Laura Gurzynski-Weiss

Laura Gurzynski-Weiss

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese

Director, Undergraduate Studies

Education

  • Ph.D., with distinction, Georgetown University, 2010
  • M.S., Georgetown University, 2007
  • B.A., Marquette University, 2005

About Laura Gurzynski-Weiss

I conduct research within the field of instructed second language acquisition, which empirically investigates how non-native languages (L2s) are acquired in instructed contexts, and what can be done to maximize acquisitional outcomes. My work has expanded our understanding of the variables that may affect L2 learning by systematically examining input, interaction, feedback, modified output, and task-related factors primarily from cognitive-interactionist and psycholinguistic approaches. In utilizing quantitative and qualitative descriptive and quasi-experimental (laboratory or in-class experimental) designs, my empirical work investigates: (a) the presence of these aforementioned factors in instructed Spanish L2 settings; (b) the attention and cognitive processes directing instructor provision and learner perception and use of these factors; and (c) how instructor individual characteristics and learner individual differences—as well as contextual features such as task complexity and mode of interaction—may influence the provision, cognitive processing, and use of these factors; within this latter area I also examine if these individual differences are static or dynamic. Additionally, I am currently expanding my research to investigate emerging bilingualism in Bloomington elementary school settings as well as how task-based domestic immersion may lead to L2 Spanish development.

My research appears in the top journals in the field, including Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Psycholinguistics, Hispania, Language Learning, Language Teaching Research, The Language Learning Journal, Modern Language Journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, as well as in chapters with DeGruyter, John Benjamins, Routledge, and Wiley-Blackwell. I am the editor of Expanding individual differences in the interaction approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors (John Benjamins, 2017), Cross-theoretical explorations of interlocutors and their individual differences (John Benjamins, in press), and co-editor of the 2017 thematic issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition, TBLT and L2 pronunciation: Do the benefits of tasks expand beyond grammar and lexis? (with former students Drs. Avizia Y. Long, San José State University and Megan Solon, IUPUI).

My work has been supported by many competitive grants as well as Short-Term Faculty Exchanges with the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. I am the founder and convenor of the International Association of Applied Linguistics Research Network on Instructor & Interlocutor Individual Differences in Cognition and Second Language Acquisition, and I am the 2018 Distinguished Research Award winner from TESOL (with Andrea Révész, University College, London).

A cornerstone of my research is ensuring that collected data are usable and impactful beyond academia. My work directly informs language learning opportunities in elementary, high school, and university contexts in our Bloomington community, and all of this work occurs in collaborative engagement with students at both undergraduate and graduate levels, within and beyond the classroom. The undergraduate courses I teach include an Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (HISP-S326) and the Acquisition of Spanish (HISP-S430). For the former course, I co-authored a textbook with fellow professors Díaz-Campos and Geeslin (Introducción y aplicaciones contextualizadas a la lingüística hispánica, Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), and collaboratively designed a completely task-based companion set of materials for use with the textbook (available via Wiley’s instructor companion site).

The graduate courses I teach include foreign language teaching methodology (HISP-S517), the required training course for all of our associate instructors, as well as specialized courses in second language acquisition. The advanced graduate courses have most recently included Task-Based Language Teaching and Learning (TBLT), Individual Differences (IDs), Research Methodology, and the Acquisition of L2 Spanish in Multiple Educational Contexts. The continuing work on TBLT can be seen at tblt.indiana.edu, a website created to support language teachers interested in task-supported and task-based language teaching. I am currently several semesters into a longitudinal study with students from the ID seminar that examines the dynamicity of learner and teacher IDs (Jung, DiBartolomeo, Giacomino, Melero-García, Gurzynski-Weiss, Henderson, & Hidalgo), and I am leading a team of students in a longitudinal partnership with Bloomington-area elementary schools to support their exposure-track L2 Spanish programs. I am the 2012 Outstanding Mentor award winner from our graduate students and a 2015 Trustees' Teaching Award winner from Indiana University.

My largest professional service involvements are on the Executive Boards of the International Association of Applied Linguistics, where I coordinate all of the 29 Research Networks worldwide, and on the Executive Board of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching. I am currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and have served twice as Associate Chair, on various committees at the university and departmental level, and am a frequent reviewer for journals and conferences in the field of second language acquisition.

