Professor Ernesto Macaro

Ernesto Macaro is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Oxford where he is Director of the Centre for Research and Development in English Medium Instruction (EMI Oxford) in the Department of Education.

He teaches on the Masters in Applied Linguistics and on the Teacher Education Program. Before becoming a teacher trainer and researcher he was a language teacher in secondary schools in the UK for 16 years. His current research focuses on second language learning strategies and on the interaction between teachers and learners in classrooms where English is the Medium of Instruction. He has published widely on these topics. Ernesto was Director of the Department of Education from 2013 to 2016.

He is currently supervising doctoral students researching the following topics:

  • English Medium Instruction in Japanese Higher Education
  • Secondary students’ strategies for coping with English-only teacher explanations
  • The interaction in science lessons where English is the Medium of Instruction
  • The effects of backchanneling on second language oral productions
  • The vocabulary learning strategies of students in English Medium Instruction classes

Ernesto would welcome informal contacts from prospective doctoral students interested in the following topics:

  • Interaction between teachers and students in second language classrooms or in academic subjects where English is the medium of instruction
  • Students’ strategies for understanding English-only instruction
  • Codeswitching patterns in either oral or written discourse in formal learning situations
  • The impact of English Medium Instruction in Higher and/or Secondary Education


  • Macaro, E, Graham, S, Woore, R (2015) Improving foreign language teaching: Towards a research-based curriculum and pedagogy. London: Routledge.

  • Driscoll, P, Macaro, E, Swarbrick, A (2014) Debates in modern languages education.

  • Macaro, E (2010) Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Bloomsbury Publishing.

  • Cohen, AD, Macaro, E (2007) Language Learner strategies: Thirty  years of research and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Macaro, E (2003) Teaching and Learning a Second Language: A guide to current research and its applications. London: Continuum.

  • Macaro, E (2001) Learning strategies in second and foreign language classrooms. London: Continuum.

  • Macaro, E (1997) Target Language, Collaborative Learning and Autonomy. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

  • Convery, A, Evans, M, Green, S, Macaro, E, Mellor, J (1997) Pupils' Perceptions of Europe. London: Cassell.

Book chapters

  • Murphy, V, Macaro, E (2017) “It isn't child's play: Conducting research with children as participants”, In: J McKinley, H Rose (eds.) Doing research in applied linguistics: Realities, dilemmas, and solutions. Routledge.

  • Macaro, E (2014) “Reframing task performance: The relationship between tasks, strategic behaviour, and linguistic knowledge”, In: H Byrnes, RM Manchón (eds.) Task-Based Language Learning – Insights from and for L2 Writing. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. 53-78

  • Macaro, E (2014) “Grammar: The never-ending debate”, In: Debates in Modern Languages Education. 108-120

  • Macaro, E (2013) “Overview: Where should we be going with classroom codeswitching research?”, In: R Barnard, J McLellan (eds.) Codeswitching in University English-Medium Classes Asian Perspectives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

  • Macaro, E, Vanderplank, R, Murphy, VA (2010) “A compendium of key concepts in second language acquisition”, In: Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Bloomsbury Publishing. 29-106

  • Macaro, E (2010) “Second language acquisition: the landscape, the scholarship and the reader”, In: E Macaro (ed.) Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Bloomsbury Publishing.

  • Cohen, D, Macaro, E (2010) “Research methods in second language acquisition”, In: E Macaro (ed.) Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Bloomsbury Publishing. 107-136

  • Macaro, E (2010) “The relationship between strategic behaviour and language learning success”, In: E Macaro (ed.) Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. Bloomsbury Publishing. 268-299

  • Macaro, E, Guo, T, Chen, H, Tian, L (2009) “Can differential processing of L2 vocabulary inform the debate on teacher code-switching behaviour? The case of chinese learners of english”, In: Vocabulary Studies in First and Second Language Acquisition: The Interface Between Theory and Application. 125-146

  • Macaro, E (2009) “Teacher Codeswitching in L2 classrooms: exploring ‘optimal use'”, In: T Yoshida, H Imai, Y Nakata, A Tajino (eds.) Researching Language Teaching and Learning An Integration of Practice and Theory. Oxford: Peter Lang.

