As a Professor of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University, I investigate English grammar and discourse, often with "corpus linguistics" tools (computer-assisted analysis techniques for studying language). My research investigates how people vary their grammar, vocabulary, and organization to fulfill different purposes and meet different audience's expectations. I am especially interested in the writing of different disciplines. As the principal investigator for the Civil Engineering Writing Project , I collaborate with engineering faculty and practitioners to help new civil engineers write more effectively. To study and teach academic writing, students work with me in compiling the PSU Corpus of Student Academic Writing .
I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in applied linguistics and train teachers of English as a second/foreign language. I have taught ESL/EFL in the United States, South Korea and Lesotho (southern Africa), and have conducted teacher-training seminars in many countries, including Thailand, Taiwan, Argentina, Chile and Italy. Using my grammar and discourse expertise, I occasionally act as a consultant and expert witness on legal cases involving contract language.
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Current students: See the Teaching page for ideas for M.A. theses and projects.