 

Specializations

  • Instructed second language acquisition
  • Interaction- and task-based classroom research and curricular design
  • Instructor characteristics and learner individual differences
  • Feedback use and perception
  • Teacher cognition
  • Emerging bilingualism in elementary-aged children
Books
Special issue
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Long, A. Y., & Solon, M. (Eds.) (2017). TBLT and L2 pronunciation: Do the benefits of tasks extend beyond grammar and lexis? [Special issue]. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(2).
Peer-reviewed articles and chapters
  • Jung, D., Gurzynski-Weiss, L., DiBartolomeo, M., Giacomino, L., Melero-García, F. (contracted for publication in 2020). Dynamic individual differences? An empirical example of a longitudinal design. In “pursuit of the dynamic nature of individual differences” [Invited special issue, Ed. Gurzynski-Weiss]. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching.
  • Henderson, C., Jung, D., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (in press). Does learner engagement predict learning? A mode comparison of L2 Spanish. In S. Mercer, P. Hiver, & A. Al-hoorie (Eds.), Engagement in the Second Language Classroom. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Philp, J., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (in press). On the role of the interlocutor in second language development: A cognitive-interactionist approach. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (Ed.), Cross-theoretical explorations of interlocutors and their individual differences. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Geeslin, K. L., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (accepted). Tenure and promotion. In L. Plonsky (Ed.), Professional development in applied linguistics: A guide to success for graduate students and early career faculty. Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Geeslin, K. L., Daidone, D., Linford, B., Long, A. Y., Michalski, I., & Solon, M. (2018). L2 classrooms as multifaceted sources of input: The synergy of variationist and usage-based approaches. In A. Tyler, L. Ortega, M. Uno, & H. I. Park (Eds.), Usage-inspired L2 instruction: Researched pedagogy (pp. 293-313). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2017c). Instructor individual characteristics and L2 interaction. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (Ed.), Expanding individual difference research in the interaction approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors (pp. 151-172). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2017b). Introduction. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (Ed.), Expanding individual difference research in the interaction approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors (pp. 3-18). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  •  Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Plonsky, L. (2017). Look who’s interacting: A scoping review of research involving non-teacher/non-peer interlocutors. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (Ed.), Expanding individual difference research in the interaction approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors (pp. 305-324). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Geeslin, K. L., Long, A. Y.; Daidone, D. (2017). Linguistic variation in instructor provision of oral input. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (Ed.), Expanding individual difference research in the interaction approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors (pp. 225-254). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Henderson, C., & Jung, D. (2017). Examining timing and type of learner-modified output in relation to perception in face-to-face and synchronous computer-mediated chat task-based interaction. In M. Ahmadian & P. García Mayo (Eds.), Multiple perspectives on task-based language teaching and learning (pp. 53-76). Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Solon, M., & Long, A. Y. (2017). Introduction. In Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Long, A. Y., & Solon, M. (Eds.), TBLT and L2 pronunciation: Do the benefits of tasks extend beyond grammar and lexis? [Special issue]. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(2), 213-224.
  • Solon, M., Long, A. Y., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2017). Task complexity, language-related episodes, and production of L2 Spanish vowels. In Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Long, A. Y., & Solon, M. (Eds.). TBLT and L2 pronunciation: Do the benefits of tasks extend beyond grammar and lexis? [Special issue]. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(2), 347-380.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2017a). L2 instructor individual characteristics. In S. Loewen & M. Sato (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of instructed second language acquisition (pp. 451-467). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Révész, A., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2016). Teachers' perspectives on second language task difficulty: Insights from think-alouds and eye-tracking. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 182-204.
  • Baralt, M., Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Kim, Y. (2016). The effects of task type and classroom environment on learners’ engagement with the language. In M. Sato & S. Ballinger (Eds.), Peer interaction and L2 learning (pp. 209-239). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2016b). Spanish instructors’ operationalization and interpretation of task complexity and sequencing in non-experimental foreign language lessons. The Language Learning Journal 44(4), 467-486.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2016a). Factors influencing Spanish instructors’ in-class feedback decisions. Modern Language Journal, 100(1), 255-275.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Al-Khalil, M., Baralt, M., & Leow, R. (2015). The roles of type of feedback and type of linguistic item on L2 awareness in computer-mediated communication. In R. Leow, L. Cerezo, & M. Baralt (Eds.), Technology and second/foreign language learning: A psycholinguistic approach (pp. 151-170). Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Baralt, M. (2015). A closer look at learner responses to feedback and their effect on noticing in face-to-face and computer-mediated task-based interaction. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(6), 1393-1420.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Long, A. Y., & Solon, M. (2015). Comparing interaction and use of space in traditional and innovative classroom spaces. Hispania, 98(1), 61-78.
  • Plonsky, L., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2014). Research methods. In C. Fäcke (Ed.) Manual of language acquisition(pp. 31-49). Berlin: de Gruyter.
  •  Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Baralt, M. (2014). Exploring learner perception and use of task-based interactional feedback in face-to-face and computer-mediated modes. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36(1), 1-37.
  •  Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2014b). Triangulating graduate instructor learning in FL teaching methods: Questionnaires, concept maps, and reflective teaching journals. In Proceedings of the World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership, 141, 171-181.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2014a). Graduate instructor in-class cognition and feedback provision over time. In R. T. Miller, K. I. Martin, C. M. Eddington, A. Henery, N. M. Miguel, A. Tseng, A. Tuninetti, & D. Walter (Eds.), Selected proceedings of the 2012 Second Language Research Forum, 227-239.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2013). Instructor characteristics and classroom-based second language acquisition of Spanish. In K. L. Geeslin (Ed.), The handbook of Spanish second language acquisition (pp. 530-546). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Révész, A. (2012). Tasks, teacher feedback, and learner modified output in naturally occurring classroom interaction. Language Learning, 62(3), 851-879.
  • Baralt, M., & Gurzynski-Weiss, L. (2011). Comparing learners’ state anxiety during task-based interaction in computer-mediated and face-to-face communication. Language Teaching Research, 15(2), 201-229.

