Second Language Pedagogy
Second language (L2) pedagogy is situated within the field of Applied Linguistics and draws on research in second language acquisition (SLA) and different disciplines within the field of linguistics, such as sociolinguistics, phonology, and syntax, as well as disciplines outside of linguistics, such as cognitive science, education, sociology, and psychology. Scholars with an interest in L2 pedagogy investigate internal and external factors that play a role in the acquisition of second languages, including age of acquisition, first language backgrounds, motivation, instructional settings and practices, and societal issues, all of which have implications for the teaching of second languages and second language teacher education.
Learn more about “Study of L2 Phonology” in the Department of Linguistics.
Faculty in the Department of Linguistics with an interest in L2 Pedagogy conduct research on curriculum design, dual immersion education, L2 literacy, L2 testing, teacher cognition and second language teacher education (SLTE).
My interests include software for language test design and development, multi-media
digital formats for language testing textbooks, and language learning in real-world
and language instructional environments.
My research focuses on two related areas: Dual language immersion and L2 teacher education. Currently, I am investigating the effects of dual language immersion on the academic achievement of Utah public school students, including English Learners. This collaborative project is funded by a researcher-practitioner partnership grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education. I am also interested in individual and societal multilingualism, the role of language study in education and society, articulation of pedagogy and research across educational levels, and linking research to advocacy.
At the University of Utah, L2 Pedagogy and SLA researchers are also housed in the
Department of World Languages and Cultures (Tanya Flores) and the Second Language Teaching & Research Center (Jane Hacking, Fernando Rubio).
My research deals mainly with second language acquisition, and more specifically with
crosslinguistic influence and lexical diversity. In the domain of crosslinguistic
influence, I currently investigate the effects of crosslinguistic similarity on the
acquisition of words and grammatical constructions, and I also investigate the ways
in which conceptual meanings and patterns of cognition acquired as a speaker of one
language carry over into the use of another language. In the domain of lexical diversity,
I investigate how people perceive lexical diversity, whether human judgments of lexical
diversity can be modeled accurately with a combination of objective measures of spoken
and written texts, and whether these models and measures of lexical diversity are
useful indicators of language ability, language learning, and language attrition.
My research interests include foreign language teaching methodology, second language
acquisition, language proficiency assessment and computer-assisted language learning.
I have been lucky to be able to combine these different areas into a cohesive program
of research that both informs and is informed by my teaching. The primary goal of
my research is to understand the interaction between learning context and second language
acquisition; my current research and publishing encompasses three main strands: (1)
technology-enhanced language learning, (2) assessment of language proficiency, and
(3) learning analytics.
My research is concentrated in two areas: 1) the acquisition of novel sound contrasts by second language learners, and 2) the effect of learner characteristics and learning contexts on the development of second language proficiency. Recent publications examine the acquisition of the Russian palatalization contrast by American English-speaking leaners, the acquisition of Russian lexical stress, and the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading proficiency in college learners of Chinese, Russian and Spanish.