With the rise of exemplar theory (Bybee 2010), the role of lexical frequency in language variation and change has been a focus of considerable study, particularly in phonology (e.g. Bybee 2002; Jurafsky et al. 2001; Walker 2012). Results, however, have been mixed, with some studies showing strong frequency effects and others showing no such effects. Recently Erker and Guy (2012) extended the analysis of frequency effects to morphosyntactic variation.
Several studies have reported unsatisfactory learning outcomes and negative perceptions of online language learning (e.g., Cavanaugh, 2001; Oliver, Kellogg, & Patel, 2012). The 2016 UVa STARTALK program has embarked on multifaceted research projects to seek possible solutions to these challenges.
Among educators, students, parents and policy makers, study abroad is routinely interpreted as a prime context for language learning. In effect, evidence can be found to show that student sojourns abroad can be beneficial for all aspects of language development but that they are especially useful for fostering the social-interactive and pragmatic capacities least amenable to classroom instruction.