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Research Assistantship; Department of Spanish & Portuguese; Spring 2019
  • 2018 Distinguished Research Award; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • International Conference Travel Grant; Office of the Vice Provost of International Affairs; $800; 2017
  • Graduate Research Assistantship; Department of Spanish & Portuguese; Fall 2016
  • Trustees Teaching Award; Spring 2016
  • Office of the Vice Provost of International Affairs Short-Term International Visitors Grant for “Symposium on Interlocutor Individual Differences in Cognition and Second Language Acquisition”; $1500; 2015
  • College Arts and Humanities Institute Conference Grant for “Symposium on Interlocutor Individual Differences in Cognition and Second Language Acquisition”; $7576; 2014
  • Outstanding Mentor Award; Department of Spanish & Portuguese Graduate Student Advisory Committee; 2014
  • Graduate Research Assistantship; Department of Spanish & Portuguese; Fall 2014
  • International Conference Travel Grant; Office of the Vice Provost of International Affairs; $1500; 2014
  • Grant-in-Aid, Office for the Vice Provost of Research; $3000; 2014
  • Institute for European Studies International Travel Grant; $800; 2013
  • Short-Term Faculty Exchange with the Universidad de Sevilla, Office for the Vice Provost of International Affairs; 2013; 2014
  • Center for Arts & Humanities Institute Grant for Hispanic Linguistics Guest Lecture; $1000; 2012
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Research Grant from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education; $5000; 2011-2012

Selected current research projects

  • Founder/Convenor, Interlocutor Individual Differences in Cognition and SLA, International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) Research Network (ReN) http://www.individualdifferencesinsla.com/
  • Investigating the dynamicity of individual differences: Tracking learner and teacher IDs over time (collaboration with IU students Daniel Jung, Megan DiBartolomeo, Lindsay Giacomino, Fernando Melero-García; and Marian Hidalgo, University of the Basque Country)
  • Emerging bilingualism in Bloomington elementary schools (collaboration with IU students Mackenzie Kern-McFadden, Madison Wray, Kike Rodriguez, and Matt Williams)
  • Spanish language immersion camp (SLIC)  task-based curriculum development and research examining learning, task complexity and task difficulty, motivation, and other learner and interlocutor individual difference factors
  • Corrective feedback, noticing and use in Spanish and Portuguese FL classrooms
  • Variation in pronunciation instruction and feedback in Spanish FL classrooms: Examining instructors' beliefs and individual characteristics (collaboration with Dr. Avizia Y. Long, San José State University & Lisa Baldwin Egar)
  • Task-based needs analysis in a Spanish FL context (departmental collaboration)
  • Social functions of code-switching in a first-grade Spanish/English dual-immersion classroom (collaboration with Dr. Melissa Baralt, Florida International University)
  • Heritage language instructors (collaboration with Dr. Diego Pascual y Cabo, the University of Florida & Dr. Julio Torres, University of California, Irvine)