Emeriti Faculty Members

Alister Cumming: Since July 1, 2016 I am Professor Emeritus, continuing with some professional and research responsibilities but having retired as a Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning where I was formerly (from 1993 to 2013) the Head of the Centre for Educational Research on Languages and Literacies (CERLL, which was formerly the Modern Language Centre). 

My research and teaching have focused on the learning, teaching, and assessment of writing in English as a second/foreign language, the evaluation of programs and curricula for second language education and immigrant settlement, and the development of assessment instruments and procedures in academic, professional and settlement contexts. 

I have written numerous books and articles on second-language writing, education, language assessment, literacy, and international education policy.

Nina Spada is Professor Emeritus  in the Language and Literacies Education program at the University of Toronto. 

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 had a significant impact on the conceptualization and design of research investigating the teaching and learning of second/foreign languages in classroom settings.

Dr. Spada has published numerous journal articles as well as books and edited volumes.  

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 . 

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.

James Cummins is a Professor Emeritus with the department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE. Dr. Cummins has held a Canada Resarch Chair (Tier 1) and has been a recipient of the International Reading Association’s Albert J. Harris award (1979). He also received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City (1997).

Dr. Cummins is a world renowned scholar who has significantly contributed to the advancement of research on bilingualism and language diversity as well as language policies.

Dr. Cummins has co-authored several books on literacies in education, and has seen his work translated into Japanese and Spanish.

Merrill Swain is Professor in the Curriculum, Teaching and Learning department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Swain has significantly contributed to the field of study of second language education. One of her previous research entitled “The Output Hypothesis: A Search for Empirical Evidence in a Classroom Second Language Acquisition Context” has inspired researchers and educators worldwide.

More recently she has proposed the notion of languaging to the field and her research, informed by the Sociocultural Theory, has contributed advancement of knowledge and research.

Dr. Swain has taught graduate courses in Second Language Education Program at OISE/UT. Her graduate level courses include “Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning,” “Second Language Classroom Research,” “Research Colloquium in Second Language Education (with Dr. Lapkin),” and “Advanced Research Colloquium in Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning.”

Sharon Lapkin retired in 2007 from the OISE Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and the Centre for Research on Languages and Literacies (formerly the Modern Language Centre).
Her research centred on French second language education in studies including large-scale evaluations of French immersion and other intensive formats of FSL programs, qualitative studies of language learning in progress, and meta-analyses of published empirical research on FSL.
She served for close to ten years as co-editor of the Canadian Modern Language Review and as a Director of the Canadian Association for Second Language Teachers for six years. In 2006 the latter Association awarded her the Prix Robert Roy in recognition of her outstanding contribution to second language teaching in Canada. She recently completed a six-year term as Director for Canadian Parents for French, National.