Professional Biography

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Jeff MacSwan is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Education at the University of Maryland. He is also Professor of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and affiliate Professor in the Department of Linguistics, the Center for the Advanced Study of Language, and the Maryland Language Science Center.  MacSwan’s research program focuses on the linguistic study of bilingualism and codeswitching (or language alternation), and its implications for theories about the role of language in educational settings for multilingual students.  He is the editor of the International Multilingual Research Journal, and serves on several editorial boards.  Examples of his published work appear in American Educational Research Journal, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Lingua, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Teachers College Record, and in edited collections and handbooks.  MacSwan recently served on the Committee on Fostering the Development and Educational Success of Dual Language Learners of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and of the National Education Policy Center.

Selected Publications

Codeswitching and Bilingualism

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: 10.17226/24677. Authors: Alfredo Artiles; Diane August; Xavier Botana; Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens; Dylan Conger; Richard Durán; Linda Espinosa; Eugene Garcia; Fred Genesee; Kenji Hakuta; Arturo Hernandez; Jeff MacSwan; Harriett Romo; Maria Sera; Ruby Takanishi; Catherine Tamis-LeMonda; Kevin Thomas; Claudio Toppelberg; Lily Wong Fillmore.

MacSwan, J. (2017). A multilingual perspective on translanguaging. American Educational Research Journal, 53(1), 54(1), 167–201. DOI: 10.3102/0002831216683935 

MacSwan, J. (2016).  Codeswitching and the timing of lexical insertion. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 6(6), 786-791.

MacSwan, J. (2016).  Codeswitching in adulthood, pp. 183-200. In Nicoladis, E., & Montanari, S. (eds.). Lifespan perspectives on bilingualism. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association & Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

MacSwan, J., ed. (2014). Grammatical Theory and Bilingual Codeswitching.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  ISBN 978-0-262-02789-2. 

MacSwan, J.  (2013). Code switching and linguistic theory, pp. 223–350. In T. K. Bhatia & W. Ritchie (Eds.), Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell.

MacSwan, J. (2010). Plenary address: Unconstraining codeswitching theories. Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society 44. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

van Gelderen, E. & MacSwan, J. (2008). Interface conditions and code-switching: Pronouns, lexical DPs, and checking theory. Lingua, 118(6), 765-776. 

MacSwan, J. (2005). Codeswitching and generative grammar: A critique of the MLF model and some remarks on “modified minimalism.” Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 8(1), 1-22. 

MacSwan, J. (2005). Remarks on Jake, Myers-Scotton and Gross’s response: There is no “matrix language.” Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 8(2), 277-284.

Language Minority Education

Rolstad, K., & MacSwan, J. (2014). The facilitation effect and language thresholds. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01197

Rolstad, K., MacSwan, J., & Mahoney, K. (2014). The ineffectiveness of English immersion in Arizona.  In G. McField (ed.), The Miseducation of English Learners. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Krashen, S., Rolstad, K. & MacSwan, J. (2012). Review of “Research summary and bibliography for Structured English Immersion programs” of the Arizona English Language Learners Task Force, pp. 107-119. In C. Faltis & B. Arias (eds.) English Learners in Arizona. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

MacSwan, J., & Rolstad, K. (2006). How language tests mislead us about children’s abilities: Implications for special education placements. Teachers College Record, 108(11), 2304–2328.

MacSwan, J. & Rolstad, K. (2005). Modularity and the facilitation effect: Psychological mechanisms of transfer in bilingual students. Hispanic Journal of the Behavioral Sciences, 27(2), 224-243.

MacSwan, J., & Rolstad, K. (2003). Linguistic diversity, schooling, and social class: Rethinking our conception of language proficiency in language minority education, pp. 329-340. In C. B. Paulston & R. Tucker (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell. 

MacSwan, J., Rolstad, K., & Glass, G. V. (2002). Do some school-age children have no language? Some problems of construct validity in the Pre-LAS Español. Bilingual Research Journal, 26(2), 213-238.

MacSwan, J. (2000). The Threshold Hypothesis, semilingualism, and other contributions to a deficit view of linguistic minorities. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 22(1), 3-45.

Education Policy for Bilingual Learners

Rolstad, K., MacSwan, J., & Guzman, N. (2015).  Bilingual learners and the purposes of language assessment. Miríada Hispánica, 10, 207-224.

Krashen, S., Rolstad, K., & MacSwan, J. (2007). Review of “Research summary and bibliography for Structured English Immersion programs” of the Arizona English Language Learners Task Force. Takoma Park, MD: Institute for Language Education and Policy.

MacSwan, J. (2006). Review of Lexington Institute Report "Immersion, Not Submersion, Vol III: Can a New Strategy for Teaching English Outperform Old Excuses? Lessons from Eight California School Districts." Think Tank Review Project, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University. Pp. 1-12.

Mahoney, K., MacSwan, J., & Thompson, M. (2005). The condition of English Language Learners in Arizona: 2005, pp. 1-24. In D. Garcia & A. Molnar (Eds.), The Condition of PreK-12 Education in Arizona, 2005. Tempe, AZ: Education Policy Research Laboratory, Arizona State University.

MacSwan, J., & Pray, L. (2005). Learning English bilingually: Age of onset of exposure and rate of acquisition of English among children in a bilingual education program. Bilingual Research Journal, 29(3), 687-712. 


Contact Information

2223 Benjamin Building
Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership
Division of Language, Literacy, Culture, and Social Inquiry (LLCSI)
College of Education
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Email: (best contact method)
Phone: (301) 405.3141
Fax: (301) 314.9055