Dr Shaofeng Li

PhD (Michigan State University)


I am a senior lecturer of Applied Language Studies at the University of Auckland, where I teach postgraduate and undergraduate courses in second language acquisition and language pedagogy such as Instructed Second Language Learning, Task-based Teaching and Learning, Individual Differences, Second Language Acquisition, Theories of Second Language Acquisition. I received my PhD from Michigan State University. My recent and forthcoming publications appear in Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Learning, Modern Language Journal, Applied Linguistics, Language Teaching Research, among others.

For more information about me, please visit my personal webpage: https://shaofengliweb.wordpress.com

Research | Current

  • Second language acquisition
  • Indidivual differences in language aptitude, working memory, motivation, and anxiety.
  • Corrective feedback
  • Task-based language teaching and learning
  • Form-focused instruction
  • Second language classroom research
  • Meta-analysis and other quantitative research methods

My primary interest is in investigating the interactions between learning conditions (e.g., implicit vs. explicit; task type) and individual difference variables such as language aptitude and working memory. My other research interests include form-focused instruction, quantitative research methods, and language testing. I take an integrated, dynamic approach to SLA, and I also consider my research as evolving rather than static. Therefore I'm always open to new areas of research. I'm currently working on a few projects on corrective feedback, language aptitude, and task-based language learning and teaching.

Teaching | Current

LANGTCHG 207 Instructed Language Learning

LANGTCHG 306 Using Tasks in Language Classes

LANGTCHG 402 Linking Theory and Practice in the Language Classroom

LANGTCHG 710 Task-based Language Teaching

LANGTCHG 723 Theories of Language Learning

Postgraduate supervision

second language classroom research, individual differences in language apitutde, working memory, motivation, or anxiety, task-based learning and teaching, corrective feedback, meta-analysis


Marsden Fund


2017, $300,000, received from the Royal Society of New Zealand to support a project on language aptitude.




Ministry of Education Fund



2016, in the amount of $40,948 (200,000 RMB), from the Chinese Ministry of Education toward a project on L2 pragmatics (with Wei Ren as Co-investigator).




Faculty Research Development Fund




2015, in the amount of $36,000 from the University of Auckland to support a project on the differential effects of language aptitude on learners of different proficiency levels.




Early Career Research Excellence Award


2015, in the amount of $2,000 from the Faculty of Arts, University of Auckland, in recognition of research excellence.




Honorary Professor






  • 2017 to 2020. Yunshan Chair Professor, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China.
  • 2015 to present. Zhengzhou University, China.
  • 2015 to present. Hebei Science and Technology Normal University, China.
  • 2013 to present. Handan College, China.




Emerging Research Excellence Fellowship


2013, in the amount of $3,000 from the University of Auckland toward a project on working memory and task planning.




Faculty Research Development Fund



2012, in the amount of $24,025 from the University of Auckland for a project on language aptitude and task-based instruction.




Summer Scholarship



2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, received from the University of Auckland, each in the amount of $5,000, to support research projects




Best Abstract Award



2010, in the amount of $300 from the University of Maryland; the award was given to the ten student abstracts that received the highest ratings at the Second Language Research Forum.




Dissertation Fellowship



2009, in the amount of $6,000 plus a tuition waiver, in support of outstanding dissertation projects. Michigan State University




Summer Fellowship


2008, 2009, in the amount of $4,000, to support selected research projects. Michigan State University




Research Enhancement Grant



2008, in the amount of $1,000 to support innovative postgraduate research. Michigan State University




Outstanding Teacher Award


Received at Hebei Teachers University to recognize outstanding teaching performance




Outstanding Postgraduate Student Award


Received at Hebei Teachers University. The award was given to top 10% of the postgraduate students at the University


■ PhD and MA Supervisor

■ Postgraduate Adviser

■ Executive Committee of the Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand

■ Editorial Board

   Language Teaching Research  

   The RELC Journal

   Asian EFL Journal


   World Journal of Meta-Analysis

   Advances in Language and Literary Studies

   International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

Areas of expertise

  • Second language acquisition
  • Individual differences (language aptitude, working memory, motivation, anxiety, etc.)
  • Corrective feedback
  • Task-based language teaching and learning
  • Second language classroom research
  • Research methods

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Fu, M., & Li, S. (2017). The cognitive processes of task performance and their associations with working memory. Modern Foreign Languages, 40 (1), 114-124. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mengxia Fu
  • Li, S., & Fu, M. (2017). Strategic and unpressured within-task planning and their associations with working memory. Language Teaching Research, 136216881668436-136216881668436. 10.1177/1362168816684367
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mengxia Fu
  • Li, S. (2017). Teacher and learner beliefs about corrective feedback. In H. Nassaji, E. Kartchava (Eds.) Corrective feedback in second language teaching and learning : Research, theory, applications, implications (pp. 143-157). New York: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Li, S. (2017). Cognitive differences and ISLA. In S. Loewen, M. Sato (Eds.) The Routledge handbook of instructed second language acquisition (pp. 396-417). New York: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Li, S. (2016). The construct validity of language aptitude: A meta-analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38 (4), 801-842. 10.1017/S027226311500042X
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31683
  • Li, S., Ellis, R., & Zhu, Y. (2016). Task-Based Versus Task-Supported Language Instruction: An Experimental Study. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 205-229. 10.1017/S0267190515000069
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28510
  • Li, S., Ellis, R., & Shu, D (2016). The differential effects of immediate and delayed feedback on learners of different proficiency levels. Foreign Languages and Foreign Language Research, 286, 1-15. 10.13458/j.cnki.flatt.004214
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28987
  • Li, S., Zhu, Y., & Ellis, R. (2016). The effects of the timing of corrective feedback on the acquisition of a new linguistic structure. Modern Language Journal, 100 (1), 276-295. 10.1111/modl.12315
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/28514


Contact details

Primary location

CLL - Bldg 207
Level 2, Room 208
New Zealand

Web links