles of High Proficiency Mandarin and Hindi Second Language Speakers of English.” 

She served as Crow research assistant at Purdue in Spring 2020, and won the Purdue College of Liberal Arts Scholarship (AY 19–20) for $1,000.

Dr. Gao worked with Ryan Day to complete an interview about her studies in the Second Language Studies program at Purdue — and really enjoyed it! Ryan’s spotlight was published on the Crow website.

Hannah Gill (Arizona)

Hannah Gill (Arizona) presented at the GPSC Student Showcase with Kevin Sanchez, winning second place for her section! She also began work on her senior honors thesis.

Hannah spotlighted the mentoring of Emily Palese, writing, “Emily helped me in so many ways this last semester and since I started in the lab: she is kind and willing to give guidance, help, and support. She is a huge reason for why I have continued with the repository and I am thankful for her continued mentorship :)” 

Jhonatan Henao-Muñoz (Arizona)

Jhonatan Henao-Muñoz (Arizona) served as graduate assistant for Critical Service Learning & Community Outreach in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Arizona, from Fall 2019 to Spring 2020. He has accepted a teaching assistantship in the Department of French & Italian as French Instructor for Fall 2020. 

He was elected to serve as the College of Humanities Representative at the Graduate & Professional Student Council. He was awarded a National Center for Interpretation Research Fellowship in May 2020, won a National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Associations (NFMLTA) Travel Grant, and won other three awards: the Department of French & Italian’s Loyal A. T. Gryting Memorial Award, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Fellowship Award, and the Graduate College Fellowship Award by the Department of French & Italian. 

Jhonatan prepared two conference papers: 

  • Henao-Muñoz, J. (2020, February). Translation Technologies in SLA: An Overview of the Last Decade’s Research 2009 – 2019. Paper presented at the meeting of 19th Annual Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Interdisciplinary Roundtable, Tucson, AZ.
  • Henao-Muñoz, J. (2020, July). Editing Effectiveness in Intermediate Spanish Level Courses: Face-to-face [F2F] peer-editing vs. Self-editing using Online Translators [OT]. Paper presented at the meeting of 102nd American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese Annual Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Cancelled due to COVID-19)

He participated in four Arizona conferences: 

  • 2020 Intercultural Conference by CERCLL (volunteer and participant, Spring 2020)
  • 2nd Arizona French Conference by Department of French & Italian (volunteer and participant, Spring 2020)
  • Student Research Showcase by Graduate and Professional Students Council (GPSC),  (volunteer, Spring 2020)
  • #TDM2019 Taller de Maestres by the Critical Service Learning & Community Outreach of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese (organizer and participant, Fall 2019)

Jhonatan also participated in three Arizona workshops: “Disability Culture,” by the Disability Resource Center, Safe Zone Training, from LGBT Affairs, and “Introduction to Python,” by the School of Information. 

He would like to highlight the mentoring of Shelley Staples: “She has been a supporting mentor during this complicated semester, her understanding and considerate way of being have helped me determine my scholarly and professional path.”

Alantis Houpt (Arizona)

Alantis Houpt (Arizona) served as Crow intern in Spring 2020. She would like to thank Aleksey Novikov for helping her become successful in processing data that comes to our Development team.

Ge Lan (Purdue)

Dr. Ge Lan (Purdue) defended his dissertation, “Noun phrase complexity, academic level, and first language background in academic writing,” on April 8, 2020. He served as Crow research assistant at Purdue in Fall 2019. He is now on the job market and is making progress on job searching. More to update in the near future!   

Michelle McMullin (NC State)

Dr. Michelle McMullin (NC State) completed her first full year as an assistant professor of English at North Carolina State and became one of the principal investigators of our project. 

Aleksey Novikov (Arizona)

Aleksey Novikov (Arizona) served as Crow research assistant in AY19–20 and will continue that work in AY20–21. 

He won a National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL)  dissertation research grant ($2,500) and a Second Language Acquisition & Teaching (SLAT) travel grant ($500).