  • Macaro, E (2009) “Developments in language learner strategies”, In: V Cook, L Wei (eds.) Contemporary Applied Linguistics Volume 1 Volume One Language Teaching and Learning. Continuum.

  • Macaro, E (2009) “Teacher use of codeswitching in the second language classroom”, In: M Turnbull, J Dailey-O'Cain (eds.) First Language Use in Second and Foreign Language Learning. Multilingual Matters.

  • Macaro, E (2008) The shifting dimensions of language learner autonomy. 47-62

  • Macaro, E, Graham, S, Vanderplank, R (2007) “A review of listening strategies: focus on sources of knowledge and on success”, In: AD Cohen, E Macaro (eds.) Language Learner Strategies: 30 years of Research and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Macaro, E, Grenfell, M (2007) “Language learner strategies: claims and critiques”, In: E Macaro, AD Cohen (eds.) Language Learner strategies: 30 years of research and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 9-28

  • Macaro, E (2006) “Codeswitching in the L2 classroom: A communication and learning strategy”, In: E Llurda (ed.) Non-Native Language Teachers Perceptions, Challenges and Contributions to the Profession. Boston, MA: Springer Science & Business Media. 63-84

Journal articles

  • Macaro, E, Curle, S, Pun, J, An, J, Dearden, J (2017) “A systematic review of English Medium Instruction in Higher Education”, Language Teaching.

  • Macaro, E (2017) “English medium instruction: Global views and countries in focus: Introduction to the symposium held at the Department of Education, University of Oxford on Wednesday 4 November 2015”, Language Teaching. 1-18.

  • Hennebry, M, Rogers, V, Macaro, E, Murphy, V (2017) “Direct teaching of vocabulary after listening: is it worth the effort and what method is best?”, Language Learning Journal. 45(3) 282-300.

  • Macaro, E (2017) “Students' strategies in response to teachers' second language explanations of lexical items”, Language Learning Journal. 45(3) 352-367.

  • Macaro, E, Akincioglu, M (2017) “Turkish university students’ perceptions about English Medium Instruction: exploring year group, gender and university type as variables”, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 1-15.

  • Macaro, E, Akincioglu, M, Dearden, J (2016) “English medium instruction in universities: A collaborative experiment in Turkey”, Studies in English Language Teaching.

  • Zhao, T, Macaro, E (2016) “What works better for the learning of concrete and abstract words: Teachers' L1 use or L2-only explanations?”, International Journal of Applied Linguistics (United Kingdom). 26(1) 75-98.

  • Dearden, J, Macaro, E (2016) “Higher education teachers’ attitudes towards English medium instruction: A three-country comparison”, Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. 6(3) 455-455.

  • Lo, YY, Macaro, E (2015) “Getting used to content and language integrated learning: what can classroom interaction reveal?”, Language Learning Journal. 43(3) 239-255.

  • Macaro, E, Tian, L (2015) “Exploring teachers' oral explanations of new English lexical items in a Chinese university: Comparisons with dictionary information”, SYSTEM. 52 78-90.

  • Murphy, VA, Macaro, E, Alba, S, Cipolla, C (2014) “The influence of learning a second language in primary school on developing first language literacy skills”, Applied Psycholinguistics. 36(5) 1133-1153.

  • Oxford, RL, Griffiths, C, Longhini, A, Cohen, AD, Macaro, E, Harris, V (2014) “Experts' personal metaphors and similes about language learning strategies”, System. 43(1) 11-29.

  • Macaro, E, Nakatani, Y, Hayashi, Y, Khabbazbashi, N (2014) “Exploring the value of bilingual language assistants with Japanese English as a foreign language learners”, Language Learning Journal. 42(1) 41-54.

  • Lee, JH, Macaro, E (2013) “Investigating Age in the Use of L1 or English-Only Instruction: Vocabulary Acquisition by Korean EFL Learners”, MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL. 97(4) 887-901.

  • Macaro, E, Lee, JH (2013) “Teacher Language Background, Codeswitching, and English-Only Instruction: Does Age Make a Difference to Learners' Attitudes?”, TESOL QUARTERLY. 47(4) 717-742.

  • Lo, YY, Macaro, E (2012) “The medium of instruction and classroom interaction: evidence from Hong Kong secondary schools”, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND BILINGUALISM. 15(1) 29-52.

