My name is Tristan Catto, and I am a junior at Penn State studying Linguistics and Psychology. I have always loved studying languages, and am now very lucky to be able to study how they work, as well. Outside of the lab, I love sewing and riding horses. I hope to go to graduate school to further my knowledge of linguistics and to enter a career in psycholinguistic research.
My PIRE project advisor is Dr. Katharina Schuhmann (Penn State). Our research investigates the potential benefit of real-time, visual feedback for foreign/second language learners, who see their own articulatory gestures during synchronous online language instruction. We hypothesize that learners’ own video feeds, coupled with explicit pronunciation instruction and practice, heightens learners’ proprioceptive awareness. We predict that this context facilitates gains in foreign/second language learners’ pronunciation of certain difficult sounds and sound sequences. This research is especially pertinent to present-day language-learning and language-teaching scenarios, as the current, global pandemic shifted many instructional and learning contexts online. We are partnering with the Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany to conduct this research in the summer of 2021.