Faculty of Arts - Cultures, Languages and Linguistics

Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis

MA (Leeds), MEd (Bristol), PhD (London)

Distinguished Professor

Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis

Cultures, Languages and Linguistics, Applied Language Studies and Linguistics

Email: r.ellis@auckland.ac.nz

Extension: 84876 (ph + 64 9 373 7599)

Arts 1 Building
14a Symonds St
Level Level 4
Room 403

Research interests

Second language acquisition, individual learner differences, form-focussed instruction, teacher education, course design and methodology of language teaching.

The focus of my research is the interface between language pedagogy and second language acquisition research and theory.

Current research

Exploring Language Pedagogy Through Second Language Acquisition Research
This book (co-authored with Natsuko Shintani) offers a different kind of introduction to research on second language acquisition.  It takes as its starting point pedagogical proposals addressing such issues as explicit instruction, the role of the first language in second language teaching, corrective feedback and catering for individual learner differences and then evaluates these proposals by examining relevant theory and research in SLA.  The book will be published by Routledge later in 2013.

Corrective Feedback

A number of research studies have been recently completed investigating both oral and written corrective feedback. The focus of the studies is on how different types of feedback contribute to second language acquisition. Forthcoming articles reporting the results of these studies are in Journal of Second language Writing, Language Learning and System.

Understanding Second Language Acquisition

This book was first published in 1985 by Oxford University Press.  I am currently preparing a second edition to incorporate recent research and theoretical developments in SLA. It will be published in 2014.

The Role of Explicit Knowledge of a Second Language in Proficiency and Acquisition
This funded research project investigates the measurement of explicit and implicit second language knowledge, the relationship of these two types of knowledge to second language proficiency, and the effects of providing instruction in explicit knowledge on the acquisition of implicit knowledge. The restlys of the research were published in a book entitled Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Language learning, Testing and Teaching published in 2009 by Multilingual Matters.

Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis's Research

Postgraduate supervision

Second language acquisition

  • Second language acquisition
  • Task-based language teaching
  • Individual learner differences
  • Form-focussed instruction
  • Teacher education
  • Course design and methodology of language teaching

Recent publications

Recent academic publications

1. Books

2003. Task-based language Teaching and Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2004/5 Analyzing Learner Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press (with Gary Barkhuizen)

2004/5 Planning in Task-based Performance. Amsterdam: John Benjamins (editor).

2009 Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Second Language Learning, Testing and Teaching, Bristol, UK, Multilingual Matters (with S Loewen, C Elder, R Erlam, J Philp and H Reinders).

2010 Learning and Teaching Grammar. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

2012 Language Teaching Research and Language Pedagogy. Malden, MA.: Wiley/ Blackwell.

2013 Exploring Language Pedagogy Through Second Language Acquisition Research (with Natsuko Shintani). London: Routledge.

2. Articles and chapters

2004 "Individual differences in second language learning." In A. Davies and C. Elder (eds). The Handbook of Applied Linguistics (pp 525-551). Oxford, Blackwell.

2004 "The Definition and Measurement of L2 Explicit Knowledge," Language Learning, 54/2, 227-275.

2004 "The effects of planning on fluency, complexity and accuracy in second languagenarrative writing," Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26/1, 35-58. (with F. Yuan)

2004 "Definition and Measurement of L2 Explicit Knowledge",Language Learning 54, 227-275.

2004 "Teachers’ stated beliefs about incidental focus on form and their classroom practices", Applied Linguistics 25, 243-272. (with H. Basturkmen, H. and S.Loewen).

2004 "The Relationship between English Vocabulary Knowledge and the Academic Success of Second Language University Students." New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 10 (1). (with S. Loewen).

2009 "Principled grammar teaching", System, 37, (2), pp 194-204 (with R Batstone).

2009 "A typology of written corrective feedback types", English Language Teaching Journal, 63, pp 97-107.

2009 "Corrective feedback and teacher development", L2 Journal, 1, (1).

2009 "Motivating behaviors in the language classroom", TESOL Quarterly, 43, (1), pp 105-109.

2009 "Task-based language teaching: Sorting out the misunderstandings", International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 19, (3), pp 222-246.

2009 "The differential effects of three types of task planning on the fluency, complexity, and accuracy in L2 oral production", Applied Linguistics, 19, (4).

2010. Second language acquisition, teacher education and language pedagogy. Language Teaching 43 (2): 182-201.

2010. Epilogue: A framework for investigating oral and corrective feedback. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 335-349.

2010. Researche sur ensignement et la pédagogie des languages. Le Français dans le Monde : Recherches et Applications 48 : 46-65.

