Show The Graduate Center Menu
Gita Martohardjono
Position: Associate Professor and Program Chair
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Cornell University
Research Interests: Second language acquisition, bilingualism, syntax, L1 acquisition, learnability, sociolinguistics

Active Research Goals and Projects

1. The Development of Language and Literacy in Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE)
2. The Acquisition of Tense and Aspect in Bilingual Children and Adults
3. The Development of Syntax and Reading in Bilingual Children
4. Heritage Speaker Knowledge of the Home Language: an ERP Study

  • 2013-2014 Bridges Continuation Projects: supporting low-literacy immigrant adolescents.
  • 2012-2013 Bridges Program NYCDOE
  • 2012-2013 Multilingual LENS (Literacy Evaluation for Newcomer SIFE), an academic language and literacy assessment in Haitian, Mandarin, Bangla, Arabic and Urdu.
  • 2011-2012 LENS (Literacy Evaluation for Newcomer SIFE), an academic language and literacy assessment in Spanish and English.
  • 2011-2013 ACE (Assessing Communication in English), an English language academic achievement measure for LTELL (Long-term English Language Learners).
  • 2009-2011 Mastery of Specific Syntactic Structures as Predictors of Developing Literacy in Bilinguals. CUNY Collaborative Incentive Grant. With Ricardo Otheguy
  • 2006-2008 Understanding the Student with Interrupted Formal Education, Phase II. With E. Klein

Selected publications

The Development of Second Language Grammars: A Generative Perspective. Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 1999 (co-edited with E. Klein)
The Generative Study of Second Language Acquisition. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum. 1998 (co-edited with S. Flynn and W.O’Neil)
Pace Panini: Towards a Word-Based Theory of Morphology. New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang Publishing. 1997 (co-authored with R. Singh and A. Ford)
Generative Second Language Acquisition: Theory and Pedagogy. Basil Blackwell, Oxford University Press (with S. Flynn and J. Gair)
Explanation in Theories of Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge, MA.: MIT Press (with S. Flynn)

Journal Articles/ Book chapter
Gabriele, A. and Martohardjono, G. (2005). Investigating the role of transfer in the l2 acquisition of aspect. In Proceedings of Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition, volume 7, pages 96­110, Somerville. Cascadilla Press.
Gabriele, A., Martohardjono, G., and McClure, W. (2005). Evaluating the role of the L1 in the L2 acquisition of aspect: A study of Japanese learners of English. In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, pages 808­826, Somerville. Cascadilla Press.
Martohardjono, G., Otheguy, R., Gabriele, A., DeGoeas-Malone, M., Rivero, S., Szupica-Pyrzanowski, M., Troseth, E., and Zchutzman, Z. (2005). The role of syntax in reading comprehension: a study of bilingual readers. In Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism, pages 1522­1544. Cascadilla Press.
Martohardjono, G., Otheguy, R., Rivero, S., DeGoeas-Malone, M., and Szupica-Pyrzanowski, M. (2004). Supporting language skills in immigrant pre-schoolers: An intervention study. In Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Bilingualim and Bilingual Education in Latin America, Buenos Aires.
Second Language Acquisition: Theoretical and Experimental Issues in Contemporary Research. Behavioral and Brain Sciences vol. 19, no. 14, December 1996. (with S.D. Epstein and S. Flynn)
"Language transfer: What do we really mean?" In L. Eubank, L. Selinker and M. Sharwood-Smith, eds. The Current State of Interlanguage. (pp. 205-217) Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 1995 (with S. Flynn)
"Is there an Age Factor for Universal Grammar?"In D. Singleton and Z. Lengyel, eds. The Age Factor in Second Language Acquisition. (pp.135-153) Multilingual Matters: Clevedon, Avon. 1995 (with S. Flynn)
"Toward theory-driven language pedagogy". In F. Eckman, D. Highland, P. Lee, J. Mileham & R. Weber (Eds.). Second language acquisition theory and pedagogy (pp. 45-59). Hove, UK: Erlbaum. 1995 (with S. Flynn)

Ph.D. dissertations & Masters Thesis supervised

Lionel Chan (PhD 2013).
"Heritage Speakers’ Acquisition of Clitic Placement in Standard Italian"
Timothy Bonner (PhD 2013)
"The Influence of 'Extra-Syntactic' Factors on Second Language Inflections: A Systematic Study of L2 Inflectional Variability in Mandarin Second Language Learners of English"
Leigh Garrison-Fletcher (PhD 2012)
"The Acquisition of L2 Reading Comprehension: The Relative Contribution of Linguistic Knowledge and Existing Reading Ability Learners"
Chi-Chen Bredeche
(PhD 2011)
"The Use of -LE by L1 Chinese Speakers and the Acquisition of -LE in L2 Chinese"
Malgorzata Szupica-Pyrzanowski ( PhD2009)
"Morphological and phonological contributions to the production of verbal inflection in adult L2 learners and patients with agrammatic aphasia"
Alison Gabriele (PhD 2005)
"The acquisition of aspect in a second language: A bidirectional study of learners of English and Japanese"
Kathy Kessler (PhD 2003)
"ERP correlates of word order and morphosyntactic phenomenain aduly native speakers and second language learners of English"
Gail August (PhD 2001)
"The road to second language reading: How do we get there?"
Linda A. Pelc (PhD 2001)
"L1 lexical, morphology and morphosyntactic attrition in Greek-English bilinguals"


• Second Language Acquisition
• Seminars in Linguistics: Neurolinguistic Studies of Sentence Processing and Bilingualism
• Research Methods in 2nd Language Acquisition
• Second Language Acquisition
• Research Methods in Psycholinguistics & Cognitive Linguistics