Aleksey prepared two conference presentations:

  • Novikov, A. (2020, February).  MACAWS Russian: Corpus Design and Creation of Usage-inspired Pedagogical Materials. American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL). San Diego, CA.
  • Yaylali, A., Staples, S., Novikov, A., Palese, E. (2019, November). Bridging L2 writing and academic vocabulary through corpus-based activities. Workshop presented at Arizona TESOL Conference, Flagstaff, AZ.

In Fall 2019 and the beginning of Spring 2020, he visited preceptorship and English Graduate Union (EGU) meetings, as well as individual preceptor classes, to introduce Crow to preceptors and instructors.

Aleksey defended his dissertation proposal, “Syntactic and Morphological Complexity Measures as Markers of L2 Development in Russian,” in Fall 2019.

He wrote, “Adriana Picoral has been a tremendous help with scripting. Shelley Staples has obviously been a great mentor for the writing of my dissertation and other Crow-related things.” 

Emily Palese (Arizona) 

Emily Palese (Arizona) continued working as the Graduate Assistant Director in Arizona’s Writing Program. She applied for six grants, awards, and or fellowships, winning the Linda Waugh grant and the Cheryl Walsh Professional Growth Award from AZTESOL. Emily is waiting to hear about UA’s ReaP grant and the Zukowski/Faust Mini-Grant from AZTESOL. She finished collecting data for her dissertation (expected defense: April 2021). 

Emily attended a workshop on designing prompts held by UArizona’s Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA). She also completed the Writing Program’s Online Writing Instruction Bootcamp, so she’s now qualified to teach online. 

Emily has appreciated Ashley’s Writing Accountability Facebook group! Thanks for keeping us writing and motivated, Ashley!

  • Palese, E., Banat, H., & Staples, S. (2020, March 31-April 3). A web-based archive of pedagogical materials for professional development [Conference Session]. TESOL Conference, Denver, CO, United States (Conference Canceled)
  • Palese, E. (2020, March 27-31). Your essay must [will?] be 4-5 pages: Moves and modals in writing assignment prompts [Conference Session]. AAAL Conference, Denver, CO, United States. (Conference Canceled)
  • Palese, E. & LaMance, R. (2019, November 13-16). Challenging dominant discourses in SLW courses: Students’ changing perceptions of their English use [Conference Session]. SSLW Conference, Tempe, AZ, United States.
  • Shin, J., Staples, S., Velazquez, A., Banat, H., Yaylali, A., Lan, G., & Palese, E. (2019, November 13-16). Using a learner corpus and repository of pedagogical materials for L2 writing research and teaching [Workshop]. SSLW Conference, Tempe, AZ, United States.
  • Yaylali, A., Novikov, A., Staples, S., & Palese, E. (2019, November 1-2). Bridging L2 writing and academic vocabulary through corpus-based activities [Workshop]. AZTESOL, Flagstaff, AZ, United States.

Adriana Picoral (Arizona)

Dr. Adriana Picoral (Arizona) earned her PhD in second language acquisition and teaching from the University of Arizona, defending her dissertation “L3 Portuguese by Spanish-English bilinguals: copula construction use and acquisition in corpus data,” on February 13, 2020. Dr. Picoral has accepted a career track assistant professor in data science position with the School of Information at the University of Arizona, starting Fall 2020. 

Dr. Picoral served as an Arizona data science ambassador and worked extensively with R-Ladies Tucson, being awarded an R Consortium Vector level grant in February 2020, and organizing workshops as well. She was on the organizing committee for the Women in Data Science (WiDS) Tucson conference, held on April 17, 2020.

Dr. Picoral won the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) Outstanding Research Assistant award. 

She would like to highlight the mentoring and advising of fellow Crowbird Shelley Staples.

