Alan Juffs

Professor of Linguistics

Director, English Language Institute

BA University of London

MA University of Durham

PhD McGill University

Address:2833 Cathedral of Learning
Telephone: (412) 624-5901
E-mail: juffs at
FAX: (412) 624-6130

Previous Employment

  • Lecturer in ESL at Xiang-Ya (Hunan-Yale) Hunan Medical University, P.R. of China, 1992.
  • Assistant Professor at the International University of Japan.
  • Lecturer in ESL at Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, P.R. of China.
  • Other teaching experience in France and the United Kingdom.

Areas of Specialization

  • Linguistic theory
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Syntax and semantics
  • Working memory and sentence processing
  • Language Development in Intensive English Programs
  • Intensive English Program Administration

Current Projects

  • Research on acquisition of derivational morphology in second language acquisition
  • Research on second language processing
  • National Science Foundation funded: Robust Learning of vocabulary in ESL.
  • Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center
  • Chair of the English Course Committee, Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center

Selected Recent and Forthcoming Publications

PhD Dissertations Directed or Co-Directed and Job Placement

  • PhD students and topics:
  • On going: Benjamin Naismith. Lexicon, lexical development, and instructional corpus resources for teacher training.
  • 2017. Zhaohong Wu. Processing of English derived words in advanced second language learners: Effects of L1 typology, morphological awareness, suffix complexity, and L2 proficiency. Assistant Professor, Beijing Foreign Languages University.
  • 2017 Noriyasu Li. Interpretation and processing of the system of Japanese reflexives. Post doctoral researcher. University of Pittsburgh.
  • 2015. Andy Jeske. The development of English Front Vowels by Spanish-Speaking Children.
  • 2015. Katherine A. Martin. L1 Impacts on L2 Component Reading Skills, Word Skills, and Overall Reading Achievement. Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics. Southern Illinois University.
  • 2013. A Winner of the 2013 Provost's Award for Excellence in Mentoring Doctoral Students
  • 2013. Marcos Miguel, Nausica. Analyzing instruction and learning of derivational morphology in the Spanish language foreign language classroom. Assistant Professor, Denison University.
  • 2013. Olsen, Michael K. The acquisition of Case in Spanish pronominal object clitics in English-speaking College level L2 learners. Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Pointe.
  • 2011. Benjamin E. Friedline. Challenges in the second language acquisition of derivational morphology: from theory to practice.Lecturer, University of Kansas.
  • 2011. Roberto O. Aranovich. Optional agreement and grammatical functions: a corpus study of dative clitic doubliing in Spanish. University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. Co-directed with Lori Levin, Carnegie Mellon University.
  • 2007. Annalisa Czeczulin. The Russian Reflexive in second language acquisition. Binding preferences and L1 transfer. Assistant Professor Goucher College , Maryland and Johns Hopkins University . Co-directed with Professor David Birnbaum.
  • 2007. Guillermo A. Rodriguez. Second Language Sentence Processing. Is it fundamentally different? Associate Professor, University of Vermont.
  • 2007. Patti Spinner. Placement testing and morphosyntactic development in second language learners of English. Associate Professor, Michigan State University.
  • 2006. Greg Mizera. Working Memory and L2 Oral Fluency. Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh.
  • 2003.Alan Vogel. Verb Classes in Jarawara. Senior Linguist, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Brazil. (Co-Directed with Professor Sally Thomason.)
  • 2002. Michael Fender. English word recognition and word integration skills of Arabic and Japanese ESL learners. Associate Professor, California State University at Long Beach. (Co-Directed with Professor R. Donato.)
  • 2001.Jenifer Larson-Hall. The critical period and second language acquisition: Evidence from phonology. Assistant Professor, University of North Texas.
  • 2000. Patrick Andre Mather.. The role of L1 transfer in contact-induced language change. Full Professor, University of Puerto Rico.

