Patsy Martin Lightbown, PhD, has worked for more than forty years in the fields of language teaching and language learning. Her research has focused on the teaching and learning of second and foreign languages in classroom contexts. Distinguished Professor Emerita at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, she is a writer and editor as well as a consultant and advisor to teachers, policy makers, curriculum developers, administrators, and evaluators of second and foreign language instructional programs (K-12, adult education, and university levels).
Professor Lightbown is co-author (with Nina Spada) of How Languages Are Learned. The fourth edition of this award-winning Oxford University Press book was published in 2013; it is used in teacher education and applied linguistics courses throughout the world. The fifth edition is scheduled for release in 2021.
Her 2014 book Focus on Content-Based Language Teaching (Oxford University Press) was shortlisted for the English Speaking Union’s Duke of Edinburgh book prize in applied linguistics and runner-up for the British Council award for English Language Teaching. It appears in the Oxford Key Concepts for the Language Classroom series that she edits with Nina Spada.
Professor Lightbown has published scores of articles on her research in professional journals and books. Some of these articles are compiled in Learning a Second Language in the Classroom, published by the Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press in 2014.
Professor Lightbown has taught university courses focused on both teacher education and research on language teaching and learning. She has provided policy and program advice to government agencies, university foreign language departments, and school boards. She has given workshops and presentations to a broad range of audiences in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, several European countries, Japan, and Australia.
Professor Lightbown offers workshops for in-service and pre-service teachers, as well as program developers and administrators. She teaches university-level short courses on language acquisition and language pedagogy for both undergraduate and graduate students. She gives conference presentations on language learning and teaching for general audiences as well as those with professional involvement as researchers or teachers.
Having served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger in 1965-1967, she is currently using her professional background in identifying and contributing to educational and humanitarian projects in West Africa.