National Advisory Board

CLEAR's National Advisory Board (NAB) brings together individuals of international reputation with a strong commitment to foreign language and less commonly taught language education. Members, selected with attention to CLEAR’s project areas and emphases, provide advice, evaluate CLEAR’s activities, and ensure integration of national priorities.

Martha Abbott, Executive Director, ACTFL


Marty Abbott is currently the Executive Director for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Her career began in Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) where she was a language teacher, foreign language coordinator, and Director of High School Instruction.  She has served on national committees to develop student standards, beginning teacher standards, and performance assessments in foreign languages.  She was President of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 2003, Chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 1999, and President of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia in 1996.  Marty also was co-chair of the national public awareness campaign 2005: The Year of Languages and now heads up ACTFL’s national public awareness campaign Lead with Languages! which will launch in 2015. She holds her B.A. degree in Spanish with a minor in Latin from the University of Mary Washington and a Master’s Degree in Spanish Linguistics from Georgetown University.

Dorothy Chun, University of California, Santa Barbara


Dorothy Chun (Ph.D. in Germanic Linguistics, UC Berkeley) is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education at UC Santa Barbara. Her research areas include several aspects of Second Language Acquisition and Computer-Assisted Language Learning: L2 phonology and intonation, L2 reading and vocabulary acquisition, and technologies for the acquisition of language and intercultural communicative competence. She has conducted studies on cognitive processes in learning with multimedia and has authored software and apps for language and culture acquisition. Her publications include Cultura-inspired Intercultural Exchanges: Focus on Asian and Pacific languages (Ed.), 2014, NFLRC, Discourse Intonation in L2: From Theory and Research to Practice, 2002, John Benjamins, and articles in CALICO Journal, CALL, Computers in Human Behavior, Educational Technology, Foreign Language Annals, Journal of Educational Psychology, Modern Language Journal, System, and the online journal, Language Learning and Technology, which she has edited since 2000.

John Norris, Georgetown University

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John Norris (Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition, University of Hawaii) is an associate professor in the Linguistics Department at Georgetown University. His research and teaching interests include educational assessment, program evaluation, language pedagogy (task-based language teaching in particular), and research methods. John’s publications have appeared in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Annals, Language Learning, Language Learning & Technology, Language Teaching Research, Language Testing, Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, and Die Unterrichtspraxis. His most recent books explore the topics of language teaching (Task-based language teaching: A reader), evaluation (Toward useful program evaluation in college foreign language education), assessment (Validity evaluation in language assessment), and research synthesis (Synthesizing research on language learning and teaching). He has served as chair of the TOEFL Committee of Examiners and the International Consortium on Task-Based Language Teaching. John speaks German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Steven Thorne, Portland State University and University of Groningen

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Steven Thorne (Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture, UC Berkeley) is Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University (USA), with a secondary appointment in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). His research utilizes cultural-historical and usage-based approaches to language development, often with a focus on human interactivity in technology contexts. His research has appeared in the Modern Language Journal, Language Learning & Technology, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, CALICO Journal, Language Teaching, Brain & Cognition, ReCALL, Intelligence, and in numerous edited collections. His book length works include a co-edited book on Internet-mediated Intercultural Foreign Language Education (Thomson/Heinle, 2006) and the co-authored volume Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development (Oxford University Press, 2006).



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