Professor and Vice-chairDepartment of Linguistics
Editor-in-Chief Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (Cambridge University Press)
Series Editor, Second Language Acquisition Research (Taylor & Francis)
Alison Mackey is an expert on how second languages are learned and how they might best be taught. She is also interested in the methodology of how research is carried out. She investigates second language learning across the lifespan, including how new languages are learned at different ages. Her studies have also examined younger and older children, as well as prime-of-life and elderly adults. College-aged students have been a particular focus. Her work has been published in all of the top scholarly journals, as well as in edited collections with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, John Benjamins and others. She has authored more than 75 articles, chapters, and reports and published 12 books in total - including three books on researching children’s language learning and teaching, four on research methodology, a popular audience book, the Bilingual Edge (which has been translated into a number of languages) and the Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, which won the Modern Language Association's Mildenburger prize (with Susan M. Gass). Her graduate studies included an M.Phil from Cambridge University in the U.K., and a PhD from the University of Sydney in Australia, in linguistics. She has been a language instructor, given workshops for teachers, and taught linguistics in the U.K., Japan, Australia, and the U.S. and is a regular speaker on how languages are learned and taught. She considers one of her most important academic achievements to be her 21 graduated PhD students, all in top jobs, many now with tenure, and in roles directing academic or government programs, and graduating their own students. She is Editor-in-Chief of Cambridge University Press's Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, which is the official journal of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and co-director of the Instruments for Research into Second Languages database project.