Katherine Kerschen’s research focuses on second language learners’ lexical knowledge and the process of vocabulary acquisition in a second/foreign language.
Kerschen’s research explores how different instructional methods affect the processes and outcomes of adult second language acquisition. Her dissertation investigated the impact of semantic feature-focused and retrieval-based training activities on intermediate German learners’ productive vocabulary knowledge. Her research incorporates both psycholinguistic and classroom-based approaches. She also works on curriculum development to bring innovative pedagogical methods and a social justice-oriented, equitable, and inclusive approach to the foreign language classroom.
Kerschen earned her bachelor’s degree in German and Psychology, with a minor in Applied Linguistics, from Washington University in St. Louis. She was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant and moved to Germany to teach English in a secondary school. Following that, she earned her master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the Technische Universität (TU) Dortmund and taught in the TESOL and Applied Linguistics program. Upon returning to the US, she completed a dual-title doctorate in German Applied Linguistics and Language Science from the Pennsylvania State University.
Kerschen is also a member of the Applied Linguistics Steering Committee.