Curriculum Vitae

  • Faculty, Urban Institute for Teacher Education
  • Faculty, Urban Institute for Teacher Education
  • Adjunct Professor, College Of Education-Dean
  • Professor, Linguistics


Research Statement

Research Statement

 My research draws on a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches from various disciplines to understand the role that language plays in society. My aim is to develop a knowledge base about language, its users, and uses and to explore the biological underpinnings of second language acquisition. My current research focuses on the use of online technologies in language teacher education. Additional research in language teacher education and TESOL is targeted at undestanding more about generative change in teachers and on how teacher beliefs and practices change throughout their careers. I also work in  L2 curriculum design (particularly content and language-integrated learning). In the past decade, neuroscience has provided fascinating glimpses into the brain's development. Educators have begun to look actively and aggressively to the biological sciences in order to inform educational policy and practice. My research agenda includes combining theories and methodologies from neuroscience to answer questions about how language develops in the bilingual brain. In addiiton, leadership in English language teaching and program administration are also representative of my work.  I have targeted my research and publishing priorities to reflect these primary interests.

Online Language Teacher Education (OLTE) and Online Language Learning

In recent years, I have been successful in securing five grants from Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) for online course development. Four of the grants allowed my home department (The Department of Linguistics) to create an online undergraduate TESOL Certificate (see The fifth grant was used to create a hybrid/blended-learning course for one of the required courses for all pre-service teachers in the Urban Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education. In addition to the five grants from TLT, I have also begun to focus my own research interests on OLTE and online language learning. See my most recent publications. 

Murray, D. E., & Christison, M. A. (accepted). Going online: Affordances and limitations for teachers and teacher educators. In K. Hyland & L. Wong (Eds.), Faces of English education: Students, teachers and pedagogy. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. (Invited)

Murray, D. E., & Christison, M. A. (accepted). Online Language Teacher Education: Participants’ Perceptions and Experiences. Monterrey, CA: The International Research Foundation (TIRF) for English language education. (Commissioned research)

Dixon, D., & Christison, M. A. (accepted). The usefulness of massive multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) as tools for promoting second language acquisition. In J. Perren, K. Kelch, J-S Byun, S. Cervantes, & S. Safavi (Eds.), Applications of CALL theory in ESL and EFL environments. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing.(refereed)

Dixon, T., & Christison, M. A. (accepted). Teaching English grammar in a hybrid academic ESL course. In J. Perren, K. Kelch, J-S. Byun, S. Cervantes, & S. Safavi (Eds.), Applications of CALL theory in ESL and EFL environments. Hershey, PA: IGI Global Publishing. (refereed)