ACTFL Welcomes 2020 Interns and Scholars

CONTACT: Leah Graham
703-894-2900 Ext. 122

ACTFL’s Center for Assessment, Research and Development is pleased to announce this summer’s recipients of its 2020 Internships and Scholars Program. The Summer Internship and Scholars Program is designed as a pathway to the profession; its goal is to help recipients:

  • Explore the field
  • Develop professional & academic skills
  • Accumulate experiences that will serve as the foundation for future leadership roles

This summer’s interns and scholars include:

Educator in Residence

ACTFL’s Center for Assessment, Research and Development is pleased to welcome Cristina Procaccino as an Educator in Residence for the summer of 2020. Educators in Residence are selected based on their clear and demonstrable interest and commitment to World Language Education and to ACTFL’s vision and mission. Cristina, a Latin teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools is focusing her appointment on the development of a virtual professional learning module for other teachers of Latin.

Cristina Procaccino is a Latin teacher with Fairfax County Public Schools. She obtained her B.A. in Classics and Italian with a certificate in Medieval and Renaissance studies, summa cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh (2010), M.Sc. in Classics from the University of Edinburgh (2011), M.Ed. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Virginia (2016), and M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia (2019). She is currently a doctoral student at George Mason University in the Multilingual/Multicultural Education program.

Her research interests are culturally responsive Latin pedagogies, literacy through Latin, assessment equity, linguistics in the secondary school curriculum, and non-binary student participation and engagement in gendered language classes.

Ms. Procaccino is a member of the American Classical League, Linguistic Society of America, ACTFL, and Foreign Language Association of Virginia.

2020 Internship & Scholar Bios

Leah Adelson is a PhD student in the Spanish Linguistics program at Georgetown University, where she has taught both Spanish and Portuguese language courses. In addition to her role as instructor, she is also the Assistant Director of Advanced Spanish courses and one of two Technology Champions for the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Prior to beginning her studies at Georgetown, she taught Spanish in Baltimore City at which time she also earned a Master of Science in Educational Studies. Her professional interests include teacher training and education, which has motivated her to organize and lead workshops for Spanish and Portuguese instructors at Georgetown on topics relating to foreign language pedagogy and assessment. Her current research focuses on third language acquisition and the role that background languages play in the learning process.

Joyce Du is a master's student in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literature; she speaks Mandarin, Taiwanese, English, and Korean and her research interests are in language assessment and advanced learners.

Camille Kurtz is a rising senior at Georgetown University pursuing a major in linguistics and a minor in Spanish. Her language studies also include French, Portuguese, Latin, and a limited study of Arabic. After graduation, she hopes to apply to graduate school and ultimately obtain a PhD in linguistics, which she plans to use to become a professor and to conduct her own original research. Her research areas of interest include sociolinguistic studies, discourse analysis, language acquisition, and bilingual education. This year Camille is conducting a senior honors thesis at Georgetown studying the use and appearance of discourse markers in second language speech as a potential measure of oral proficiency. This topic was motivated by Camille’s many years of experience learning languages and particularly inspired by her recent study abroad experience in São Paulo, Brazil. When not on Georgetown’s campus, Camille spends her time with her family and four cats in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Grace McGiffin is a rising senior at George Mason University. Her major is English with a concentration in Linguistics, and a minor in Korean. During the school year, she works as a research help coach at her school’s library. If she isn’t working or studying or hanging out with family, she’ll probably be playing sports or writing music. When she graduates, she hopes to go to Korea for a year to teach or do language-related research.

Tara Rao is a rising junior at American University, double majoring in International Studies and Arabic Studies. Tara is focusing her study of International Studies on Justice, Ethics, and Human Rights. At AU, she is involved with No Lost Generation and the Pre-Law Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta. During the summer of 2019, Tara was a Critical Language Scholar and studied Arabic in Meknes, Morocco.

Bryan Tran is a senior at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. He is a French major with a concentration in Adolescent Education, with aspirations of becoming a French teacher. At Le Moyne, Bryan has sought out leadership positions in several extracurricular activities. He is president of the College’s French Club and Education Club; vice president of the Spanish Club; and is a peer tutor and academic coach in the Student Success Center. He had the opportunity to spend his fall 2019 semester studying abroad in Grenoble, France.

Linxi Zhang is a doctoral student in Hispanic Linguistic at Georgetown University. Her primary research interests include Spanish phonetics/phonology and third language acquisition. She received her bachelor’s degree in China, majoring in Spanish Language and Literature, and received her master’s degree in Hispanic Linguistics at the Florida State University. Since 2017, she’s been pursuing her doctorate degree while teaching undergraduate-level Spanish language courses at the Georgetown’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She’s passionate about language teaching and learning in a multilingual context; in her free time, she enjoys reading and yoga, and has recently discovered trail running.