Project Perseverance

Student orientation by Dr. Kirk Belnap

Students of Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish almost universally report that they want to reach “professional-level” proficiency. This is wishful thinking, of course, unless a student perseveres. This project entails:

1) on-line resources in the form of language learners’ success stories (especially those of working professionals), useful brief summaries of relevant research, and training webinars to help students deal with linguistic and culture shock and become effective self-regulating learners who proactively work to accomplish their goals.

2) research with stateside and abroad partners to document the effectiveness of these student training efforts.

This project is supported by an illustrious group of Second Language Acquisition experts and clinical psychologists experienced in working in cross-cultural communication contexts, including: Jennifer Bown, Andrew Cohen, Dan Dewey, Madeline Ehrman, Richard Schmidt, Patrick Steffan and Ema Ushioda.


Project Perseverance Outline (of what a student can do to become a more effective learner)

Useful Tools:

Motivation, Vision and Life Narratives

Visualization and Language Learning

Self-Efficacy in Foreign Language Learning

Implications of Brain Plasticity  for Learners and Teachers of Arabic (an extract from our online STARTALK teacher training workshop)

Student Anxiety and Motivation during Intensive Language Study Abroad

Making the Most of Study Abroad