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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
March 12, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Modern Languages Head Receives Unique Honor

PITTSBURGH—G. Richard Tucker, head of the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University and an internationally recognized expert in language education, will receive the 2002 Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Service from the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) on March 22 at the organization's annual conference in Arlington, Va.

With this award, Tucker will become the only person to have been honored by all four of the major North American language education associations: the AAAL, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association for Bilingual Education and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

"Both by personal inclination and the nature of my work during the past 36 years, I've had an opportunity to be actively involved with all of the major American language education associations," Tucker said.

"It has been the AAAL that I have always considered to be my own personal reference group, so I am particularly pleased and honored by this recognition," he said.

A professor of applied linguistics, Tucker has been at Carnegie Mellon since 1992 and has been the head of the Department of Modern Languages since 1995. He has planned and implemented national language surveys in several developing nations, including Jordan, the Sudan and the Philippines. Tucker also conducted a 12-year longitudinal study of foreign language immersion programs in Quebec.

His research includes evaluating the development and implementation of an innovative Japanese program for elementary school students in Pittsburgh and assessing the implementation of an innovative Spanish program for elementary school youngsters in the Chartiers Valley School District. Tucker has published more than 200 books, articles or reviews concerning diverse aspects of second language learning and teaching. He has spent a number of years living and working as a Language Education advisor for the International Division of the Ford Foundation in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East and North Africa.

"He has been a key player in establishing the field of applied linguistics and has been a real source of inspiration for so many of us as well as a role model as a leader, researcher and colleague," said Margie Berns, president of the AAAL.


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