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MIC Center: Changing the World for the Better by Improving Communication

Mic

MICThe Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication (MIC) is one of the newest centers on campus, now in its second year of operation. Founded by Agnes He, professor of Applied Linguistics and Asian and Asian-American Studies, the Center was conceptualized to create much-needed synergy among the many faculty across campus whose work contributes to various dimensions of multilingual and intercultural communication.

MIC is an interdisciplinary research center where applied linguists, linguists, psychologists, communication scholars, education specialists and scholars of allied disciplines explore multilingual repertoires as rich resources in the context of global mobility and technological advancement. It is a place where curious minds are brought together to confront the communication challenges of the contemporary multilingual world, where interdisciplinary thinking is the norm, where cross-departmental, cross-disciplinary research leads to better understandings of how globalization, immigration and other events transform language behaviors and socio-cultural practices. It started with a simple belief that the power to change the world for the better lies in our willingness and ability to communicate with one another more effectively.

The Center has received $1 million from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “Communication in the Global University: A Longitudinal Study of Language Adaptation at Multiple Timescales in Native- and Non-Native Speakers.” While the goal of the project is to measure, track and improve both international teaching assistants’ developing communication skills in English and undergraduates’ understanding of foreign-accented English, the findings will be applicable to any situation involving intercultural communication. The resulting data will provide an unprecedented opportunity for scientists to examine long-term effects in foreign language learning, language processing and the development of communicative strategies. The project is a collaboration among faculty in psychology, linguistics, math, and applied mathematics and statistics.

In addition to its many ongoing research projects, MIC will continue its Distinguished Lecture Series this fall. On Friday, November 13, Loraine K. Obler, Distinguished Professor in the Programs for Speech Language Hearing Sciences and Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center, will discuss “Bilingual Executive Control in Avoiding Language Mixing Despite Brain Damage” (location and time to be announced).

For more information about the Center and upcoming lectures, visit stonybrook.edu/mic.

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