Ben Naismith

PhD Linguistics Student at the University of Pittsburgh


I am a second-year Linguistics PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh and have been working the field of English Language Teaching since 2002. My research interests lie in the lexical development of adult language learners, 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 sophistication as we focus on applying computational methods to the Pitt ELI Learner Corpus (PELIC).

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

Curriculum Vitae Summary

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2017 - Present PhD Linguistics University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, U.S.A)
2012 – 2016 MSc Applied Linguistics Aston University (Birmingham, England)
2007 Cambridge DELTA Global Village (Vancouver, Canada)
2000 – 2005 BA Music Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, Canada)

Naismith, B. (submitted). From Rules to Reasons by Danny Norrington-Davies. Modern English Teacher.
Naismith, B., Han, N.-R., Juffs, A., Hill, B. L., & Zheng, D. (accepted). Accurate Measurement of Lexical Sophistication with Reference to ESL Learner Data. University of Pittsburgh. Conference paper in Educational Data Mining 2018, Buffalo, NY.
Naismith, B. 2017 (accepted). Up in the Cloud: Collocations with “Make” and “Let”. New Ways in Teaching with Corpora. Maryland: TESOL Press.
Naismith, B. 2017. Integrating corpus tools on intensive CELTA courses. ELT Journal, 71 (3): pp 273-283. doi:10.1093/elt/ccw076.
Naismith, B. 2017. The Practice of English Language Teaching (4th ed) by Jeremy Harmer. Modern English Teacher, 26 (3).
Naismith, B. 2013. Educational role models. Gulf News [Dubai, U.A.E.]. Aug 2013: Print.
Naismith, B. 2012. Tolerance of Ambiguity. English Connection KOTESOL, 16 (4): pp 14-15, 21.
Naismith, B. 2012. Trainee See, Trainee Do?. International House Journal, 33 (2): Online.

Conference presentations:
2015  Connecting Intuition to Reality BC TEAL Vancouver, Canada
2013  Freedom Through Restriction IH World Organization Online webinar
2013  Using Corpora in the Classroom IH DoS conference London, UK
2012  Experiential Learning in Teacher Training TESOL Arabia Dubai, UAE
2012  Dealing with Emergent Language IH World Organization Online webinar
2011  Dealing with Stress Universidad Latina San José, Costa Rica
2011  An Introduction to the CEFR Centro Cultural San José, Costa Rica
2010  An Introduction to the CEFR Universidad Latina San José, Costa Rica

ELT experience:
2017 – Present Freelance ELT work Various locations
2014 – 2016 Head of Teacher Training IH Vancouver (Canada)
2012 - 2014 Director of Studies IH Dubai (U.A.E.)
2010 – 2012 Director of Studies IH San José (Costa Rica)
2008 – 2010 Teacher Training Coordinator IH San José (Costa Rica)
2006 – 2008 English as a Foreign Language Teacher IH San José (Costa Rica)
2004 – 2005 Academic English Tutor Humber College (Canada)
2002 – 2003 English as a Foreign Language Teacher ECC Lampang (Thailand)

Awards and honours:
2018  School of Arts & Sciences Summer Fellowship University of Pittsburgh
2018  Trudeau Foundation Scholar nominee University of Pittsburgh
2017  Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship University of Pittsburgh
2017  ‘Merit’ for MSc in Applied Linguistics Aston University
2005  ‘Distinction’ for BA in Music Thompson Rivers University
1999  Passport to Education Award Canadian Provincial Government

Professional memberships:
IATEFL member (Research SIG)
BC TEAL member
TESL Canada accredited (level 3)
Oxford Journals – Applied Linguistics Review Board
International House Journal Review Board
BC TEAL Journal Review Board

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 dog - as we travel and explore the world together.


May to August 2018: Teacher Training in Vancouver, B.C.
July 15-18: Paper to be presented at the Educational Data Mining 2018 conference
April 28, 2018: First year of PhD completed!
April 15, 2018: Awarded School of Arts and Sciences Summer Fellowship


If you would like to get in touch, please contact me in any of the following ways (there are also links in the bottom-left corner of the page). I am always interested in new opportunities for collaboration or work.