2010. The Incidental Acquisition of English Plural -s by Japanese Children in Comprehension-Based and Production-Based Lessons: A Process-Product Study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 32 (4) (with Natsuko Shintani).

2010. Second language acquisition and language-teaching materials. In N. Harwood (Ed.).English Language Teaching Materials: Theory and Practice (pp. 33-57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2010. Cognitive, social and psychological dimensions of corrective feedback. In R. Batstone (Ed.). Sociocognitive Perspectives on Language use and Language Learning (pp. 151-165). Oxford: oxford University Press.

2010. Theoretical pluralism in SLA: is there a way forward. In Seedhouse, P., Walsh, S. and Jenks, C. (eds.). Conceptualising ‘Learning’ in Applied Linguistics (pp. 23-51). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

2011. Corrective feedback in language teaching in E. Hinkel (Ed.). Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning Volume II (pp. 593-610). New York: Routledge (with Y. Sheen)

2011. Macro- and micro-evaluations of task-based teaching. In B. Tomlinson (Ed.) Materials Development in Language Teaching (pp. 212-235). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2012. A lifetime of grammar teaching. Teaching English in the Two-Year College40 (1)7-19. National Council of Teachers of English.

2012. An options-based approach to doing task-based teaching. In M. Eisenmann and T. Summer (eds). Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning. Heidelberg: Winter.

2012. Task-Based Language Teaching in Asian Primary Schools: Policy, Problems and Opportunities’, in M Yeo (ed.), Teaching Language to Learners of Different Age Groups, Anthology Series 53 (pp. 74-91),  Singapore, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

3.  Recent conference presentations

Validating measures of L2 implicit and explicit knowledge. Annual Conference of American Association of Applied Linguistics, Boston, USA, March 24-27, 2012.

A principled approach to incorporating second language acquisition research into a teacher education programme.  7th International ELT Research Conference: Philosophical Perspectives in ELT Research. Cannakale, Turkey, April 27-18, 2012. (Plenary talk).

The effects of explicit instruction on L2 acquisition. 2nd International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 4-6, 2012. (Plenary talk)

Epistemological issues in SLA: Data, theory and applications. University of Malaya Conference on Discourse and Society. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 27-29, 2012. (Plenary talk).

Theoretical pluralism in SLA: Is there a way forward?  17th Internatioanl Conference of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistiscs (PAAL), Beijing, China, Aug 21-23, 2012. (Plenary talk).

Sorting out some misconceptions about task-based language Teaching.  7th University of Sydney TESOL Research Network Colloquium.  University of Sydney, Australia, September 1st, 2012. (Plenary talk)

The significance of the implicit vs. explicit distinction for language pedagogy. The 5th International Symposium on SLA in China.  Wuhan, China, October 19-21, 2012. (Plenary talk)

Using tasks in language teaching: Challenges and possibilities. FEELTA Conference, Far Eastern Federal University, Valdivostok, Russia, November 1-4, 2012.  (Plenary talk)

Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis's Recent Publications

Career history

In addition to my position in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics in University of Auckland, I also contribute to work in the MA in TESOL program in Anaheim University and I am a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) as part of China’s Chang Jiang Scholars Program and Michigan State University. I also hold an annual seminar at Showa Women's University, Tokyo, Japan and at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan.

My published works include articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education.My books include Understanding Second Language Acquisition (BAAL Prize 1986) and The Study of Second Language Acquisition (Duke of Edinburgh prize 1995), Task-Based Learning and Teaching early (2003), and Analyzing Learner Language (with Gary Barkhuizen) in (2005). A second edition of The Study of Second Language Acquisition was published in 2008 and Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Language Learning, Testing and Teaching in 2009. Two recent books include Language Teaching Research and Language Pedagogy (2012) and Exploring Language Pedagogy through Second Language Acquisition Research (Routledge).I have also published several English language textbooks, including Impact Grammar (Pearson: Longman). I am currently editor of the journal Language Teaching Research.

In addition to my current position in New Zealand, I have worked in schools in Spain and Zambia and in universities in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. I have also conducted numerous consultancies and seminars throughout the world.


Current teaching


I currently teach on postgraduate courses on:

  • Second language acquisition
  • Task-based language teaching and learning
  • Second Language Classroom Research
  • Individual differences in second language learning
  • Research methods in applied linguistics

Language Teaching and Learning
Course Title Availability in 2014
LANGTCHG 732 Applied Linguistics Research Semester 1
LANGTCHG 743 Second Language Acquisition Semester 2
LANGTCHG 745 Second Language Classroom Research Semester 2
LANGTCHG 747 Individual Learner Differences and Second Language Learning Semester 1

Distinguished Professor Rod Ellis's Teaching

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