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Curriculum, Teaching  & Learning
Merrill Swain

Merrill Swain
Professor Emerita

phone: (416) 978-0273

Department: Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

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

Academic History

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.

Teaching Overview

Dr. Swain teaches 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.”

Research Grants and Contracts

Dr. Swain has received numbers of grants from many organizations including SSHRC and Ontario Ministry of Education. Currently, Dr. Swain conducts a three-year research project funded by SSHRC with her colleague, Dr. Lapkin. This research project is entitled “Extending the Output Hypothesis: The Role of Collaborative Dialogue and Metatalk in Second Language Learning.” In this research, this research group attempts to continue their exploration of the roles played by output (speaking and writing) in L2 learning, to extend their theoretical perspective beyond output to the construct of collaborative dialogue, and to continue to inform pedagogical practices leading to improve L2 speaking and writing skills among immersion students.

Honours and Awards

Dr. Swain recipient of the American Association for Applied Linguistics’ Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award, 2004.
Recipient of the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers’ Le Prix Robert Roy. Presented to a distinguished educator in honor of outstanding contributions in the filed of SLE, 2003.