We are fortunate to have a wide range of expertise and experience on the iRead project team. In a series of blog posts we will introduce each of our partners and find out what motivated them to get involved in the iRead project. Next up is the University of Barcelona (introduced by principal investigator Roger Gilabert)
Introducing University of Barcelona
The University of Barcelona (UB) was founded in 1450. Today it boasts a student body of 63,020 and a research staff of 5,312 members. Degrees are offered in 73 different areas of teaching with numerous postgraduate and doctorate programs as well as continuing education courses. The Language Acquisition Research Group (GRAL – www.ubgral.com) led and coordinated by Dr. Carmen Muñoz is devoted to the study of various aspects of first and second language acquisition with a special focus on aspects such as age, input, aptitude, and context. It is a well-established research group within the European context with over 20 years of experience.
Dr Roger Gilabert | Associate professor/Serra Hunter Fellow and researcher
Roger is currently an associate professor/Serra Hunter Fellow and researcher at the University of Barcelona. His research interests include second and foreign language production and acquisition, task design and task complexity, and individual differences in L2 production and acquisition. He is involved in a project within the language acquisition research group (GRAL) that investigates the effects of subtitling in series and film on second language learning. He has published extensively in the areas of task design, task complexity, and CAF. His most recent publications include research on writing and its potential for second language learning.
Dr Sara Feijoo | Full Time Researcher
Sara is currently a full-time lecturer and a researcher at the University of Barcelona, where she obtained her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics. Her research interests include topics such as first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, linguistic impairments and the relationship between language and cognition. In particular, she has been working on child language and on the role of input in linguistic development. As a member of the GRAL group has been involved in different research projects on second language learning funded by the Spanish Government.
Why did we get involved in iRead?
We believe the iRead project is an attractive and fruitful ground for our understanding of reading in general and L1 and L2 acquisition in particular. We are fascinated by the many opportunities the iRead system will bring to young learners and to us as researchers.
- the adaptive nature of the iRead system will allow for the personalized improvement of the complex reading skills learners are faced with
- the technological component has both a direct impact on motivation and it allows us researchers to gather incredibly useful data for our analysis and understanding of reading a skill
- from our perspective, it’ll be incredibly useful to learn about the acquisition of reading skills and language, whether first or second language, as a whole
- it is also an indirect window into individual differences in the acquisition of reading skills
We feel very privileged to be able to share our expertise in first and language acquisition with such a diverse and interesting group of researchers and developers coming from the public academic arena and industry private sectors.
Participating in the development of a system that caters to both the first and second languages of you learners is but a language acquisition researcher’s dream. Opening up to society and establishing a close relationship with the schools that will be participating in the iRead project is certainly another privilege. We have the greatest expectations about the project and couldn’t be happier to be part of iRead!