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ZhaoHong Han

Professional Background

Educational Background


  • Ph.D., Applied Linguistics, Birkbeck College, University of London
  • M.A., TESOL, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh
  • B.A., English and English Literature, Central China Normal University

Scholarly Interests

  • Second language learnability
  • Second language teachability
  • Second language initial state
  • Second language ultimate attainment
  • Comparative grammar
  • Language typology
  • Cognitive linguistics 
  • Linguistic relativity
  • Second language reading processes
  • Second language teacher education

Selected Publications

Han, Z-H. (2015). Striving for complementarity between narrative and meta-analytic reviews. Applied Linguistics, 36(3), 409-415.

Han, Z-H. (2014). From Julie to Wes to Alberto: Revisiting the construct of fossilization. In Z-H. Han & E. Tarone (Eds.), Interlanguage: Forty Years Later  (pp. 47-74). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 

Han, Z.-H., & Finneran, R. (2014). Re-engaging the interface debate: Strong, weak, none, or all? International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 24(3), 370-389.

Han, Z-H.  & Liu, Z.H. (2013). Input processing of Chinese by ab initio learners. Second Language Research, 29(2), 145-164. 

Han, Z-H. (2013). Forty years later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis. Language Teaching, 46(2), 133-171. [state-of-the-art article]

Han, Z-H. (2011). Fossilization - A classic concern of SLA research. In Gass, S. & Mackey, A. (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 476-490). New York: Routledge.

Han, Z-H. & Cadierno, T. (Eds.) (2010). Linguistic Relativity in Second Language Acquisition: Thinking for Speaking. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Han, Z-H. (2009).Interlanguage and fossilization: Towards an analytic model. In V. Cook & L. Wei (Eds.), Contemporary Applied Linguistics (Vol. I: Language Teaching and Learning pp. 137-162). London: Continuum.

Han, Z-H. & Anderson, N. (Eds.) (2009). Second Language Reading Research and Instruction: Crossing the Boundaries. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Han, Z-H. (2008). On the role of meaning in focus on form. In Z-H. Han (Ed.) Understanding Second Language Process (pp. 45-79). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Han, Z-H., Park, E.S., & Combs, C. (2008). Textual enhancement of input: Issues and possibilities. Applied Linguistics, 29(4), 597-618.

Han, Z-H. (2004). 'To be a native speaker means not to be a non-native speaker.' Second Language Research, 20(2), 166-87.

Han, Z-H. (2004). Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. [Review by Kupferberg (2005). Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(4), 627-629]

Han, Z-H. (2002). A study of the impact of recasts on tense consistency in L2 output. TESOL Quarterly, 36(4), 543-72.

Han, Z-H. (2000). Persistence of the implicit influence of NL: The case of the pseudo-passive. Applied Linguistics, 21(1), 78-105.

Han, Z-H. & Selinker, L. (1999). Error resistance: Towards an empirical pedagogy. Language Teaching Research, 3(3), 248-75.

For a complete list of publications, go to 'Vitae' in the horizontal bar (above) and click open 'Principal Publications'.

principal publications

useful web sites

professional presentations

Recent keynote/plenary addresses and invited talks

Han, Z-H. (November 2015). Focus on form: What form? International conference "Standard and variation in second language education: A cross-linguistic perspective." Roma Tre University. Rome, Italy.

Han, Z-H. (May 2015). Selective fossilization in foreign language learning. Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Monterey, CA.

Han, Z-H. (July 2014). Trends in second and foreign language teaching. The Columbia University Global Center in Beijing. Beijing, China.

Han, Z-H. (May 2013). On the genesis of learnability challenge in L2 acquisition. Southeast University. Nanjing, China.

Han, Z-H. (May 2013). The complexity and difficulty of adult second language acquisition. Yangzhou University. Yangzhou. Yangzhou, China.

Han, Z.-H. (October 2012). On the common genesis of learnability challenges in second language acquisiton of English and Chinese. The 5th International Symposium on Second Language Acquisition. Wuhan, China.

Han, Z.H. (October 2012). Facilitating adult second language learning: Empirical pedagogy. Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.

Han, Z.-H. (October 2012). Why is it so difficult for adults to learn a second language? Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.

Han, Z.-H. (October 2012). Forty years later: Updating the Fossilization Hypothesis. The 2nd  Teachers College, Columbia University Roundtable in Second Language Studies: Interlanguage: 40 Years Later. New York, New York.

Han, Z-H. (August 2012). Task-based learning and its relevance to second language teaching of Chinese. The 2nd International Conference on Chinese as a Second Language Research (CASLR). Taipei, Taiwan.

Han, Z.-H. (November 2011). Why practice does not make perfect. The 2nd Chinese Language Education Forum. San Francisco, CA.

