Dist Prof Roderick James Ellis

MA (Leeds), MEd (Bristol), PhD (London)

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Professor » Applied Language Studies and Linguistics

Organisational units


  • Professor. Deputy Head of Department

Research interests

Second language acquisition, individual learner differences, form-focussed instruction, teacher education, course design and methodology of language teaching.


In addition to my position in the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics in University of Auckland,I also contribute to work in the MA in TESOL program in Anaheim University and I am a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) as part of China’s Chang Jiang Scholars Program.  I also hold an annual seminar at Showa Women's University, Tokyo, Japan.

My published works include articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education.My books includeUnderstanding Second Language Acquisition (BAAL Prize 1986) and The Study of Second Language Acquisition (Duke of Edinburgh prize 1995),Task-Based Learning and Teaching early (2003), and Analyzing Learner Language (with Gary Barkhuizen) in (2005). A second edition of The Study of Second Language Acquisition was published in 2008 and Implicit and Explicit Knowledge in Language Learning, Testing and Teachingin 2009. I have also published several English language textbooks, including Impact Grammar (Pearson: Longman).  I am currently editor of the journal Language Teaching Research.  

In addition to my current position in New Zealand, I have worked in schools in Spain and Zambia and in universities in the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States. I have also conducted numerous consultancies and seminars throughout the world.


Research | Current

The Study of Second Language Acquisition 

This comprehensive overview of second language acquisition research is currently being revised. Each chapter will be updated to reflect research and theory-building since 1994. In addition new chapters on sociocultural SLA and neuro-scientific SLA will be included. The book will be published by Oxford University Press.

The Role of Explicit Knowledge of a Second language in Proficiency and Acquisition
This funded research project investigates the measurement of explicit and implicit second language knowledge, the relationship of these two types of knowledge to second language proficiency, and the effects of providing instruction in explicit knowledge on the acquisition of implicit knowledge.

Professor Rod Ellis's Research

Teaching | Current

Department: Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics

I currently teach on postgraduate courses on:

*  Second language Acquisition

*  Task-based language teaching and learning

I will be offering a new course in the second semester of 2012 called 'Second Language Classroom Rsearch'.


Language Teaching and Learning
Course Title Availability in 2012
LANGTCHG 722 Learner Language Semester 2
LANGTCHG 728 Second Language Classroom Research Semester 2
LANGTCHG 743 Second Language Acquisition Semester 2
LANGTCHG 747 Individual Learner Differences and Second Language Learning Not offered in 2012.

Professor Rod Ellis's Teaching


Postgraduate supervision


Second language acquisition

  • Individual learner differences
  • Form-focussed instruction
  • Teacher education
  • Course design and methodology of language teaching

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Shintani, N., & Ellis, R. (2015). Does language analytical ability mediate the effect of written feedback on grammatical accuracy in second language writing?. System, 49, 110-119. 10.1016/j.system.2015.01.006
  • Shintani, N., & Ellis, R. (2014). Language analytical ability: What role does it play in L2 learners’ use of written feedback?. Paper presented at AILA World Congress 2014, Brisbane, Australia. 10 August - 15 August 2014.
  • Ellis, R. J. (2012). A lifetime of grammar teaching. Teaching English in the Two-Year College, 40 (1), 7-19.
  • Ellis, R. J. (2012). An options-based approach to doing task-based language teaching. In M. Eisenmann, T. Summer (Eds.) Basic Issues in EFL Teaching and Learning (pp. 17-30). Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Ellis, R. J. (2012). Task-Based Language Teaching in Asian Primary Schools: Policy, Problems and Opportunities. In H. Pillay, M. Yeo (Eds.) Teaching Language to Learners of Different Age Groups (pp. 74-91). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
  • Ellis, R. (2012). Editorial. Language Teaching Research, 16 (1), 7-8. 10.1177/1362168811423338
  • Ellis, R. J. (2012). Language Teaching Research and Language Pedagogy. Malden, Mass., USA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Ellis, R. (2011). Editorial. Language Teaching Research, 15 (4), 389-390. 10.1177/1362168811412018

Contact details

Office hours

By appointment - emeial r.ellis@auckland.ac.nz

Primary location

Level 4, Room 206-403
Auckland 1010
New Zealand