Leila Ranta

Leila Ranta

Associate Professor

Educational Psychology

Research and Interests

My research has mainly focused on different aspects of second language grammar development and the teaching of grammar in second language classes. Studies I have been involved in include interlanguage analysis, form-focused instruction experiments, the relationship between the analytic component of aptitude on L2 learning, and issues relating to teachers’ corrective feedback. More recently, I have been exploring the relationship between SLA theory/research and grammar teaching practice. This has been done through surveys of adult ESL teachers’ beliefs and grammar teaching practices and the analysis of ESL grammar textbooks.

A second area of engagement has been the study abroad experience. This includes a SSHRC-funded study of international graduate students’ exposure to English and my ongoing role as the Academic Advisor for the Visiting Students Certificate Program (VSCP) at the University of Alberta.

Representative Publications

Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

Lee, K., & Ranta, L. (in press). Are ESL students using facebook? TESL Canada Journal.

Lyster, R., & Ranta, L. (2013). Counterpoint piece: The case for variety in corrective feedback research. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35(1), 167-184.

Ranta, L., & Meckelborg, A. (2013). How much exposure to English do international graduate students really get? Measuring language use in a naturalistic setting. Canadian Modern Language Review, 69(1), 1–33. 

Ranta, L. (2008). Aptitude and good language learners. In C. Griffiths (Ed.), Lessons from good language learners (pp. 142-55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ranta, L. (2008). Metalinguistic knowledge and oral production. In J. Cenoz & N. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education (2nd ed.), Vol. 6: Knowledge about language (pp. 205-216). New York: Springer.

Ranta, L., & Meckelborg, A. (2008). Can chat deliver the goods? An example from an online task in second language teacher education. In K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen, & D.A. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 3630-3636). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Ranta, L., & Lyster, R. (2007). A cognitive approach to improving immersion students’ oral production abilities: The awareness-practice-feedback sequence. In R. DeKeyser (Ed.), Practicing in a second language: Perspectives from applied linguistics and cognitive psychology. Cambridge University Press.

Ranta, L. (2005). Learners’ analytic ability and oral production in a second language: Is there a connection? In A. Housen & M. Pierrard (Eds.), Investigations in instructed second language acquisition (pp. 99-130). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Ranta, L. (2002). The role of learners’ language analytic ability in the communicative classroom. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Individual differences and instructed language learning (pp. 159-180). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

White, J., & Ranta, L. (2002). Examining the interface between metalinguistic knowledge and oral production in a second language. Language Awareness, 11, 259-290.

Sawyer, M., & Ranta, L. (2001). Aptitude, individual differences and L2 instruction. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 319-353). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lyster, R., & Ranta, L. (1997). Corrective feedback and learner uptake: Negotiation of form in communicative classrooms. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19, 37-66.

Spada, N., Ranta, L., & Lightbown, P.M. (1996). Working with teachers in second language acquisition research. In S. Gass & J. Schachter (Eds.), Second language classroom research: Issues and opportunities (pp. 31-44). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

White, L., Spada, N., Lightbown, P.M., & Ranta, L. (1991). Input enhancement and L2 question formation, Applied Linguistics, 12, 416-432. 

Non-Refereed Publications: 

Ranta, L. (2012). Bio of Roy Lyster. In C. Chapelle (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ranta, L. (2012). Feedback on spoken errors. In A-M. Kaskens (Ed.), Moving professional learning to classroom practice: An instructor handbook (pp.106-107). Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto.

Ranta, L. (2012). Promoting grammatical accuracy in speaking. In A-M. Kaskens (Ed.), Moving professional learning to classroom practice: An instructor handbook (pp. 108-110). Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto.

Ranta, L., & Waugh, E. (2011). A snapshot of grammar teaching. ATESL Newsletter, (URL: http://www.atesl.ca)


Selected Conference Presentations:

Ranta, L. (2014, May). Developing effective grammar instruction to truly enable task-based learning and teaching. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics, Brock University, St. Catherine’s, ON.

Ranta, L. (2014, March). How does fluent control over grammar develop in an implicit L2 instructional context? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics, Portland, OR.

Ranta, L. (2013, July). ‘What is’ vs. ‘what should be’: Teacher surveys as a window onto the theory- practice relationship. Invited plenary at the meeting of the Language Learning and Teaching SIG of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, St. Mary’s University College, London, UK.

Ranta, L. (2013, March). Grammar practice activities in ESL materials: Noticing the gaps. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, TX.

Ranta, L. (2012, June). Investigating the language learner’s environment from an ecological perspective. Paper presented at the University of Jyväskylä Summer School of Applied Language Studies, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Courses Taught

EDPY 417: English Grammar for Teachers of Adult ESL

EDPY 581: Psychological Aspects of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education

EDPY 585: Teaching and Learning Grammar in Second Language Education

EDPY 588: Teaching English as an International Language

EDPY 590: Classroom Research Issues in Second Language Learning