Paula Winke

(517) 353-9792

B252 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyLinguistics, Languages, and CulturesSecond Language Studies

Director, Second Language Studies PhD
Arts & Letters Professor

Second Language Studies & TESOL

ORCID: 0000-0002-8169-650X


Ph.D, Georgetown University

Paula Winke is the Inaugural Arts & Letters Professor in the College of Arts & Letters and the Director of the Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program in the Applied Linguistics Program in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures. Her primary research is on foreign and second language assessment. She researches language-test reliability and methods for creating (and managing) placement and proficiency tests. Paula also researches language teaching methods, with a particular focus on task-based language assessment and task-based materials design. With Aline Godfroid, Paula co-directs the Second Language Acquisition Program’s Eye-tracking Labs. She is co-editor (with Luke Harding, Lancaster University, UK) of the journal Language Testing. From 1998 to 2000, Paula was a Peace Corps Volunteer in China. In 2008, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary, and in 2022, a Fulbright Scholar to Germany. In 2008, she received the CALICO Article of the Year Award with Senta Goertler. In 2012 she received the International TESOL Distinguished Research Award. She received the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Research Article Award in 2020, and in 2021, the Paul Pimsleur Award for Research in World Language Education from the National Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association (NFMLTA), the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL), and the Modern Language Journal (MLJ). Currently, Paula is serving on a U.S. Department of State Task Force as part of an Interagency Agreement between MSU and the U.S. State Department. With the Task Force, she is advising the U.S. Foreign Service Institute on foreign language proficiency test redesign.

Media Mentions

Awards and Honors


Winke, P., Zhang, X., & Pierce, S. J. (2022). A closer look at a marginalized test method: Self-assessment as a measure of speaking proficiency. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Advance online publication.

Winke, P., & Brunfaut, T. (Eds.) (2021). The Routledge handbook of second language acquisition and language testing. Routledge. ISBN: 9781138490680

Burton, J. D., & Winke, P. (2021). Building positive outcomes for English language learning: A case for focusing on positive individual differences. TESOL International Association AL Forum.

Gass, S., Sydorenko, T., & Winke, P. (2021). Materials from “The effects of captioning videos used for foreign language listening activities,” published in Language Learning & Technology, 2010, by Winke, Gass, and Sydorenko [Materials and description]. Humanities Commons.

Winke, P., Heidrich, E., & Gass, S. (2021). Individual differences in Advanced Spanish proficiency: Cluster and case-matching analyses on 127 Advanced learners. In M. Menke & P. Malovrh (Eds.), Advancedness in second language Spanish: Definitions, challenges, and possibilities (pp. 368-395). John Benjamins.

Godfroid, A., Winke, P., & Conklin, K. (2020). Exploring the depths of second language processing with eye tracking: An introduction. Second Language Research, 36(3), 243-255.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2020). A principled approach to language assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Winke, P., Zhang, X., Rubio, F., Gass, S., Soneson, D., & Hacking, J. (2020). The proficiency profiles of language students: Implications for programs. Second Language Research & Practice, 1(1), 25-64.

Zhang, X., Winke, P., & Clark, S. (2020). Background characteristics and oral proficiency development over time in lower-division college foreign language programs. Language Learning, 70(3), 807-847.

Winke, P., & Ma, W. M. (2020). The assessment of Chinese L2 proficiency. In C. Shei, M., Zikpi, & D. Chao (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of Chinese language teaching (pp. 405-422). Routledge.

Winke, P. & Zhang, X. (2019). How a third-grade reading retention law will affect ELLs in Michigan, and a call for research on child ELL reading development. TESOL Quarterly, 53(2), 529-542. Video abstract:

Gass, S., Van Gorp, K., & Winke, P. (2019). Using different carrots: How incentivization affects proficiency testing outcomes. Foreign Language Annals, 52(2), 216-236. Video abstract:

Ma, W., & Winke, P. (2019). Self-assessment: How reliable is it in assessing oral proficiency over time? Foreign Language Annals, 52(1), 66-86. Video abstract:

Rasool, G., & Winke, P. (2019). Undergraduate students’ motivation to learn and attitudes towards English in multilingual Pakistan: A look at shifts in English as a world language. System, 82, 50-62.

Winke, P., & Gass, S. (Eds.) (2018). Foreign language proficiency in higher education: Curricular and assessment issues. Springer.

Winke, P., Lee, S., Yoon, H-J., Ahn, J. I., Choi, I., & Cui, Y. (2018). The cognitive validity of child English-language tests: What young language learners and their native-speaking peers can reveal. TESOL Quarterly, 52(2), 274-303. Video abstract:

Lee, S., & Winke, P. (2018). Young learners’ response processes when taking computerized tasks for speaking assessment. Language Testing, 35(2), 239-269.

University News

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 »
Paula Winke Named Inaugural Arts & Letters Professor
Published January 17, 2023 in College of Arts & Letters
Paula Winke, Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures (LiLaC) at Michigan State University, recently was named the inaugural Arts & Letters Professor recognizing her…Read now »
MSU Faculty Member and Alum Win National Foreign Language Education Award
Published February 21, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
The highest national research award for foreign language education recently was awarded to the team of Xiaowan Zhang, MSU Ph.D. alumna in Second Language Studies; Paula Winke, Professor in MSU’s…Read now »
Doctoral Graduate Raises the Bar for African Language Instruction
Published December 10, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
Although specific to African languages, Magdalyne “Maggie” Oguti Akiding’s approach to second language instruction could be adapted to teach most any foreign language and is raising the bar…Read now »
Raising Proficiency in Critical-Need Languages
Published March 29, 2021 in College of Arts & Letters
For decades, Spanish, French, and German have dominated the landscape of foreign language instruction in most schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. However, as the need grows for…Read now »
Putting Tests to the Test: Assessing High-Stakes Exams for Second Language Learners
Published September 11, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
While earning undergraduate degrees in French and Philosophy, Paula Winke was inspired to blend her interests in language learning, research, and social justice. Today, she’s an…Read now »
Paula Winke Named Director of Second Language Studies
Published July 7, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
a women with short hair wearing glasses, a necklace, a white top with a grey jacket
Paula Winke, Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has been appointed Director of the Second Language Studies Program in the College…Read now »
LAE Podcast Hosts Associate Professor of Linguistics Paula Winke
Published February 10, 2020 in College of Arts & Letters
A man and a woman are sitting at a table talking. There is a bookshelf in the background
Episode two of the Liberal Arts Endeavor Podcast is out! Our host, Dean Christopher P. Long, spoke with Associate Professor of Linguistics Paula Winke in her Wells Hall…Read now »
Professor to Research Language Assessment as a Fulbright Scholar
Published September 18, 2019 in College of Arts & Letters
Professor to Research Language Assessment as a Fulbright Scholar
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board has selected Paula Winke, Associate Professor in…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 »
Leading Second Language Proficiency Research
Published February 13, 2017 in College of Arts & Letters
Researchers in MSU’s College of Arts & Letters are finishing up a large-scale study, never done before in terms of scope, that will give an overall picture of language proficiency in…Read now »
PhD Candidate Mostafa Papi Researches Motivational Aspects of Second Language Learning
Published December 15, 2015 in College of Arts & Letters
portrait of a smiling man with short, slicked back black hair. He is wearing a suit with a light blue button-up and dark blue tie
December 15, 2015 The fifth of nine children, who grew up in the city of Khorramabad in mountainous western Iran, Mostafa Papi already had significant learning, teaching, and academic…Read now »