Randi Reppen (Northern Arizona)

Dr. Randi Reppen (Northern Arizona) had five refereed publications in AY19–20: 

  • Pan, F. Reppen, R. & Biber, D. (2020). Methodological issues in contrastive lexical bundle research: The influence of corpus design on bundle identification. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 25, 2 214 – 228.
  • Biber, D. Reppen, R. Staples, S. & Egbert, J. (2020). Exploring the longitudinal development of grammatical complexity in the disciplinary writing of L2-English university students. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, 6(1), 38 – 71.
  • Reppen, R. & Olson, S. (2020). Lexical bundles across disciplines: A look at consistency and variability.  In U. Römer, V. Cortes & E. Friginal (Eds.) Advances in corpus-based research on academic writing: Effects of discipline, register and writer expertise. 169 – 182. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Reppen, R. & Vlach-Simpson, R. (2020). Corpus linguistics. In N. Schmitt & M. Rodgers (Eds.), An introduction to applied linguistics 3nd edition. 89 – 108. New York: Routledge.
  • Reppen, R. & Chen, M. (2019). A comparison of lexical bundles in spoken courtroom       language across time, dialect, & register. In T. Fanego & P. Rodríguez-Puente (Eds.)       Corpus-based research on variation in English legal discourse: Looking back and looking forward. 105 – 122. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Dr. Reppen also published a four-level grammar course: 

  • Reppen, R. (2019). Grammar and Beyond Essentials Level 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Reppen, R. (2019). Grammar and Beyond Essentials Level 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Reppen, R., Blass, L., Iannuzzi, S., & Savage, A. (2019). Grammar and Beyond      Essentials Level 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Reppen, R., Bunting, J. & Diniz, L. (2019). Grammar and Beyond Essentials Level 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kevin Sanchez (Arizona)

Kevin Sanchez (Arizona) presented at Arizona’s Spring 2020 Teaching Symposium and the Graduate & Professional Student Council’s Student Showcase, where he won second place in the “Communication & Expression” category. He also won the Hattie Lockett Award for poetry, and became a Fund for Education Abroad scholar. Kevin also became a College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA) Level 1 certified tutor. 

Ji-young Shin (Purdue)

Ji-young Shin (Purdue) won an external dissertation grant from Language Learning and 2020 International Language Testing Association Graduate Student Award. At SSLW 2019, she co-hosted a Crow workshop and conducted expert evaluations of the Crow platform with Bradley Dilger. She prepared five peer-reviewed presentations. 

  1. Shin, J. (2019, September). Investigating sources of rater (dis)agreement in a local ITA speaking test: A mixed-method approach using multilevel modeling and semantic network analysis. Paper presented at 2019 East Coast Organization of Language Testers conference, Washington DC.
  2. Van Moere, A., Wei, J., & Shin, J. (2019, October). Resolving mis-triangulations between CEFR and the Lexile Scale by using both test scores and expert judgment. Paper presented at 2019 Midwestern Association of Language Testers conference, Bloomington, IN
  3. Shin, J., Staples, S., Velazquez, A., Banat, H., Yaylali, A., Palese, E. (2019, November). Using a learner corpus and a repository of pedagogical materials for L2 writing research and teaching. Workshop presented at Symposium for Second Language Writing, Tempe, AZ.
  4. Shin, J. & Wei, J. (2020, March). Investigating differential functioning of reading items for English native speakers and English foreign language students: Triangulating results from statistical analyses of test scores with content review of items. Paper accepted to Language Assessment Research Conference. Provo, UT. Conference Postponed.  
  5. Shin, J. (2020, June). Investigating invariance in the relationships between English fluency construct, oral proficiency, and intelligibility across different L1 groups: A multi-group SEM study. Paper accepted to Language Testing Research Colloquium. Hammamet, Tunisia. Conference Postponed. 

Shelley Staples (Arizona)

Shelley Staples (Arizona) was appointed Associate Director of L2 Writing in the  University of Arizona Writing Program. She continued her 2019–22 Center for University Educational Scholarship (CUES) Distinguished Fellowship.

Dr. Staples published four papers and chapters: 

  1. Biber, D., Reppen, R., Staples, S., Egbert, J. (2020). Exploring the longitudinal development of grammatical complexity in the disciplinary writing of L2-English university students. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, 6(1), 38-71. 
  2. LaFlair, G., Staples, S., & Yan, X. (2019). Triangulating corpus linguistics and language assessment: Using corpus linguistics to enhance validity arguments. In P. Baker & J. Egbert (Eds.), Using corpus methods to triangulate linguistic analysis. New York,  Routledge. 
  3. Lan, G., Lu, Q., & Staples, S. (2019). Grammatical complexity: What does it mean and “so what” for L2 writing classrooms? Journal of Second Language Writing, 46, 1-7. 
  4. Yan, X., & Staples, S. (2019, early view). Fitting MD analysis in an argument-based validity framework for writing assessment: Explanation and generalization inferences for the ECPE. Language Testing. 

