Graduate student Mike Raish publishes article

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Graduate student Mike Raish has published his research in an article, “The Acquisition of an Egyptian Phonological Variant by U.S. Students in Cairo.” Foreign Language Annals, 48: 267–283. doi: 10.1111/flan.12140.

This study investigated the acquisition of an Egyptian phonological variant by student participants in a study abroad program at The American University in Cairo. Participants completed pre- and post–study abroad Simulated Oral Proficiency Interviews (SOPIs). The SOPI data showed a move toward an Egyptian realization of the phonological variable on the part of most participants. Furthermore, extralinguistic factors such as participant gender and status as a heritage speaker were likewise shown to influence variant choice, while factors such as length of stay abroad and word position of the target token were not shown to have a significant effect on target item realization. In contrast to other studies investigating the acquisition of target language sociolinguistic norms in the form of phonological variables in Spanish, this study found an extremely high rate of learner adoption of an Egyptian realization of this variable among learners of Arabic in Cairo.

Mike also presented a paper earlier this spring at the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2015 Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

His paper was titled “The Development of an Arabic C-Test for Quickly Estimating Learners’ Global Proficiency,” in Event: N-O.19 Colloquium (ASE): “Developing and Validating Short-Cut Estimates of Foreign Language Proficiency for Research Purposes: The C-Test Across Five Languages.”