University at Albany

Excellence in Research

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Four faculty members received this tribute in 2011 for Excellence in Research.

Istvan KecskesIstvan KecskesEducational Theory & Practice

In hiring Professor Istvan Kecskes, the Department of Educational Theory and Practice hoped he would energize its programs in second language learning, and help the Department regain an international reputation for excellence in that field. This hope has been fully realized. Professor Kecskes has published over 60 highly regarded books and articles, 15 computer programs for language learning and has become the “founding father” of the field of intercultural pragmatics. In addition to his prolific publication record, he has been editor of the journal Intercultural Pragmatics, and a book series, the “Mouton Series in Pragmatics”.

Professor Kecskes approaches old questions in his field with new eyes, and has revolutionized our understanding of first and second language learning. He developed a new theoretical model used by his and other disciplines, and gathered data from a longitudinal experiment examining the effects of foreign language learning. His original and innovative analyses of linguistics and language teaching and learning have led to a better understanding of the cognitive-linguistic consequences of fluency in more than one language. His focus on pragmatics of language use and learning in cross-cultural contexts led to the development of his Dynamic Model of Meaning which treats communication as an interplay of past and present experience. His groundbreaking work contrasts with those who prioritize the immediate context of communication, and has opened up new understanding of how meaning is constructed. As a fellow scholar said: “Dr. Kecskes’ book is a must read for whoever is interested in the explosion of fields as varied as theoretical linguistics, cognition, communication studies, pragmatics, second language acquisition and bilingualism.”

Excellence in Research

Iris Berger JoAnne Carson Istvan Kecskes Fatemeh Shahedipour-Sandvik
Iris BergerHistory JoAnne


Educational Theory & Practice
Fatemeh Shahedipour-Sandvik
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

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