She prepared ten peer reviewed presentations:

  1. Banat, H., Velázquez, A., Staples, S. (2020, April). Crow Information Session (Virtual Event in coordination with TESOL 2020).
  2. Gray, B., Staples, S., Egbert, J., & Biber, D. (2020, March). Investigating lexico-grammatical complexity in L1 and L2 university student writing across genres, disciplines, and levels. Paper presented at American Association of Applied Linguistics, Denver, CO. (Conference canceled).
  3. Staples, S., & Picoral, A. (2020, March). Citation classifiers for academic writing in L2 English: Prediction and explanation for form and function. Paper presented at American Association of Applied Linguistics, Denver, CO. (Conference canceled).
  4. Staples, S., & Tardy, C. (2019, November). Genre classification of student writing: Methods and insights. Paper presented at Symposium for Second Language Writing, Tempe, AZ.
  5. Ghanem, R., Edalatishams, I., Huensch, A., Puga, K., & Staples, S. (2019, September). The effectiveness of digital tools in the analysis of spoken discourse: Towards a protocol for pronunciation corpora. Paper presented at Pronunciation and Second Language Learning and Teaching, Flagstaff, AZ.
  6. Shin, J., Staples, S., Velazquez, A., Banat, H., Yaylali, A., Palese, E. (2019, November). Using a learner corpus and a repository of pedagogical materials for L2 writing research and teaching. Workshop presented at Symposium for Second Language Writing, Tempe, AZ.
  7. Yaylali, A., Staples, S., Novikov, A., Palese, E. (2019, November). Bridging L2 writing and academic vocabulary through corpus-based activities. Workshop presented at Arizona TESOL Conference, Flagstaff, AZ.
  8. Gray, B., Staples, S. & Egbert, J. (2019, July). Developmental complexity in BAWE: Comparing L1 and L2 English writers. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics, Cardiff, Wales.
  9. LaFlair, G., Staples, S., & Yan, X. (2019, July). Triangulating corpus linguistics with other linguistic research methods. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics, Cardiff, Wales.
  10. Staples, S., Venetis, M., & Robinson, J. (2019, July). Using MDA for corpus-based discourse analysis: Variation in language use across patients and providers in the context of breast cancer surgery. Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics, Cardiff, Wales. 

Dr. Staples was shortlisted for a journal award, the International Language Testing Award for Best Article of 2018, for “Using corpus-based register analysis to explore the authenticity of high-stakes language exams: A register comparison of TOEFL IBT and disciplinary writing tasks” (published in Modern Language Journal 102.2).

Dr. Staples would like to praise the mentoring of Adriana Picoral and Mark Fullmer, for their help developing her skills in Python scripting. 

David Stucker (Purdue)

David Stucker (Purdue) completed his BA in Professional Writing and began a full-time technical writing position at Photon Automation. He had a short fiction piece selected for the Purdue University Student English Association’s Bell Tower magazine. He wrote, “Bradley Dilger is pretty awesome.”

Aleksandra Swatek (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland)

Dr. Aleksandra Swatek (Adam Mickiewicz University) began an appointment as Research Assistant Professor on April 1st, 2020 in the Scholarly Communication Research Group at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. This position is funded through the competitive Sonatina Grant from the Polish National Science Center (US$170,000 for three years) that will fund a three year research assistant professor position. During that time, Dr. Swatek will conduct research on early career scholar EFL academic writing in humanities and social sciences in Poland. This grant also funds a 6-month research stay at the University of Arizona as a visiting scholar. She will work with Dr. Staples on the corpus part of her research project and participate in the Arizona Crow lab life.

Between October 2019 and March 2020 she worked as Horizon2020 EIC Accelerator grant writer at GAEU Consulting, Kraków, Poland. She continues to advise on scientific communication projects at Colibrí Innovation, especially for deep tech and life science startups from Europe and the USA.

