Cindy Brantmeier, professor of applied linguistics in international and area studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, received a STARTALK summer grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) to promote Arabic and Persian literacy in the St. Louis region.
The project is sponsored by the 2021 President of the United States National Security Language Initiative, a federal program funded by the NSA. The project aims to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that have not been widely taught in the U.S.
Building upon her previous research, Brantmeier will develop a self-assessment criterion referenced instrument that will help native adult speakers of Arabic and Persian self-diagnose their existing strengths and weaknesses as language users and practitioners. As part of the project, the program will equip local heritage speakers of Arabic and Persian with the necessary theory and research on language acquisition so they can teach their native language to foreign language learners in the St. Louis area.
The team also includes Webster University’s Soheil Mansouri (co-principal investigator) and Mike Strube, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences.