Abby Walker, an associate professor in the Department of English, and Janet van Hell, Pennsylvania State University, were recipients of a National Science Foundation (NSF) award for their project “Listening Out for Variation: An Investigation of Mono- and Bidialectal Listeners in the U.S.” They are studying how people who have long-term exposure to more than one dialect of the same language process different dialects and exploring the speed and accuracy involved with understanding speech. The focus is on South-Central Appalachia and Mainstream American English. Walker’s portion of the NSF funding will be used to pay participants as well as undergraduate research assistants who come from Southwest Virginia. Among them is Sociology major Sherree Ann Shuler, who has been designing an original research project that will supplement Walker’s project.