She would like to give a shout out to the summer corpus research reading group for wonderful conversations.

Ashley Velázquez (Washington, Bothell)

Dr. Ashley Velázquez (Washington, Bothell) completed her first full year as an assistant professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and became one of the principal investigators of our project. 

She prepared two conference presentations:

Yuwei Wang (Arizona)

Yuwei Wang (Arizona) began working as a teaching assistant in the Chinese language program at the University of Arizona. 

She also worked as a co-PI with Chen Chen to build a Chinese learners corpus in the University of Arizona, and this project is granted by the College of Humanities Graduate Research Grant.

She praised Aleksey Novikov’s mentoring: “He helped me a lot in introducing every facet of Crow, and guided me through the process of data processing with all the patience and endeavor.”

Yiqiu “Echo” Yan (Purdue) 

Yiqiu “Echo” Yan (Purdue) served as an undergraduate researcher for Crow, performing data analysis and web development. She also served as Conference Intern for the Department of Consumer Science, completed a summer internship in the Arriagnew Relationships and Close Connections Lab (ARCC), and created an undergraduate research project “Mapping Postcolonial Literature.” 

This semester, Echo graduates with her BS in Consumer Sciences from Purdue. In Fall 2020, she will begin graduate school in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.

Echo won seven awards and scholarships: 

  • University of Texas, Austin New Scholar Fellowship 
  • National Retail Federation Foundation Top 10 Student Ambassador Grant
  • First Baptist Church Music Intern Fellowship
  • Purdue Office of Undergraduate Travel Grant
  • Purdue Musical Organization Scholarship 
  • Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research Scholarship
  • Purdue University Dean’s List Honor Award
  • Purdue Krannert Management Solutions Challenge Team Fourth Place

She prepared two conference presentations: 

  • Yan, Y., Gao, J., & Dilger, B. (2020, March). Linking a corpus & repository for research, teaching, & professional development. (Workshop.) Purdue Digital Futures Symposium, West Lafayette, IN. (Cancelled.)
  • Yan, Y. (2019, November). Mapping postcolonial literature. (Poster.) Purdue GIS Day Conference, West Lafayette, IN. 

Echo praised four Crowbirds for their mentoring: 

  • Bradley Dilger: Remarkable mentor that is always supportive of my decisions. He always goes above and beyond to advance my research career and also gives me inspiration to become a better person.  
  • Dr. Jie Gao: I learned so much from Dr. Gao in professional development. She taught me how to master conference presentations. 
  • Dr. Ge Lan: Dr. Lan taught me to look at research in a comprehensive way. I gained valuable insights from him on qualitative research methods. 
  • Dr. Hadi Banat: Hadi is a professional and caring mentor to have in the team. He always coordinates the researchers together as a whole. I have so much to learn from him as a professional researcher and educator.  

Ali Yaylali (Arizona)

Ali Yaylali (Arizona) passed his comprehensive exams and began working on his dissertation proposal.

He prepared five conference presentations:

  1. Yaylali, A. (2020, April 17-21). Common core state standards: A corpus-assisted historical discourse analysis of media representation. [Poster session]. AERA Meeting, San Francisco, CA, United States. (Conference cancelled)
  2. Yaylali, A. (2020, March 27-31). Representation of the common core in media: A corpus-assisted discourse analysis [Conference session]. AAAL Conference, Denver, CO, United States. (Conference cancelled)
  3. Yaylali, A. and Luong, N. (2020, January 23-26). Intercultural competence through decolonizing curriculum and privileging of diverse epistemologies [Roundtable session]. Intercultural Competence Conference (ICC), Tucson, AZ, United States. 
  4. Yaylali, A., Staples, S., Novikov, A., Palese, E. (2019, November 1-2). Bridging L2 writing and academic vocabulary through corpus-based activities [Conference session]. AZTESOL Conference, Flagstaff, AZ, United States. 
  5. Shin, J., Staples, S., Lan, G., Banat, H., Palese, E., Yaylali, A., Velázquez, A. (2019, November 13-16). Using a learner corpus and a repository of pedagogical materials for L2 writing research and teaching [Workshop session]. Symposium of Second Language Writing (SSLW) Conference, Tempe, AZ, United States.

