Meagan Driver

Assistant Professor

Building a multilingual repository as a tool for language and linguistics courses

The central goal of the proposed project is the design of an open-access repository for translations of scholarly abstracts in applied linguistics into non-English languages. While globalization has contributed to the status of English as a lingua franca for scholarly publication, many students and scholars do not hold a proficiency in English that is advanced enough to fully comprehend and critique research publications. As a result, these students and scholars do not have access to the same knowledge as their English-speaking peers. The proposed project will first produce a prototype repository for translations of peer-reviewed abstracts in applied linguistics into non-English languages. Ultimately, the full multilingual repository will be available for use by undergraduate and graduate courses in applied linguistics and language education and by educators with multilingual students who would benefit from summaries of research findings in their first language. First, in order to produce translations for a prototype of this repository, four instructors of advanced language and translation courses and ten translators of nine different languages have been recruited to produce translations of 15 initial translations of high-impact publications between 2018 and 2021. The design of this prototype repository is expected to reveal 1) the meta-data requirements for the full repository, 2) the technological resources needed to maintain the full repository as an ongoing and dynamic resource, and 3) the best method for collaborating with translation instructors and courses as consistent contributors to the repository.

A prototype of the multilingual repository is planned for August 2021. Using this prototype, changes will be made to the online system as needed, before the repository is disseminated widely beginning in November 2021 for use within the fields of applied linguistics, world language education, and translation. Apart from acting as a resource for educators and students in applied linguistics, the repository will additionally act as a tool for advanced language and translation courses. Bi- and multilingual learners will have the opportunity to implement their language skills to solve real-life challenges around language and accessibility. Four instructors of undergraduate translation courses at four different U.S. universities have already pledged to include a course project in their syllabi in Fall 2021 to produce translations of abstracts for this multilingual repository. Thus, the full repository will benefit both multilingual students and scholars, as well as advanced language learners of non-English languages. As a jointly-appointed faculty member in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies and in the Second Language Studies program at MSU, this project speaks to the full reach of my teaching and research and will benefit students in both units.

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