Skip to main content
Margie Berns

Margie Berns

Professor // English
Emeriti Faculty

Professor // Linguistics // SIS
Emeriti Faculty

Professor // SIS
Emeriti Faculty

Office and Contact

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985



Second Language Studies

Research Areas:
Sociolinguistics, world Englishes

Margie Berns is Professor of Second Language Studies/ESL and specializes in world Englishes and second language pedagogy. Her research focus is the sociolinguistics of English in a variety of settings, especially, South America, China, and Europe. Recent publications include discussions of the constructs lingua franca and Lingua Franca English, which appeared in World Englishes (2009 and 2010); an interdisciplinary, international study published as In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth (Springer, 2007); an exploration of the social linguistic realities of English in South America, appearing as a special issue of World Englishes (2003); and state-of-the-circle commentary “Expanding on the expanding circle: where do WE go from here?”, also published in World Englishes (2005). Other works include “Applied linguistics: history and overview” in the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, (Elsevier, second edition, K. Brown, ed., 2006); and, “World Englishes and communicative competence”, in the Handbook of World Englishes, (Blackwell, 2005); Contexts of Competence: Social and Cultural Considerations in Communicative Language Teaching (Plenum, 1990), Initiatives in Communicative Language Teaching (Addison-Wesley, 1984), and Initiatives in Communicative Language Teaching II (Addison Wesley, 1987). She was an editor of the journal World Englishes for two years and a member of the editorial team for the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics for which she was Coordinating Editor of the Sociolinguistics area and Section Editor of the Applied Linguistics section. Her teaching includes graduate courses in sociolinguistics, world Englishes, and communicative language teaching. A Past President of the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE) and Program Chair of the 2006 meeting of IAWE, she is also a member of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), for which she served as President in 2001 and 2002 Conference Chair, and of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).