Dr. Jennifer Behney

Associate Professor

Jennifer Behney

Ph.D., Michigan State University (2011)

Jennifer Behney is cross-appointed to the Department of English, where she teaches linguistics courses in the TESOL program, and to the Department of Foreign Languages, where she teaches Italian language and linguistics and foreign language teaching methods. She is also the University Supervisor of student teachers of Spanish and Italian and program coordinator of Foreign Language Education in the Beeghly College of Education (BCOE). In the Department of English, she regularly teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sociolinguistics and language acquisition.

Her research interests lie in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and foreign language teacher training. In SLA, she researches second language processing and has conducted research on grammatical gender processing and eye-tracking. In foreign language teacher education, she researches teacher candidate performance and perceptions on the World Language edTPA.

She is co-author of an introductory SLA textbook and co-editor of a volume on salience in SLA. Her work has appeared in Foreign Language Annals, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and several book chapters.



  • Gass, S., Spinner, P., & Behney, J. (Eds.). (2017). Salience in second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.
  • Gass, S., with Behney, J., & Plonsky, L. (2013). Second language acquisition: An introductory course (4th edition). New York: Routledge.

Journal Manuscripts

  • Behney, J. (2016). Perceived influence of Cooperating Teachers on edTPA results. Foreign Language Annals, 49 (2), 271-286.
  • Spinner, P., Gass, S., & Behney, J. (2013). Ecological validity in eye-tracking: An empirical study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 389 – 415.

Book Chapters

  • Behney, J. (2018). Performance on the instructing and assessing tasks of the World Language edTPA and avenues for further research. In P. Swanson & S. Hildebrandt (Eds.), Researching edTPA problems and promises: Perspectives from ESOL, English, and WL. Information Age Publishing Inc.
  • Behney, J., Spinner, P., Gass, S., & Valmori, L. (2017). The L2 acquisition of Italian tense: The role of salience. In S. Gass, P. Spinner, & J. Behney (Eds.), Salience in second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.
  • Sarkissian, J., & Behney, J. (2017). Salience of noun-adjective agreement in L2 Latin. In S. Gass, P. Spinner, & J. Behney (Eds.), Salience in second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.
  • Behney, J., & Gass, S. (2013). Interaction and the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy: A study using syntactic priming. In J. Schwieter, Innovative research and practices in second language acquisition and bilingualism. John Benjamins.
  • Gass, S., Behney, J., & Uzum, B. (2013). Inhibitory control, working memory, and L2 interaction gains. In K. Droździał-Szelest & M. Pawlak, Psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives on second language learning and teaching: Studies in honor of Waldemar Marton. Heidelberg - New York: Springer.
  • Spinner, P., Gass, S., & Behney, J. (2013). Coming eye-to-eye with noticing. In J. M. Bergsleithner, S. N. Frota, & J. K. Yoshioka, (Eds.), Noticing and second language acquisition: Studies in honor of Richard Schmidt (pp. 235–254). Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i, National Foreign Language Resource Center.
Jennifer Behney - profile photo

Jennifer Behney

Associate Professor

English and World Languages