Han, Z.-H. (October 2011). From Julie' to Wes' to Alberto': The Selective Fossilization Hypothesis. Temple University. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Han, Z.H. (June 2011). Recasting the story of recasts. The First SLA Summit. Qingdao, China.

Han, Z.H. (June 2011). Initial state of input processing: The case of Chinese. Invited symposium (convened by Susanne Carroll): First Exposure Studies: Implications for an Applied Research Agenda. Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Conference. Universit du Nouveau-Brunswick - St. Thomas University. Fredericton, Canada.

Han, Z.H. (July 2011). Foreign language acquisition of English: Challenges and solutions. Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Wuhan, China.

Han, Z-H. (October 2010). 'Researches' and 'evidences': Where and why the interface falls apart. Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan.

Han, Z-H. (October 2010). From 'Julie' to 'Wes' to 'Alberto': The Selective Fossilization Hypothesis.The 2010 Public Seminar Series. Teachers College, Columbia University, Japan Campus. Tokyo, Japan. 

Han, Z-H. (February 2010). From 'Julie' to 'Alberto': The Selective Fossilization Hypothesis. Pennsylvania State University. State College, Pennsylvania.

Han, Z-H. (May 2009). A fossilization perspective on morphosyntactic complexity in second language acquisition. FRIAS Colloquium on Linguistic Complexity in Interlanguage Varieties, L2 Varieties, and Contact Languages. Freiburg, Germany.

Han, Z-H. (March 2009). Learner spontaneous processing of input. Invited colloquium at GURT 2009. Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Han, Z-H. & Sun, Y. (March 2009). Input processing: A replication of Han & Peverly (2007). GURT 2009 colloquium on learner spontaneous processing of input. Washington, DC.

Han, Z-H. (November 2008). Error correction: Towards a differential approach. The 4th QCC Colloquium on Second Language Acquisition.  The City University of New York.  New York, New York.

Han, Z-H. (December 2007). INFO: Optimizing conditions for instructed learning of Chinese as a second/foreign language. The 2nd International Forum on the Teaching and Learning of Chinese as a Second/Foreign Language. Guangzhou, China.


Recent refereed paper presentations:

Han, Z-H. (March 2015). Substantiating the Cognition Hypothesis: In search of thought complexity and linguistic correlates.  AAAL 2015. Toronto, Canada.

Han, Z-H. (March 2015). The orderliness of a complex system. Colloquium "Complexity theory: Staking out the territory". AAAL 2015. Toronto, Canada.

Han, Z-H. & Kang, E. (August 2014). Extending the Cognition Hypothesis: Thought complexity and linguistic correlates. The 17th World Congress of Applied Linguistics. Brisbane, Australia. 

Han, Z-H. & Ying, C. (March 2014). Narrow reading and vocabulary acquisition. 2014 International TESOL Convention. Portland, Oregon. 

Han, Z-H. Akbar, F., Li, Y., Liu, H., Meng, Y., & Saez, N. (March 2014). Colloquium: Profiling the dynamic system of learner language. AAAL 2014. Portland, Oregon.

Han, Z-H. & Maeng, J.O. (November 2013). Task-based teaching of Chinese in a study abroad context. ACTFL 2013. Orlando, Florida.

Han,Z-H. & Liu, Z.H. (November 2012). Initial input processing: A study of ab initio learners of Chinese. The 2012 ACTFL convention. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Han, Z-H., Ekiert, M., Jung, J.Y., Kang, E.Y., Lew, W.M., Park, M.S., Qi, S.Q.,& Sun, Y.Y.(March 2011). Colloquium: Beyond a decade of focus on form (1998-2008): Giving learner meaning its proper place in theory and practice. AAAL 2011. Chicago, Illinois.

Han, Z-H. (October 2010). Repeated-reading-based instructional strategy and vocabulary acquisition: A case study of a heritage speaker of Chinese. The first Teachers College, Columbia University Roundtable in Second Language Studies: Second Language Acquisition of Chinese. New York, New York.

Shin, H.W. & Han, Z-H. (March 2010). Another look at Norris & Ortega (2000). The 44th Annual TESOL Convention. Boston, Massachusetts.

Han, Z-H. (November 2009). Repeated reading and vocabulary acquisition: A case study of a heritage speaker of Chinese. AREC 2009. Paris, France.

Han, Z-H., Combs, C., & Bernal, P. (March 2009). Promoting content and language learning: A longitudinal study of textual enhancement in language arts classes. AAAL 2009. Denver, Colorado.

Han, Z-H. & Kim, J. H. (April 2008). Corrective recasts: What teachers might want to know.  TESOL 2008 Convention. New York, New York.

Han, Z-H. Alonso, C. Prez Caado, M, & Zhang, L. (March 2008). Non-metalinguistic think-aloud does produce reactivity. AAAL 2008 Conference.  Washington, D.C.

