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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning



Nina Spada
Professor Emerita

phone: (416) 978-0270
email: nina.spada@utoronto.ca  
website: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/mlc/spada.htm

Departments:
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies
Secondary Education


Research Overview

Dr. Nina Spada is Professor in the Language and Literacies Education program at the University of Toronto. She joined the faculty of the University of Toronto in 2000 after 15 years at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Dr. Spada is a leading international expert on the role of instruction in second language acquisition (SLA). Her large-scale research on the contributions of form-focused instruction in classroom SLA has received national and international funding for over 30 years and has had a significant impact on the conceptualization and design of research investigating the teaching and learning of second/foreign languages in classroom settings.

Included in Dr. Spada’s publications are over 100 articles in journals and collected editions and 5 books/edited volumes. Particularly noteworthy is the recognition Dr. Spada has received as a co-author of the book How Languages are Learned published by Oxford University Press and used as a standard text on second language learning internationally.

Dr. Spada is regularly invited as a keynote speaker at conferences throughout the world. She has also made significant contributions to international projects related to the teaching and learning of second and foreign languages including those sponsored by the World Bank and the European Commission on the Teaching and Learning of Second/Foreign languages. She has given workshops and presentations to a broad range of audiences in Canada, US, Europe, South America, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. In 2015 she was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Foreign Language Education at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dr. Spada is co-editor of the Language Learning and Language Teaching book series with John Benjamins and the Key Concepts for the Language Classroom series published by Oxford University Press. She is Past President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics.


Curriculum Vitae

http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/Curriculum_Vitae/Nina_Spada_CV.pdf

Academic History

Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1984
M.A. Concordia University, 1979
B.A. University of British Columbia, 1975

Teaching Overview

Dr. Spada teaches the following graduate-level courses:

• CTL 3010: Second language learning
• CTL 3805: Research methods in language and literacies education
• CTL 3808: The role of instruction in second language acquisition




Representative Publications

BOOKS

Christison, M.A. Christian, D., Duff, P. & Spada, N. (Eds). (2015). Research on teaching and learning English grammar. New York: Routledge.

Lightbown, P. M. & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned (4th edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press (257 pages).

Spada, N. & Fröhlich, M. (1995).  The Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching Observation Scheme (COLT). Sydney, MacMillan. (170 pages)

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS

Spada.N. (2013). Classroom research in applied linguistics. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Spada, N. & Lightbown, P. (2013). Instructed SLA. The Routledge Encyclopedia of SLA. New York: Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

Spada, N. & Lightbown, P.M. (2010). Instructed second language acquisition. In N. Schmitt (Ed.). An Introduction to Applied Linguistics.(2nd edition)  London: Edward Arnold.

REFEREED ARTICLES

Spada, N., Shiu, L.J. & Tomita, Y. (2015). Valiating an elicited imitation task as a measure of implicit knowledge: Comparisons with other validation studies. Language Learning, doi:10.1111/lang.12129.

Spada, N., Jessop, L., Suzuki, W., Tomita, Y. & Valeo (2014). Isolated and integrated form-focused instruction: Effects on different types of L2 knowledge. Language Teaching Research,1-21. doi: 10.1177/1362168813519883

Spada, N. (2013). SLA Research and L2 Pedagogy: Misapplications and Questions of Relevance. Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press.

Spada, N. (2011). Beyond form-focused instruction: Reflections on past, present and future research. Language Teaching. 44, 225-236.

Spada, N., & Tomita, Y. (2010). Interactions between type of instruction and type of language feature: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 60:2 1-46.

Research Grants and Contracts

Year: April 2010 - March 2014
Role: Principal Investigator
Grantor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Project Title: Interactions between type of L2 instruction, type of language feature and type of knowledge
Amount: $139,868


Honours and Awards

• First Prize in the Applied Linguistics section of the Duke of Edinburgh Book Competition for How Languages are Learned (co-author, P.M. Lightbown) published by Oxford University Press. Award presented by Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) at Buckingham Palace, November, 1993.

Professional Activities

Dr. Spada has held the following Executive Positions:

Past President, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) 2009-2010
President, AAAL 2008-2009
1st Vice President and Conference Chair, AAAL 2007-2008
2nd Vice President, AAAL, 2006-2007

Plenary and Keynote Addresses:
•Questions about instructional time and instructional content in early second/foreign language learning. Plenary to be presented at the Young Language Learners 2016 conference. Oxford University, Oxford, July 2016.
•Focusing on language in meaning/content-based instruction. Plenary to be presented at JACET, Sapporo, Japan, September 2016.
•Exploring relationships between different types of instruction and L2 knowledge. Plenary presented at the 5th International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. International Burch University, Sarjevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May, 2015.
•Is there an optimal time for language focused instruction in communicative classrooms? Plenary presented at the IV International Conference on Second Language Pedagogies, Wilfred Laurier University, Kitchener-Waterloo, February, 2015.
•Getting two for one: The potential and challenges of CLIL. Plenary presented at the 5th Biannual CLIL Symposium, Universidad de La Sabana, Bogota, Colombia. August 2014.
•Still wrestling with target feature difficulty in instructed SLA. Plenary presented at the Symposium on L2 instruction, Cognitive Processes and L2 Difficulty, University of Brussels, April 2014.
•The timing of form-focused instruction: Effects on different types of L2 knowledge and ability. Plenary presented at the First International TESOL Persia Conference, Tehran, November 2011.
•SLA Research and L2 Pedagogy: Misapplications and Questions of Relevance. Plenary presented at SLRF 2011, University of Iowa, October, 2011.
•Connections between type of instruction and type of L2 knowledge and ability. Plenary presented at the International Seminar on Instructed Second Language Learning. Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, May, 2011.
•Integrated or isolated FFI: Teacher and learner preferences and effects on L2 learning. Plenary presented at the Swedish Modern Language Teachers Association, Stockholm, Sweden, March, 2010.




Other Information

INVITED LECTURES

•The potential and the challenges of content-based language teaching at the university level. Paper presented at Boğaziçi University, Department of Foreign Language Education, Istanbul, June, 2015.
•Best practice in communicative language teaching. University of Toronto, French Department, January 2015.
•Integrated and isolated form-focused instruction: Teacher and learner preferences and effects on second language learning. Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia, September 2014.
•Defining and measuring target feature difficulty in instructed SLA. Applied Linguistics Program, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, April 2014.
•Exploring the contributions of instruction to different types of L2 knowledge. Invited lecture in the Department of English Studies, Sophia University, Tokyo, November 2013.
•Research on communicative language teaching and form-focused instruction: Implications for second/foreign language instruction. Invited lecture in the Centre for Language Study, Yale University, October, 2013.
•Communicative language teaching and form-focused instruction. Invited lecture at the Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, Japan, June, 2013.
•Corrective feedback in second language learning and teaching. Invited lecture at TESL Toronto, February, 2013.
•Form-focused instruction and second language acquisition: What have we learned so far? Invited lecture presented in the Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition in Multilingual Contexts program in the Faculty of Philology. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. November 2012.
•Effects of instruction on implicit and explicit L2 knowledge and ability. Invited lecture presented in the Applied Linguistics Program, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, May 2011.
•Relationships between type of instruction and type of L2 knowledge. Invited lecture presented in the Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education Program, University of Iowa, USA, April, 2011.
•The ‘nitty gritty’ of doing instructed SLA research. Invited workshop in the Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education Program, University of Iowa, April, 2011.
•Form-focused instruction and SLA: A review of 13 years of research. Paper presented at the Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, March 2010.