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Elaine E. Tarone
Director of CARLA

Elaine E. Tarone is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. Her books and articles focus on the impact of social context on learner language and second language acquisition. She has also published research on oral second-language processing by low-literacy learners, interlanguage variation, interaction in immersion classrooms, language play, genre analysis, and language teacher education. Past editor of Applied Linguistics and past president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), she holds AAAL’s 2012 Distinguished Scholar and Service Award, and the 2016 TESOL “50 at 50” Award “for significant contributions to the TESOL profession within the last 50 years.”

Elaine retires from the University on August 12, 2016 after teaching at the University for 37 years.

Elaine served as the CARLA director during the center’s first year (1993) and from 1996 to 2016.


M.A., Ph.D. Speech Science; University of Washington, Seattle, 1972
(Interdisciplinary Program in Applied Linguistics)

Diploma, Applied Linguistics; Edinburgh University, Scotland, 1969

Secondary Teaching Credential in English & Spanish; University of California at Berkeley, 1967
B.A. English, Spanish; University of California at Berkeley, 1966
Phi Beta Kappa; Distinction in General Scholarship

Selected Publications

Douglas Fir Group (Dwight Atkinson, Heidi Byrnes, Meredith Doran, Patricia Duff, Joan Kelly Hall, Karen Johnson, James Lantolf, Diane Larsen-Freeman, Bonny Norton, John Schumann, Merrill Swain, and Elaine Tarone) (2016). A transdisciplinary framework for SLA in a multilingual world. Modern Language Journal 100 (Supplement 2016): 19-47.

Tarone, E. (2016). Learner language in ELF and SLA. In Pitzl, M. & Osimk-Teasdale, S. (Eds.) English as a lingua franca; Perspectives and prospects (217-226). DeGruyter Mouton.


Pettitt, N. and Tarone, E. (2015). Following Roba: What happens when a low-educated multilingual adult learns to read. Writing Systems Research, Special Issue: Initial L2 literacy development in adolescents and adults, 7, 1:20-38.


Han, Z.H. and Tarone, E. (Eds.) (2014). Interlanguage: 40 years later. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


Godfrey, L., Treacy, C. and Tarone, E. (2014). Change in French L2 writing in study abroad and domestic contexts. Foreign Language Annals 47, 1: 48-65.


Tarone, E. Bigelow, M. and Hansen, K. (2009). Literacy and second language oracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. See related lecture delivered at the University of PA, Graduate School of Education, Sept. 30, 2009.

Tarone, E. and Swierzbin, B. (2009). Exploring learner language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tarone, E. (2009). A sociolinguistic perspective on interaction in SLA. In A. Mackey & C. Polio (Eds.), Multiple perspectives on interaction: Second language research in honor of Susan M. Gass. (pp. 41-56). New York: Routledge.

Tarone, E. (2009). Equipping teachers to be language explorers: Exploring language in the classroom. In M. Anderson & A. Lazaraton (Eds.), Bridging contexts, making connections: The proceedings of the fifth international language teacher education conference. (pp. 7-22). Minneapolis: CARLA Working Papers.

Rau, D.V., Chang, H.A., and Tarone, E. (2009). Think or sink: Chinese learners’ acquisition of the English voiceless interdental fricative. Language Learning, 59, 3: 581-621.

Ishihara, N. & Tarone, E. (2009). Subjectivity and pragmatic choice in L2 Japanese: Emulating and resisting pragmatic norms. In N. Taguchi (Ed.), Pragmatic competence in Japanese as a second language. Mouton.

Tarone, E. and Bigelow, M. (2007). Alphabetic print literacy and processing of oral corrective feedback in L2 interaction. In Mackey, A. (Ed.), Conversational interaction in second language acquisition: A series of empirical studies (pp. 101-121). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Elaine Tarone. (2007). Sociolinguistic approaches to second language acquisition research, 1997-2007. Modern Language Journal, 91, 837-848.

Martha Bigelow, Bob DelMas, Kit Hansen, and Elaine Tarone. (2006). Literacy and the processing of oral recasts in SLA, TESOL Quarterly 40, 1-25.

Elaine Tarone. (2006). The language classroom: A co-production of all participants. In Ines Miller & Simon Gieve (Eds.), Directions in classroom language learning and teaching: A festschrift for Dick Allwright (pp. 163-174). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Elaine Tarone (2006). Fossilization, social context & language play. In ZhaoHong Han & Terence Odlin (Eds.), Perspectives on fossilization (pp. 157-172). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Tarone, E. and Bigelow, M. (2005). Impact of literacy on oral language processing: Implications for SLA research, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 25, 77-97

Bigelow, M. and Tarone, E. (2004). The role of literacy level in SLA: Doesn’t who we study determine what we know? TESOL Quarterly, 38(4), 689-700.

Tarone, E. (2002). Frequency effects, noticing, and creativity: Factors in a variationist interlanguage framework, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24, 287-296. (invited)

Broner, M and Tarone, E. (2001). Is it fun? Language play in a fifth grade Spanish immersion classroom, Modern Language Journal, 85, 363-379.

Tarone, E. (2000). Still wrestling with ‘context’ in interlanguage theory, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20,182-198.


For copies of some of Dr. Tarone's publications visit her personal webpage.


Articulation of Language Instruction
Assessment of Second Language
Content-Based Language Instruction
Culture and Language Learning
Immersion Education
Learner Language
Less Commonly Taught Languages
Maximizing Study Abroad
Pragmatics/Speech Acts
Strategies for Language Learning
Technology and Language Learning

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Last Modified: July 27, 2016 at 16:31