Choong, P. & Han, Z-H. (September 2007). Task complexity and output complexity: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the 2nd International Conference on Task-based Language Teaching. University of Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Han, Z-H. & Larsen-Freeman, D. (October 2005). On the role of meaning in focus on form. Paper presented at the 28th Second Language Research Forum (SLRF). New York: New York.


doctoral dissertations sponsored

Choong, K. (2014). Effects of task complexity on written production in L2 English. Unpublished dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. 

Ekiert, M. (2010). Investigating articles as expressions of definiteness in L2 English of Slavic speakers. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Kim, J. H. (2008). Focus on form in communicative EFL classrooms: A study of learner recognition of recasts. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Kwon, E.-Y. (2008). Cross-linguistic influence and "universal" developmental patterns in child second language acquisition: A longitudinal study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Liu, Y.-T. (2007). Phonological recoding in sentence-level Chinese character recognition by advanced adult L2 Chinese learners. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Park, E. S. (2007). Learner-generated noticing of L2 input: An exploratory study. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Revesz, A. J. (2007). Focus on form in task-based language teaching: Recasts, task complexity, and L2 learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Seol, H. (2007). The impact of age and L1 influence on L2 ultimate attainment. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Song, S. (2009). Recasts, grammatical morphemes, and L2 learning: A longitudinal case study of Korean L2 learners. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Suzuki, M. (2007). Learner uptake and second language learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
Year, J. (2009). Korean speakers' acquisition of the English ditransitive construction: The role of input frequency and distribution. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.


biographical information

Dr. ZhaoHong Han is Professor of Language and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she teaches graduate courses in Applied Linguistics, TESOL, and foreign language instruction. Her research interests are broadly in second language learnability, second language teachability, and their interface.   Her work on fossilization, corrective feedback, second language thinking for speaking, second language reading and vocabulary development, second language reading instruction, and second language ab initio input processing has appeared in a variety of journals and books. Dr. Han is the recipient of the 2003 International TESOL Heinle and Heinle Distinguished Research Award, and a repeated recipient of the Teachers College, Columbia University Outstanding Teacher Award.
Dr.Han has served on the editorial boards of Applied Linguistics (Oxford; also as representative of the American Association for Applied Linguistics), GRETA Journal (Spain), Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics (VIAL, Spain), Foreign Language Teaching Theory and Practice (外语教学理论与实践, China), Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics (formerly 中国英语教学; China), Chinese as a Second Language Research (Moulton de Gruyter), and Language Teaching (Cambridge University Press).  She frequently consults to universities and school districts on research and teacher development grants and second language programs, curriculums, and materials.
Dr. Han has lived and taught in China, Italy, Norway, United Kingdom (Scotland, England), Japan, and Spain.

A&HL 4087: Introduction to second language acquisition

Prerequisite: A&HL 4085; A&HL 4101. Survey of models and basic principles of second language acquisition and examination of how language acquisition research can inform language teaching, learning, and policy. Offered in fall and spring only. Special fee: $15.

A&HL 4907: Research and independent study: Applied linguistics

Permission of instructor required. Research under the direction of a faculty member. Students work individually or with others. Course may be taken more than once.

A&HL 5008: Interlanguage analysis

This course investigates processes underlying second language development/non-development. Guided by the instructor, studetns will examine empirical SLA studies and be introduced to ways of conducting interlanguage analysis. Special fee: $15.


A&HL 5207: Fieldwork in TESOL

Permission of instructor required. Required field observation for students in the K-12 certification track. Course may be taken more than once. Special Fee: $15 

A&HL 5575: Research literacy in applied linguistics and TESOL

Introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods with discussion of major research paradigms (experimental, ethnographic, introspective, questionnaire, etc.) and critical review of professional literature in applied linguistics and TESOL. Special fee: $15.

A&HL 6087: Advanced second language acquisition

Prerequisite: A&HL 4087. Examines theoretical and empirical issues in SLA research. Reading and discussion of selected state-of-the-art articles that address, critically and substantively, topics that are of fundamental interest to SLA researchers. Special fee: $15.

A&HL 6207: Advanced fieldwork in applied linguistics and TESOL

Permission of instructor required. Opportunity for qualified students, individually or in small groups, to develop and pursue projects, in consultation with an advisor, in schools, communities, and other field settings. Course may be taken more than once. Special fee: $15.

A&HL 6407: Internship in applied linguistics and TESOL


Centers and Projects

Center on Chinese Education

The Center on Chinese Education, Teachers College Columbia University (CoCE) is aimed at contributing to a better understanding of education in China and to educational exchange between the United States and China. It seeks to achieve this mission through three categories of activities: research and development, education and training, as well as outreach and exchange. These activities will draw upon the historically special relationship between Chinese education and Teachers College, the interests and expertise of the faculty at Teachers College, as well as expertise and resources outside of Teachers College. Major funding for the Center's activities is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Contact: Mun C. Tsang