After completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario, I did an MA in TESL/TEFL at the University of Birmingham, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario in 2015, I taught English as a foreign language in China and Japan, and more recently taught Applied Linguistics and TESOL for graduate programs in Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand.
I conduct research on second language acquisition, particularly incidental vocabulary learning through reading, listening, and watching television, as well as how words can be taught effectively. My research has investigated the teaching and learning of both single-word items and collocations and has looked at questions such as: How many words do English as a foreign language students learn per year? How many words do we need to know to understand television programs and movies? How many times do we need to encounter words during reading in order to learn them? Which words have the greatest value to learners and deserve attention in the classroom? How can we measure vocabulary learning? My research has included corpus-driven studies of the vocabulary in different discourse types and quantitative studies of vocabulary learning. My work has appeared in journals such as Applied Linguistics, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning, and TESOL Quarterly. I am co-author (with Paul Nation) of Researching and Analyzing Vocabulary (Heinle, 2011) and How Vocabulary is Learned (Oxford University Press, 2017) and serve on the editorial boards of many international Applied Linguistics and TESOL journals.