Peter De Costa
(517) 884-7728

B257 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyLinguistics, Languages, and CulturesSecond Language Studies

MATESOL Program Director

TESOL; Second Language Studies

ORCID: 0000-0003-0389-1163

Curriculum Vitae


Peter I. De Costa is a full professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures (LiLaC). Within this department, Peter directs the Master of Arts in TESOL (MATESOL) Program. He is part of the core faculty within the Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program and the MATESOL Program. He also directs the Language Policy and Practice lab that is situated within the College of Arts & Letters.

Through a joint appointment with the College of Education, Peter is also a member of the MSU Department of Teacher Education (TE):

Within this department, Peter is the Director of the ESL K-12 endorsement in the MATC (Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum) Program, the Director of the Graduate Specialization in K-12 English as a Second Language in the MATC Program, and the Director of the Graduate Certificate in English Language Learner Education in the CITE (Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education) Program.

Before joining MSU, Peter taught at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.  He also taught ESL at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while pursuing his doctorate. Prior to that, he was a teaching fellow at the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University. He began his career as a high school English teacher in Singapore.

Peter’s primary area of research is the role of identity, ideology, and emotion in applied linguistics. He researches other applied linguistic issues, including World Englishes, CLIL and EMI education, critical classroom discourse analysis, and ethics. Much of his current work is centered on language teacher emotions.

Areas of Expertise:

– Second Language Acquisition

– Sociolinguistics (specifically Language Policy and Planning)

– Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

To find out more about his work, go to:

Peter is a recipient of several awards: the Fulbright scholarship (Harvard University, 2001-2002), the M.A.K. Halliday scholarship (conferred by the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia, 2008), the American Association of Applied Linguistics Graduate Student Travel Award (2010), the University of Wisconsin-Madison Dissertator Fellowship (2010), the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Second Language SIG Dissertation of the Year Award (2012), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Language and Social Processes SIG Emerging Scholar Award (2016). In 2022, he was awarded the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Second Language SIG Midcareer Award.

Peter is the co-editor of TESOL Quarterly:

He is the President Elect of the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL):

Peter is also an active member of the following professional organizations:

– American Educational Research Association (AERA)

– Comparative & International Education Society (CIES)

– TESOL International Association

He is the past (2017-2019) chair of the Second Language Research SIG of AERA.

If you have questions about Peter’s research, please feel free to contact him.

University News

College Celebrates Accomplishments of 2023 Promoted Faculty
Published September 20, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Outdoor clock tower.
This year, 20 faculty members within the College of Arts & Letters have received promotions. The success of these individuals was celebrated during the 2023 Faculty and Staff…Read now »
Doctoral Candidate Receives AAAL Graduate Student Award
Published March 14, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Portrait of a person with a black shirt standing indoors, staring directly at the camera.
J. Dylan Burton, a doctoral candidate in the Second Language Studies (SLS) Ph.D. program at Michigan State University, received a 2023 Graduate Student Award from the American…Read now »
Second Language Studies Professor Recognized for Social Justice Work and Leadership
Published March 22, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters As an applied linguist with an interest in language education, Peter De Costa studies how policy decisions impact language learning and teaching and…Read now »
Winke Named Co-Editor of ‘Language Testing’ Journal
Published September 25, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
Paula Winke, Associate Professor in the Second Language Studies Program, has been named Co-Editor of the journal Language Testing, effective January 1, 2019. This marks the fourth major…Read now »
Two CAL Faculty Appointed Co-Editors for TESOL Quarterly
Published December 12, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a woman with brown hair wearing a black sweater and a pink shirt
Professor Charlene Polio Two Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages faculty members have been appointed Co-editors for TESOL Quarterly (TQ), the…Read now »
Teachers Could Be Making Students’ Anxiety Worse
Published October 12, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
portrait of a man with brown hair and brown eyes and glasses
The anxiety that comes with feeling like an outsider in the classroom can hinder students’ learning and, ironically, teachers could be making it worse, according to a new study by a Michigan State…Read now »
Language Teachers Facing a Confidence Conundrum
Published May 18, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
man and woman pose for a picture with arms crossed
Foreign language teachers play a pivotal role in creating global citizens, but some teachers lack confidence in their ability to speak in their nonnative tongue, which could undermine the…Read now »
De Costa Presented with Emerging Scholar Award
Published April 15, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
man with brown hair and glasses holding award poses with woman with brown hair
Peter De Costa, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has earned the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award of the Language and Social…Read now »