De Costa Presented with Emerging Scholar Award

Peter De Costa, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has earned the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award of the Language and Social Processes Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). 

man with brown hair and glasses holding award poses with woman with brown hair

The Emerging Scholar Award recognizes outstanding scholarship among doctoral students and recent graduates. De Costa earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. He is part of MSU’s core faculty within the Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program and the Master of Arts in TESOL Program. 

“As a pre-tenured scholar, I am deeply humbled by this award, which also marks a validation of my work and enduring interest in the humanistic aspects of language learning,” De Costa said. “In an age of large data, I am thrilled that the academy continues to support and recognize the valuable insights that in-depth ethnographic research can bring to understanding the dynamics surrounding the complex human condition, while also taking into consideration the need to ensure that ethical research practices are in place.”

A central focus of my identity- and ideology-inflected research agenda is the inequalities learners encounter.

De Costa’s socioculturally oriented research interests are aligned with the interests of the Language and Social Processes Special Interest Group.

“I have explored how second language learner development is influenced by the identity of learners and the identities of those with whom they come into contact. Interactions with others including teachers and peers result in what I and other identity researchers have described as the discursive construction of identity,” De Costa said. “In addition, I have investigated how the ideologies of learners and other social actors, ranging from individuals through the nation, shape learner trajectories. A central focus of my identity- and ideology-inflected research agenda is the inequalities learners encounter. My commitment to creating equitable learning environments is in tandem with the SIG’s broader mission of realizing educational justice.”

De Costa was the Emerging Scholar Award early faculty member recipient, while the graduate student recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award went to Jon Wargo, a doctoral student in the Curriculum, Instruction & Teacher Education program at Michigan State University. The two were presented with their awards at the AERA annual meeting on April 11 in Washington, D.C.

The American Educational Research Association, a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. The purpose of the Language and Social Processes Special Interest Group is to explore directions in and issues of language and discourse practices, literacy, and learning processes and social contexts through studies grounded in sociocultural, constructivist and constructionist perspectives.