Recent and forthcoming Conference Presentations

  • 2018. Juffs, A. On the Importance of Descriptive and Theoretical Linguistics in the Theory and Practice of Language Learning and Teaching, May, 2018, Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. International Conference on English Teaching and Learning
  • 2018. Juffs, A. Validating IEP Placement Practice with K-cluster analysis. TESOL International. March, 11-13, 2018, Chicago, IL
  • 2017. Juffs, A. Tracking longitudinal vocabulary development in an Intensive English Program: finding appropriate measures. Second Language Research Forum, October 13-15, 2017. The Ohio State University.
  • 2017. Li, Noriyasu & Alan Juffs. L2 Acquisition of the System of Japanese Reflexives: Evidence of UG in L2 Binding. Second Language Research Forum, October 13-15, 2017. The Ohio State University.
  • 2016. Juffs, A. Second language acquisition and linguistic theory at the crossroads: invited plenary at PacSLRF, October 2016, Chuo University, Japan. PACLSLRF 2016
  • 2016. Juffs, A. An analysis of IEP Placement and Diagnostic Assessment Tools: Reconciling Program Goals and Accreditation Standards. Georgetown University Round Table (GURT) March, 11-13, 2016, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. GURT 2016
  • 2016. Wu, Zhaohong & Alan Juffs. L2 Concept category facilitation effects support concept mediation in L2-L1 translation. Linguistic Society of America Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. USA.
  • 2014. Juffs, A., & Vercellotti, M-L. The interaction of the lexical diversity and the use of trigrams in spoken ESL. Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliqueex. (AILA). Brisbane, Australia. August 2014.
  • 2014. Martin, K, & Juffs, A. L1 orthographic background and listening discrimination influence on L2 spelling. American Association of Applied Linguistics, Portland, OR, March 2014.
  • 2013. Juffs, A, Petrich, J, & N-R Han. Tracking the development of lexical diversity in intensive English program students in the US. American Association of Applied Linguistics, Houston, TX. 2013.
  • 2011. Martin, K. and Juffs, A. Reading in English: A Comparison of Native Arabic, Native Chinese, and native English speakers. Poster. International Symposium on Bilingualism 8 (ISB8).
  • 2010. Rehak, K. and Juffs, A. Native and Non-Native Processing of Morphologically Complex English Words. Second Language Research Forum, October 2010. University of Maryland.
  • 2009. Juffs, A. & Friedline, B. L1 influence, morphological (in)sensitivity and L2 lexical development: Evidence from production data. Paper presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting. March 4, 2009.
  • 2009. Juffs, A. Invited plenary: Syntactic and Morphological processing failures in L2: issues and solutions. Paper presented at the L2 Processing and Parsing. Lubbock, Texas. May 23, 2009
  • Juffs, A. and Rodriguez, G. Second language sentence processing and working memory in college-educated and low-educated learners of English as a second language. EuroSLA, Antalya, Turkey. September, 2006.
  • Juffs, A., Eskenazi, M., Callan, J., Wilson, L., Heilman, M., Collins-Thompson, K and Pelletreau, T. Promoting robust learning of vocabulary through computer assisted language learning. June, 2006, AAAL Montreal.
  • Pharmakis, P. and A. Juffs. It's all Greek to me: L1 lemma mediated access in Greek/English bilinguals. Poster at GASLA 8, Banff, April, 2006.
  • Spinner, P. & A. Juffs. Case in the acquisition of L2 German. GASLA VII. Indiana University, April 2004.
  • Jelliffe, J.D. & Juffs, A. (Poster). The Parsing of Sentences with Full Relative Clauses by L2 Learners. GASLA VII. Indiana University, IN. April. 2004.
  • Juffs, A. (2003, October 18 2003). Working memory: understanding issues inb mainstream psychology. Paper presented at the Second Language Research Forum, Tucson, Arizona.
  • 2002. Working memory as a variable in accounting for individual differences in second language performance. American Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Meeting. April 6-9. 2002. Salt Lake City, UT
  • 2000a. Working memory and L1 influences in ambiguity resolution in L2 English sentence processing. American Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Meeting. March 11-14. 2000. Vancouver, BC.
  • 2000b. Creating and implementing an achievable annual marketing plan. University and College Intensive English Program/National Association of Foreign Student Advisors Annual Meeting. Workshop #18. San Diego, CA: May 29, 2000. With M. Louise Krumm (Georgetown University); A Clive Roberts (San Diego State University); Rafael Robles (University of Miami); Sam Lee (University of Southern California.)

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