Facilitator Bios

Kevin McManus is Gil Watz Early Career Professor in Language and Linguistics in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Penn State. His research and teaching interests are in second language learning and teaching, especially classroom learning, particularly in language awareness, a core focus of his British Academy project that investigated the learning benefits of raising learners’ awareness about first and second language properties. Dr. McManus also investigates language learning during study abroad and the impact of learners’ social networks and language engagement on development.

Remi Adam van Compernolle is Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition and French and Francophone Studies in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University.  His research focuses on the extension of Vygotskian sociocultural psychology to second language development, with specific thematic emphasis on second language sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and interaction. Dr. van Compernolle is regularly conducting workshops for language educators on concept-based language instruction and social meaning in language both in-service as well as at national and regional conferences.

Gabriela Appel a Senior lecturer at Penn State and the associate director of CALPER. She has been teaching German as a foreign language for many years and has been involved in teacher professional development for two decades. Dr. Appel conducts in-service and CALPER seminars and workshops mainly on vocabulary learning, portfolio assessment, including the European Language Portfolio, and project work.

Jie Zhang is Assistant Professor of Chinese Pedagogy and Applied Linguistics in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics at the University of Oklahoma. She is broadly interested in second language acquisition, foreign language pedagogy, and Chinese as a second/foreign/heritage language. Her current research projects include 1) investigating Chinese second language development using learner corpora; 2) developing dynamic assessment tools to diagnose and support second language listening and reading development; and 3) designing concept-based instruction for Chinese second language learners. Dr. Zhang has recently been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA).

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