students talking in class

The Speaking Proficiency Outcomes of Face-to-Face and Online U.S. Intensive Postsecondary Summer Programs in Less and Least Commonly Taught Foreign Languages

The Language Institute, in partnership with the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI) has received funding from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI International Research and Studies Program (2020-23) to conduct a study on the speaking proficiency gains and outcomes of students enrolled in intensive summer programs in the following less commonly taught languages: Arabic, Bengali, Brazilian Portuguese, Hindi, Kazakh, Indonesian, Persian, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Turkish, Urdu, Uyghur, and Uzbek.

This research study responds to national calls for research on the proficiency outcomes of U.S. foreign language programs (Winke & Gass, 2019) to document the speaking proficiency outcomes of intensive summer programs offered through WISLI in both face-to-face and online/remote instructional contexts.


Documenting the speaking proficiency gains that students make in intensive summer LCTL programs in face-to-face and online/remote instructional contexts, Plenary for the Interagency Language Roundtable, March 11, 2022. Dianna Murphy, Sonya Sedivy, Felecia Lucht.

Assessing the speaking proficiency outcomes of online and face-to-face intensive U.S. summer programs in less commonly taught languages, American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, March 22, 2022. Dianna Murphy, Jana Martin, Felecia Lucht, Hadis Ghaedi.

LCTL students’ perceptions of the most engaging activities in developing their speaking abilities, National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages Conference, April 22, 2022. Hadis Ghaedi, Felecia Lucht, Jana Martin.

Research lead

Dianna Murphy, Principal Investigator and Lead Researcher

Research team

  • Hadis Ghaedi, Graduate Research Assistant; Dissertator, Second Language Acquisition PhD Program
  • Felecia Lucht, Lead Researcher; Director, Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes
  • Meg Malone, Outside Evaluator; Director of Assessment, Research and Development, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL); Director, Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center; Research Professor, Georgetown University
  • Jana Martin, Associate Researcher; Associate Director, Language Institute
  • Sonya Sedivy, Statistical Design and Consulting; Associate Research Scientist, Testing and Evaluation Services


U.S. Department of Education, Title VI, International Research and Studies (IRS) Program

ACTFL Research Priorities Grant