Justin Young, director of the English Composition Program and Writers’ Center, and professor of English at EWU, was recently selected as a prestigious Fulbright Scholar for 2022-2023 by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Program. The fellowship will allow him to conduct research at the University of Antwerp in Belgium starting this fall.
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar program promotes and coordinates the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and transnational research while strengthening diplomatic ties.
While he’s in Belgium, Young will take part in research related to his field: writing and rhetoric. Young says he looks forward to participating in the innovative writing research “that’s happening in Europe and in Belgium specifically.”
Young is excited to join in on the Fulbright Program’s mission of establishing long-term cross-cultural exchange between scholars. He is particularly enthusiastic about working in Belgium because he has presented at multiple international conferences there and has become immersed in European approaches to writing research.
As part of his work, Young will collaborate with a research team conducting studies that capture the writing process as it happens. “Normally, [teachers] focus on the product and then give feedback from that product, so the student can revise,” says Young.
“The difference with the research we will be working on is, we’ll be using devices that log keystrokes and capture everything the students do, every pause and every deletion. The software will provide data on what actually occurred as it occurred,” he continues.
Young and other researchers share a goal of being able to provide feedback not just on the product but on the actual process of writing. “There have been preliminary studies that indicate that this actually has a really positive impact on student learning,” he says.
Because this type of research isn’t widespread in the United States, Young plans to bring the research he conducts in Belgium back to the U.S. so it can be shared more widely.