Ben Naismith

PhD Linguistics Student at the University of Pittsburgh


I am a fourth-year Linguistics PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh and have been working the field of English Language Teaching for nearly 20 years. My research interests include lexis, teacher pedagogy, second language acquisition, and corpus linguistics. As part of the University of Pittsburgh English Language Institute (ELI) Data Mining Group, I am currently investigating aspects of lexical development as we focus on applying computational methods to the Pitt ELI Corpus (PELIC).

Ultimately, my professional goal is to help bridge the gap between academics and ELT practitioners in order to meaningfully and positively impact language teaching and learning.

Curriculum Vitae Preview

Click here to download the PDF.

Recent projects

The following are current or recent projects which are publicly available as publications, conference presentations, or online repositories. Click the images for more information about the projects.

Investigation of various aspects of lexical depth
in learners' written essays in PELIC.
Public GitHub repository available online, slides available upon request.

Corpus study of factors affecting affixation choices.
Posters from an early version of the paper and current
published paper available online.

About Me

Originally from Canada, I have spent most of my adult life living and teaching in other countries including the UK, Thailand, Costa Rica, the UAE, and now the USA. Outside of school and work, I can almost always be found spending time with my small family - my wife, daughter, and our dogs - as we travel and explore the world together.

Updates (2019/2020)

Fall 2020: Starting work on dissertation
Fall 2020: Continuing as Graduate Student Researcher and Teaching Fellow – Department of Linguistics
September 2019: Poster presentation at SLRF at Michigan State University
Fall 2019: Graduate Student Researcher and Teaching Fellow – Department of Linguistics
Summer 2019:       Teacher Training in Vancouver, B.C. / Summer research on PELIC
June 2019: Awarded 3-year Doctoral Fellowship by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
April 2019: Second year of PhD completed / Awarded MA Applied Linguistics
Spring 2019: Teaching Fellow for 'Intro to Linguistics'


If you would like to get in touch, please contact me in any of the following ways. I am always interested in new opportunities for collaboration or work.