Ali also coordinated Crow’s 2019 AZTESOL conference workshop

He was awarded a travel award ($100) from Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT), another travel award ($750) from the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), and one ($300) by his department at the College of Education.

Ali attended conference workshops at AZTESOL and SSLW. As a board member in AZTESOL, he also led a conference planning team and organized the 2020 AZTESOL Regional Conference at the University of Arizona — his first time leading a group of people for organizing an event on campus.

As he worked on the workshops, Ali benefited a lot from the mentoring of Dr. Shelley Staples, Emily Palese, Aleksey Novikov, Ji-young Shin, and Dr. Hadi Banat. He wrote, “I learned a lot about material development as a group and coordinating a workshop as a group. It provided great experience and concrete demonstration of how Crowbirds can accomplish a lot together.”

The Trump administration has resumed its cruel, racist attacks on international students by establishing rules which make it nearly impossible for them to study in the United States should precautions related to COVID-19 result in more online instruction. My fellow Crow PIs and I are contacting our legislators to ask that they intervene. 

Each of us is sharing the letter below, and we’ve encouraged Crow researchers to do the same. If you’d like to borrow from our letter to write your own #StudentBan letter or op-ed, be our guest. We suggest you review the helpful suggestions regarding effective lobbying created by Chris Marsicano; they guided our work here, and we thank him for sharing.

Update, July 9: Glad to see Purdue and Michigan State filing amicus briefs in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit seeking to stop the new rules from moving forward.

Our letter to lawmakers

Dear Senators and Representatives,

I am one of the leaders of Crow, the Corpus & Repository of Writing, an inter-institutional research team that studies writing using computer-based tools. We collect student writing, process it, and create searchable databases that enable data-driven research. Learn more at Today we write regarding the rules the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) plans to publish for Fall 2020 (link below). 

We are sure you realize the many contributions that international students make to higher education: tremendous intellectual engagement, diversification of communities, and tuition revenue. More concerning, however is the open hostility these proposed rules demonstrate toward international students who are already affected personally and professionally by the consequences of COVID-19. The increased uncertainty imposed by these rules, when travel, funding, and educational plans are already precarious is unacceptable.  

Our research project depends heavily on international students. They contribute much of the writing that we study, and many of our researchers are international graduate students. The proposed rules ignore the terrible consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak for students. Insisting on a stable face-to-face model for higher education creates a situation where students and faculty may have to compromise public health and personal safety in the name of regulatory compliance. Institutions will be discouraged from moving courses online even if common sense demands it. Given the terrible problems faced by our communities in Arizona, Texas, Florida, and other states, this is simply unconscionable. 

Crow research has already been slowed by the COVID-19 outbreak. These rules threaten to bring it to a complete halt. We ask that you pressure SEVP to modify these rules to offer all higher educational institutions the flexibility they need to meaningfully include international students in courses and research, whether online, face-to-face, or hybrid, for all of the coming academic year.

Please ensure more stability for our universities and our students. Thank you for your time.

Dr. Bradley Dilger, Purdue University
Dr. Shelley Staples, University of Arizona
Dr. Randi Reppen, Northern Arizona University
Dr. Ashley Velázquez, University of Washington
Dr. Michelle McMullin, North Carolina State University

This week, Crow researchers finalized the addition of 1,174 texts from Northern Arizona University to the Crow corpus. We’re thrilled to say this means we’ve hit two milestones:

Ten million words and ten thousand texts! To be exact, 10,905 and 10,155,120, respectively.

Why is this important? As we’ve previously shared, Crow members are constantly trying to improve the code used to process new files into the Crow dataset, and the addition of the NAU texts was another opportunity to improve our scripts and documentation. With the help of Adriana Picoral, Aleksey Novikov and Larissa Goulart have made changes to scripts we use to add demographic headers and de-identify texts, catered for the original NAU file structure, created by Shelley Staples and Randi Reppen in 2013–2014.

