Melissa Baralt

Melissa Baralt

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics

Office: DM 470A (inside the linguistics lab)

Spring 2017 office hours: Tuesdays 3 - 5 PM at MMC, EC, or library sites for FIU-MDPLS teaching internship (please email to make an appointment as sites change)

mbaralt@fiu.edu

Education

  • Ph.D. Georgetown University, 2010 (awarded with distinction)
  • M.S. Georgetown University, 2007
  • B.A. University of Virginia, 2003

Specializations

  • Cognitive benefits of bilingualism
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Second language acquisition
  • Bilingual education
  • Classroom- versus online-based language teaching and learning
  • Methodologies of language teaching
  • Language teacher education and cognition

In The News

FIU, Spring 2017: Congratulations to FIU biomedical engineering undergraduate students Valentina Dargam, Victoria Leon, and Nicolas López for being chosen to join our fNIRS research team!

Univision, 2016: ¿Qué significa la brecha de vocabulario entre niños hispanos?

Univision, 2016: Maestra crea aplicación para combatir la brecha de las palabras entre los niños

Univision, 2015: Cómo criar a un bebé bilingüe

Select Publications

Books

  • Cerezo, L., Leow, R., & Baralt, M. (2015). A psycholinguistic approach to technology and language learning. Boston: de Gruyter. Book information
  • Baralt, M., Gilabert, R., & Robinson, P. (2014). Task sequencing and instructed second language learning. London: Bloomsbury. Book information

Articles

  • Baralt, M., & Morcillo Gómez, J. (in press). Task-Based Language Teaching online: A guide for teachers. Language Learning & Technology.
  • Darcy Mahoney, A., & Baralt, M. (in press). Bilingualism and executive inhibitory control in 4- and 5-year-old preterm born children: A pilot study. Advances in Neonatal Care.
  • Baralt, M., & López-Bravo, M. (2016). Teaching Chinese as a foreign language: A classroom study on the timing of grammar around a task. Chinese as a Second Language Research, 5, 27-61.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Baralt, M. (2015). Does type of modified output correspond to learner noticing of feedback? A closer look in face-to-face and computer-mediated task-based interaction. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36, 1393-420.
  • Head, L., Baralt, M., & Darcy Mahoney, A. (2015). Bilingualism as a potential strategy to improve executive function in preterm infants - A review. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29, 126-36.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Baralt, M. (2014). Exploring learner perception and use of task-based interactional feedback in FTF and CMC modes. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36, 1-37.
  • Cerezo, L., Baralt, M., Suh, B-R., & Leow, R. (2014). Does the medium really matter in L2 development? The validity of CALL research designs. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27, 294-310.
  • Baralt, M. (2013). The impact of cognitive complexity on feedback efficacy during online versus face-to-face interactive tasks. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 689-725.
  • Baralt, M., Pennestri, S., Selvanadin, M. (2011). Using Wordles to teach foreign language writing. Language Learning & Technology, 15, 12-22.
  • 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, 201-29.
  • Baralt, M. (2009). The Use of Social Networking Sites for Language Practice and Learning. Ilha Do Desterro, Recent Research in SLA, 59, 1. Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), Brazil.

Book chapters

  • Baralt, M. (forthcoming). Becoming a task-based teacher educator: A case study. In Martin Bygate, Virginia Samuda, & Kris Van den Branden (Eds.), Task-based Language Teaching as a researched pedagogy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Baralt, M., Gurzynski-Weiss, L., & Kim, Y. (2016). Engagement with the language: How examining learners’ affective and social engagement explains successful learner-generated attention to form. In M. Sato & S. Ballinger (Eds.), Peer interaction and L2 learning (pp. 209-239). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Baralt, M. (2015). Working memory capacity, cognitive complexity and L2 recasts in online language teaching. In Z. Wen, M. Borges Mota, & A. McNeill (Eds.), Working memory in second language acquisition and processing (pp. 248-269). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Baralt, M., & Leow, R. (2015). Uptake, task complexity, and L2 development in SLA: An online perspective. In Cerezo, L., Leow, R., & Baralt, M. (Eds.), A psycholinguistic approach to technology and language learning (pp. 201-222). Boston: de Gruyter.
  • Gurzynski-Weiss, L., Baralt, M., Al-Khalil, M., & Leow, R. (2015). The roles of type of feedback, type of linguistic item, and awareness in L2 development in computer-mediated communication. In Cerezo, L., Leow, R., & Baralt, M. (Eds.), A psycholinguistic approach to technology and language learning (pp. 151-170). Boston: de Gruyter.
  • Baralt., M. (2014). Task sequencing and task complexity in traditional versus online classes. In M. Baralt, R. Gilabert, & P. Robinson (Eds.), Task sequencing and instructed second language learning (pp. 95-122). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Baralt, M., Gilabert, R., & Robinson, P. (2014). An introduction to theory and research in task sequencing and instructed second language learning. In M. Baralt, R. Gilabert, & P. Robinson (Eds.), Task sequencing and instructed second language learning (pp. 1-34). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Baralt., M., Harmath-de Lemos, S., & Werfelli, S. (2014). Teachers' application of the Cognition Hypothesis when lesson planning: A case study. In M. Baralt, R. Gilabert, & P. Robinson (Eds.), Task sequencing and instructed second language learning (pp. 179-206). London: Bloomsbury.
  • Baralt, M. (2012). Coding qualitative data. In A. Mackey and S. Gass (Eds.), Research methods in second language acquisition: A practical guide (pp. 222-244). Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

