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Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian & African Languages


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I am a Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian, & African Languages at Michigan State University, where I directed the MA Program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) for many years. My main area of research is second language (L2) writing. I am particularly interested in the various research methods and measures used in studying L2 writing as well as the interface between the fields of L2 writing and second language acquisition. I have also published and done research in the areas of second language acquisition, foreign language classroom discourse, and behavior differences in novice vs. experienced teachers.

I conduct workshops for foreign language teachers through MSU's Center for Language Education and Research and the Center for Language Teaching Advancement. I have been a visiting instructor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto and Teachers College, Columbia University. I have taught ESL at MSU, UCLA, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Graduate School in Beijing, and Philadelphia Community College.

I am the editor of the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics,and the co-editor of the Modern Language Journal . I served on the editorial board of Journal of Second Language Writing for eight years and completed a term on the board of TESOL Quarterly.

Description: Charlene Polio, Linguist Extraordinaire


A-714 Wells Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

phone: 517.884.1502
fax: 517.432.1149



PhD, Applied Linguistics, UCLA (1992)
MS, TESOL, University of Pennsylvania (1984)
BA, Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania (1983)




Polio, C. (2012). The relevance of second language acquisition theory to the written error correction debate. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 375-389.

Polio, C. & Shi, L. (2012). Perceptions and beliefs about textual appropriation and source use in second language writing: Introduction. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21, 95-101.

Polio, C. (2012). Replication in published applied linguistics research: An historical perspective.  G. Porte, (Ed.), Replication in applied linguistics: A practical guide, pp. 47-91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Polio, C. (2012). How to research second language writing. Gass, S. & Mackey, A., (Eds.) Second language research methods , pp. 139-157. New York: Routledge.


Polio, C. (2012). Second language writing.  Gass, S. & Mackey, A., (Eds.) Handbook of second language acquisition, pp. 319-334. New York: Routledge.

Mackey, A. & Polio, C. (Eds.) (2009). Multiple perspectives on interaction: Second language research in honor of Susan M. Gass. Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Polio, C. & Zyzik, E. (2009). Don Quixote meets ser and estar: Multiple perspectives on language learning in Spanish literature classes. Modern Language Journal.

Polio, C. & Williams, J. (2009). Teaching and testing writing. In Long, M.H. & Doughty, C. (Eds.). The handbook of language teaching. Wiley-Blackwell.

Zyzik, E. & Polio, C. (2008). Incidental focus on form in university Spanish literature classes. Modern Language Journal.

Sachs, R. & Polio, C. (2007). Learners’ Uses of Two Types of Written Feedback on an L2 Writing Revision Task. Studies in Second Language Acquisition.

Polio, C. (2007). A history of input enhancement: Defining an evolving concept. In C. Gascoigne (Ed.). Assessing the impact of input enhancement in second language dducation. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.

Polio, C., Gass, S. & Chapin, L. (2006). Using stimulated recall to investigate native speaker perceptions in native-nonnative speaker interaction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28, 237-267.

Mackey, A., Polio, C. & McDonough, K. (2004). Teachers' use of incidental focus on form techniques in L2 classrooms. Language Teaching Research.

Polio, C. (2003). Second language writing research: What we investigate and how. In B. Kroll (Ed.). Exploring second language writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Presss.

Polio, C. (2001). Research methodology in second language writing: The case of text-based studies. T. Silva and P. Matsuda. (Eds.) On second language writing. (p. 91-116). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Polio, C. & Wilson-Duffy, C. (1998). International students' perspective on a North American MA TESOL practicum. TESOL Journal, 7, 24-29.

Polio, C. & Gass, S. (1998). The effect of interaction on the comprehension of nonnative speakers. Modern Language Journal, 82, 308-319.

Polio, C., Fleck, C. & Leder, N. (1998). "If I only had more time:" ESL learners' changes in linguistic accuracy on essay revisions. Journal of Second Language Writing, 7, 43-68.

Polio, C. & Gass, S. (1997). Replication and reporting. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19, 499-508.

Polio, C. (1997). Measures of linguistic accuracy in second language writing research. Language Learning, 47, 101-143.

Polio, C. (1996). Issues and problems in reporting classroom research. Second Language Classroom Research: Issues and Opportunities. S. Gass and J. Schachter (Eds.). (p. 61-80) Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Polio, C. & Glew, M. (1996). ESL writing assessment tasks: How students choose. Journal of Second Language Writing, 5, 25-50.

Polio, C. (1995). Acquiring nothing?: The use of zero pronouns by nonnative speakers of Chinese and the implications for the acquisition of nominal reference. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 17, 353-377.

Polio, C. (1994). Nonnative speakers' use of nominal classifiers in Mandarin Chinese. Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association, 29, 51-66.

Polio, C. & Duff, P. (1994). Teachers' language use in university foreign language classroom: A qualitative analysis of English and target language alternation. Modern Language Journal, 78, 313-326.

Duff, P. & Polio, C. (1990). How much foreign language is there in the foreign language classroom? Modern Language Journal, 74, 154-166.




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