The NAU files were collected from English Composition classes taught between 2009 and 2012 to both L1 and L2 English students. Therefore, with the addition of these files, Crow now has L1 English assignments that can be explored through the Crow interface.

From a corpus linguistic perspective, this also means that now Crow contains a larger set of examples to identify patterns of learner language use. This is especially important for the study of word combinations, such as collocations and lexical bundles, as these combinations are identified based on frequency. 

Of course, this process wasn’t simple: each of the 1,174 texts had to be organized by course, assignment, first language (L1), and other metadata represented through shortcodes in each text’s filename—all part of Crow’s existing corpus design.

Subsequent steps in the preparation process were streamlined through automation tools the Crow team has developed. These include the ability to bulk convert files to plaintext format and remove non-ASCII characters, assist in de-identifying personal information, and to represent metadata in a machine-readable document header format. (These tools are open-source and available, and documenting how to use them is part of our ACLS-supported outreach work.)

Integrating the NAU texts alongside those from Purdue and Arizona also allowed us to navigate a common corpus-building challenge when materials are heterogeneously sourced: divergent metadata.

In particular, the NAU texts present information not yet represented in the other institutions’ texts —students’ L1–but simultaneously omit metadata for standardized test scores, college and program information, and gender identification.

Put one way, the Crow dataset is further evolving into a corpus consisting of multiple subcorpora.

So we had to take extra care that differences in the metadata were correct, rather than a result of miscategorization or human/machine error. We thus took this opportunity to build better auditing tools: we added a process for doing a “dry run” of the import of the texts into our online database which would report what new metadata would be added, as well as how many new texts were omitting metadata:

Screengrab clip of “dry run” for text processing with Crow corpus processing software. Shows computer program running at command line, ending in screen that reports database changes and the number of texts to be added to the corpus. 

From this report we could easily tick our acceptance criteria checkboxes (“Yes, we expect all 1,174 new texts not to have gender data”; “Yes, we expect a new category of L1 to be added”) before performing any database changes.

With the up-front work of standardizing the NAU texts to match Crow’s corpus design conventions, the final step of making those texts visible and searchable in our online interface was a (relative) snap. The consistent, machine-readable nature of the corpus records meant everything “just worked”!

Are you interested in using the Crow corpus for your research? Let us know!

Thank you to Larissa Goulart, Aleksey Novikov, Randi Reppen, Shelley Staples, Adriana Picoral and Mark Fullmer for helping us reach this important milestone, and Larissa, Shelley, Mark, and Bradley Dilger for this writeup.

Congratulations to Dr. Hadi Riad Banat, who defended his dissertation, “Assessing intercultural competence in writing programs through linked courses.” Dr. Banat’s committee was Purdue professors Dr. Tony Silva, Dr. April Ginther, Dr. Margie Berns, and Dr. Bradley Dilger.

Dr. Banat begins an appointment as assistant professor at the University of Massachussetts, Boston in Fall 2020.

From upper right: Dr. Hadi Riad Banat, with committee Dilger, Berns, Silva, and Ginther.

Congratulations to the graduate and undergraduate Crowbirds who are earning degrees this academic year!

  • Hadi Riad Banat, PhD, English (Second Language Studies), Purdue
  • Bruna Somner Farias, PhD, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, Arizona
  • Jie Wendy Gao, PhD, English (Second Language Studies), Purdue
  • Emily Jones, BA, Professional Writing, Purdue
  • Ge Lan, PhD, English (Second Language Studies), Purdue
  • Adriana Picoral, PhD, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, Arizona
  • Nicole Schmidt, PhD, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, Arizona
  • David Stucker, BA, Professional Writing, Purdue
  • Yiqiu Echo Yan, BA, Retail Management, Purdue

Next week, we’ll share more news about the accomplishments of everyone on our Crow team this past year. Well done, graduates!

We’re joining the Council of Undergraduate Research to celebrate #VirtualURW2020 by spotlighting some of the wonderful contributions undergraduate researchers have made to the Crow team.

Undergraduates have been active Crow researchers since our project began at Purdue in 2015. Some examples:

See our Twitter feed to learn more about the work Echo, Ryan, Kevin, David, Alantis, and Hannah have been doing for the Crow team. Thank you, undergraduate researchers!

