Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Second Language Studies
Patti Spinner
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Dr. Patti Spinner
B258 Wells Hall, 619 Red Cedar Road 

East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 
Phone: 517-353-0754 
Fax: 517-432-1149 

Patti Spinner received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007, and also has an M.A. in German from the Ohio State University. She has taught German as a foreign language at the Ohio State University and Kenyon College, and ESL at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Rostock (Germany), and Inlingua Language Schools (Germany). She has also developed music-based lessons for ESL grammar instruction, including Betty Azar's English Grammar series and L-Pop:  Real Music for English Language Learning.

Research Interests

Dr. Spinner's primary research interests are in the second language acquisition of morphosyntax from a formal perspective, particularly the acquisition of features such as grammatical gender, case, number, and tense. Currently she is investigating the acquisition of gender and number in L2 Swahili. Another project examines Italian gender and number using eye-tracking measures. Other research interests include morphosyntactic measures of L2 language development and the use of music in the instruction of L2 grammar. Her work has appeared in journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Research, Applied Linguistics, and Language Learning.


Selected publications

Spinner, P. & Jung, S. (2017). Production and comprehension in processability theory:  A self-paced reading study.  Studies in Second Language Acquisition.

Spinner, P., Foote, R. & Upor, R. (2017). Gender and number processing in second language Swahili.  Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.  DOI: 10.1075/lab.16042.spi

Spinner, P. & Gass, S. (2015).  SLA and linguistics:  A bidirectional perspective. Linguistics Vanguard. ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: 10.1515/lingvan-2014-1010.

Spinner, P. & Thomas, J. (2014). Morphophonological and semantic cues in the L2 acquisition of Swahili gender. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 52(3), 283 – 311.

Spinner, P. (2013). Language production and reception:  A processability theory study.  Language Learning, 63, 704-739.

Spinner, P. (2013). The L2 acquisition of number and gender in Swahili:  A feature reassembly approach.  Second Language Research, 29, 455–479.

Spinner, P., Gass, S. & Behney, J. (2013). Ecological validity in eye-tracking research:  An empirical study.  Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 389-415.

Amuzie, G. & Spinner, P. (2013). The L2 acquisition of articles with abstract nouns. Applied Linguistics, 34, 415-434.

Spinner, P. (2011). Second language research in Bantu languages:  A (mostly) untapped research opportunity. Second Language Research, 27, 418-430.

Spinner, P. (2011). L2 placement/proficiency measures and morphosyntactic development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 33, 529-561.

Grinstead, J. & Spinner, P. (2009).  Subjects, topicalizations and Wh-questions in child German and Southern Romance.  Probus, 21, 51-82.

Spinner, P. & Juffs, A. (2008).  The L2 acquisition of gender in a complex morphological system:  The case of German.  International Review of Applied Linguistics, 46, 315-348.