Each month we feature a member of the Second Language Studies Program. This month our spotlight is on Betsy Lavolette!
I am honored to be the SLS student in the spotlight this month. My major research interest is computer-assisted language learning, so I spend a great deal of my time considering how we can more effectively use technology inside and outside of the language classroom. One of the products of that is a list of language learning and teaching web applications that I curate with Susan Pennestri, a colleague at Georgetown University. I also spend time helping language instructors select and learn to use technologies for their teaching, as a consultant for CLEAR, CeLTA, and ACTFL.
In addition to computer-assisted language learning, my research interests include language assessment and instructional design, so my dissertation research is multidisciplinary, spanning applied linguistics, computer-assisted language learning, language assessment, education technology, instructional design, and educational psychology. I am interested in finding the most effective timing for providing feedback to language learners. Technology gives us precise control over this timing, but we have little evidence in applied linguistics about what the most effective timing is for a given learning context. I plan to defend my dissertation in the spring.
I make my professional home in organizations such as the Computer-Assisted Language Instruction Consortium (CALICO), and I serve on the Council of the International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT).
Before coming to MSU in 2011, I received my MA in Second Language Studies with a focus on language pedagogy from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2008. While studying in Hawai’i, I taught English-as-a-second-language in the Hawai’i English Language Program and worked as an instructional designer for the Distance Course Design & Consulting group. Prior to that, I taught English in Tokyo for three years. To learn more about me, you can visit my SLS student profile page or my personal website.