Funding

  • Phase 2 Winner: Health Resources and Services Administration Bridging the Word Gap Challenge. Háblame Bebé Phone App: Helping Hispanic families reduce the word gap and promote bilingualism. Technology-driven innovation to tackle the word gap among children from low-income families. 2016. $25,000.
  • Phase 1 Winner: Health Resources and Services Administration Bridging the Word Gap Challenge. Háblame Bebé Phone App: Helping Hispanic families reduce the word gap and promote bilingualism. Technology-driven innovation to tackle the word gap among children from low-income families. 2016. $10,000.
  • Development of an MI-BRIDGE online toolkit for teachers (MI-BRIDGE: minority institutions building resources to ignite development and growth in education). Designated language teaching methodologist funds under LACC Title VI grant with Dr. Frank Mora. 2015-2017. $9,000.
  • Development of MI-BRIDGE Post-Secondary Faculty Training Workshops. Designated language teaching methodologist funds under LACC Title VI grant with Dr. Frank Mora. 2015-2017. $9,000.
  • Language Learning Small Research Grant. Project title: The benefits of bilingualism for children born premature. Co-PI Dr. Ashley Darcy Mahoney (Baptist Children's Hospital). 2014-2015. $10,000.
  • Kranys Children's Innovation Grant with Dr. Ashley Darcy Mahoney (of Baptist Children's Hospital and George Washington University). Project title: Bilingualism and the relationship to cognitive and executive development in preterm infants. 2014-2016. $100,000.
  • Broad Research Fellowship. 2012, 2015. $1000.

Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2016. Florida International University.
  • Children's Wellbeing Pioneer Award, 2016. Ashoka Changemakers and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
  • Top Scholar, 2014. (One of 39 professors chosen by President Rosenberg for excellence in research). Florida International University.

Current Research Projects

  • Háblame Bebé: Exploring the effect of a phone application on parent language production in their heritage language (with Ashley Darcy Mahoney, George Washington University, and Natalie Brito, Columbia University)
  • The neural recruitment of executive function in bilingual versus monolingual preterm-born children with fNIRS (with Ashley Darcy Mahoney, George Washington University)
  • The moderating role of bilingualism on preterm infant executive function capacity (with Ashley Darcy Mahoney, George Washington University)
  • The role of cognitive complexity on learner awareness in task-based interaction
  • Social functions of code-switching in a bilingual first-grade classroom (with Laura Gurzynski-Weiss, Indiana University)
  • Task-based teaching of Spanish as a foreign language in China

Current Research collaborations with graduate students

  • Black student experiences in the academic study of Spanish as a foreign language, with Déborah Gómez, Juan Godoy, and José Morcillo Gómez, Florida International University
  • Needs Analysis for Spanish Heritage curriculum in Miami, with Rebeca Cunill, Florida International University and Washington University in St. Louis
  • Using eye-tracking to measure teachers' cognitive load while teaching languages online, with José Morcillo Gómez, Florida International University
  • The effects of task complexity and convergent versus divergent tasks on Spanish students' L2 production and interaction, with Gabriela Escobar Rodríguez, Florida International University

Current Ph.D. Mentees

  • Celia Chamón Zamora, Georgetown University. The secret is in the processing: A study of levels of explicit computerized feedback in heritage and L2 learners of Spanish.
  • Majeed Noroozi, Florida International University. Assessment in task-based language teaching and learning.
  • YeonJoo Jung, Georgia State University. The role of socially-mediated alignment in the development of L2 grammar and vocabulary: Comparing FTF and SCMC contexts.
  • Yinhong Duan, Florida International University. Cooperative versus traditional learning in Chinese secondary schools for L2 vocabulary acquisition.