News Archive

Collaboration regarding bilingualism between VL2 and the Center for Language Science at Penn State

Over the past year, we have been discussing collaborative possibilities between the Center for Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University and the Center for Language Science at Penn State. These discussions intensified after the explicit request of the April 2007 NSF Site Visit reviewers that we relate VL2 research to ongoing work in bilingualism.

Supplemental funding would allow us to realize the development of our collaboration on a much faster timeline.

As VL2 has evolved, the cognitive underpinnings of bilingualism have emerged as a central and overarching thrust among our three strands of inquiry, making Dr. Kroll’s work particularly relevant for ours. For example, our current portfolio of studies includes an investigation of ASL phonology (and its relation to English phonology), a study of depiction of complex events in ASL (and its relation to the ability to comprehend complex constructions of English grammar), and an exploration of the neurological bases of visual languages (and comparisons to those of spoken and written English language).

Given the overwhelming emphasis in past language science research on monolingual speakers of English, exchanges between our universities will help to develop paradigms that examine multilingual and multimodal language users and to train a new cohort of researchers who have been immersed in cross-disciplinary approaches to these.

We are very excited about the developing relationship between VL2 and the Center for Language Science. The proposed projects combine the expertise of researchers in a variety of disciplines, and with institutional support of very different kinds. This unique opportunity to combine resources across Centers will result in a unique set of studies that would not otherwise have been possible. We look forward with high hopes to the approval of this project.