CAMBRIDGE, MA, June 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Why do students from certain
countries learn English more easily than students in other places? Why
do the most effective strategies for teaching English to Russian and
Chinese students differ greatly from those used to teach native
speakers? Could a better understanding of what influences the mastery
of core English skills help educators design more effective ways to
teach? EF Education First EF and faculty from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) will attempt to answer questions central to English language
acquisition through an examination of language learning methodologies.
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The collaboration will begin by focusing on how students acquire written
English proficiency. Associate Professor Paola Uccelli and her PhD
students from HGSE's Language & Literacy Program will access written
works submitted by Russian, Chinese, and Native English speakers who
have studied with EF. The team will contrast the essays, chronicle
recurring differences in the prose, and attempt to understand which
academic approaches worked best in developing written English language
This collaboration is an opportunity for the world's leading private
international education organization to offer HGSE researchers
potential access to unprecedented amounts of data which could reveal
new approaches for making English language learning easier for people
in every corner of the world.
"We are proud to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in
language education," said EF Co-Chairman Philip Hult. "Our research
project with the HGSE team is exciting and may reveal how a data-driven
assessment of language learning can help students learn English more
effectively in the future."
EF and HGSE researchers are considering additional topics for future
study, including the effectiveness of regional pedagogy on spoken
English language proficiency, the impact of experiential learning over
traditional textbook approaches, and the potential to utilize "Big
Data" from millions of EF students to identify new approaches to
"This collaboration has the potential to offer important findings to
inform research-based assessments and pedagogical approaches to support
adolescents as they learn to become skilled writers of academic English
in different countries," said Dr. Uccelli.
EF Education First was established in 1965 with the mission to break down barriers of
language, culture and geography. With 450 schools and offices in over
50 countries, EF specializes in language learning, educational travel,
academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs.
SOURCE: EF Education First Ltd.
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