Congratulations to Dr. Jie (Wendy) Gao (高洁), who recently defended her dissertation, “Linguistic Profiles of High Proficiency Mandarin and Hindi Second Language Speakers of English.” Dr. Gao’s committee was Purdue professors Dr. April Ginther, Dr. Elaine Francis, and Dr. Tony Silva, with Dr. Xun Yan from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Wendy Jie Gao

At Purdue, Dr. Gao has been studying second language studies, language testing and corpus studies. She has been a member of Crow since she first met Dr. Staples in 2015, at the inception of the Crow program. In that time, she’s gotten through an entire PhD program—so needless to say, she’s made some big contributions to Crow throughout her tenure.

Dr. Gao’s linguistics background runs deep. She studied at Shandong University for her undergraduate education, majoring in Translation and Interpretation with a Minor in French. She continued her studies with a masters degree from Tsinghua University in Beijing, studying applied linguistics. At Purdue, her PhD studies and research have been in the areas of second language studies, language testing, and corpus studies. Between her time in mainland China, a summer semester in Taiwan, continued studies of French, and her experiences in the United States, Dr. Gao has experienced a multitude of different language environments. These diverse experiences have guided her thinking in her research positions.

Here in West Lafayette, she has held multiple positions as a research assistant. Dr. Gao began as a research assistant with Oral English Proficiency Program (OEPP) as a testing office assistant. Her job has been to evaluate the oral proficiency level of graduate students before they begin teaching in the classroom. She also served as a research assistant for the Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLACE). These two experiences primed her for the Crow research environment.

Rounding out her experiences outside of Crow, Dr. Gao has seen linguistics through the eyes of the instructor. In her masters program, she was a teaching assistant, while here at Purdue, she has been an instructor for English 106, 106INTL, and 108 classes. Being an instructor can be more demanding and involved than rating papers as a research assistant, but Dr. Gao loves it nonetheless. While most of her teaching experience has been in writing, she hopes she’ll be able to teach in her true passion: linguistics.

In her time with Crow, Dr. Gao has truly run the gambit on her contributions. She was first drawn to Crow because of its overlap with her previous work in her masters program, where she developed an automatic scoring system for writing. In her tenure with Crow, she has focused on a few major projects and topics. She first focused on repository building, working to unify the corpus into a uniform format and standardize handling of pedagogical materials.

She has also spent a significant time becoming proficient at statistical programming, including SAS, SPSS, and Python. Dr. Gao has also written pedagogical papers for Crow and presented at conferences across the world, everywhere from Purdue to Birmingham, United Kingdom. And to top it all off, she has engrossed herself in grant writing. Right now, Dr. Gao spends her time in Crow serving as an external reader and provides feedback to the different groups within Crow.

Besides looking forward to postgraduate work, Dr. Gao shares her knowledge and experience with the newer Crowbirds by mentoring undergraduates in Crow at Purdue. She has worked with Echo Yan to host a workshop on Crow at a Purdue digital humanities symposium. Dr. Gao has also been working with David Stucker to find past winners of grants. This is a part of a crucial Crow mission to have graduate team members understand how to benefit from working with undergraduates.

Dr. Gao’s dissertation centers on an analysis of over 400 speech samples of higher level second language speakers of English from across East Asia. This work will go towards developing a more holistic analysis of English proficiency, incorporating vocabulary, speed, and importantly accentedness into the metric. Like fellow Crowbird Dr. Ge Lan, Dr. Gao plans to return to her native China soon, where she hopes to take a position in applied linguistics. A perfect scenario for her would be to study and teach linguistics back in China. We look forward to her continued work with our project!

Update, August 16: Dr. Gao has accepted a position in the Department of English at Fudan University in Shanghai. Congratulations!

We’re very glad to announce Crow researcher Dr. Ge Lan has successfully defended his dissertation, Noun Phrase Complexity, Academic Level, and First Language Background in Academic Writing. Dr. Lan’s committee was chaired by April Ginther and included Elaine Francis and Crowbirds Shelley Staples and Bradley Dilger.

Dr. Ge Lan outside the Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) at Purdue University.