  • Tian, L, Macaro, E (2012) “Comparing the effect of teacher codeswitching with English-only explanations on the vocabulary acquisition of Chinese university students: A Lexical Focus-on-Form study”, LANGUAGE TEACHING RESEARCH. 16(3) 367-391.

  • Hennebry, M, Lo, YY, Macaro, E (2012) “Differing perspectives of non-native speaker students' linguistic experiences on higher degree courses”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 38(2) 209-230.

  • Macaro, E, Handley, Z, Walter, C (2012) “A systematic review of CALL in English as a second language: Focus on primary and secondary education”, LANGUAGE TEACHING. 45 1-43.

  • Erler, L, Macaro, E (2011) “Decoding Ability in French as a Foreign Language and Language Learning Motivation”, MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL. 95(4) 496-518.

  • Macaro, E (2010) “Review of recent research (2000-2008) on applied linguistics and language teaching with specific reference to L2 Italian”, LANGUAGE TEACHING. 43 127-153.

  • Macaro, E, Graham, S (2009) “Erratum: The development of the passe compose in lower-intermediate learners of French as a second language (Language Learning Journal (2008) vol. 36(1) (5))”, Language Learning Journal. 37(1) 139-140.

  • Macaro, E, Mutton, T (2009) “Developing reading achievement in primary learners of French: Inferencing strategies versus exposure to 'graded readers'”, Language Learning Journal. 37(2) 165-182.

  • Macaro, E, Graham, S (2008) “The development of the passé composé in lower-intermediate learners of French as a second language”, Language Learning Journal. 36(1) 5-19.

  • Macaro, E (2008) “The decline in language learning in England: Getting the facts right and getting real”, Language Learning Journal. 36(1) 101-108.

  • Macaro, E, Erler, L (2008) “Raising the achievement of young-beginner readers of french through strategy instruction”, APPLIED LINGUISTICS. 29(1) 90-119.

  • Graham, S, MacAro, E (2008) “Strategy instruction in listening for lower-intermediate learners of french”, Language Learning. 58(4) 747-783.

  • Graham, S, Macaro, E (2007) “Designing year 12 strategy training in listening and writing: From theory to practice”, Language Learning Journal. 35(2) 153-173.

  • Macaro, E (2007) “Language learner strategies: Adhering to a theoretical framework”, Language Learning Journal. 35(2) 239-243.

  • Macaro, E (2007) “Applied Linguistics Group at the University of Oxford”, Language Teaching. 41(1) 131-134.

  • Macaro, E (2007) “Do near-beginner learners of French have any writing strategies?”, Language Learning Journal. 35(1) 23-35.

  • Macaro, E (2006) “Strategies for language learning and for language use: Revising the theoretical framework”, MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL. 90(3) 320-337.

  • Macaro, E, Masterman, L (2006) “Does intensive explicit grammar instruction make all the difference?”, LANGUAGE TEACHING RESEARCH. 10(3) 297-327.

  • Macaro, E, Wingate, U (2004) “From sixth form to university: motivation and transition among high achieving state-school language students”, OXFORD REVIEW OF EDUCATION. 30(4) 467-488.

  • Macaro, E (2003) “Italian language teaching research: living up to expectations”, Tuttitalia. (27) 14-19.

  • Macaro, E (2003) “Second language teachers as second language classroom researchers”, The Language Learning Journal. 27(1) 43-51.

  • Macaro, E (2002) “Pedagogia interattiva (part 2): problems with giving explanations of “aspect” in Italian as a foreign language with English as L1”, Tuttitalia. (25) 23-26.

  • Macaro, E, Mutton, T (2002) “Developing language teachers through a co-researcher model”, Language Learning Journal. 25(1) 27-39.

  • Macaro, E (2001) “Analysing student teachers' codeswitching in foreign language classrooms: Theories and decision making”, MODERN LANGUAGE JOURNAL. 85(4) 531-548.

  • Macaro, E “A systematic review of the teaching and learning of Italian as a second or foreign language”, Language Teaching. 43(2) 127-153.


  • Hassan, X, Macaro, E, Mason, D, Nye, G, Smith, P, Vanderplank, R (2005) Strategy training in language learning – a systematic review of available research. Research Evidence in Education Library. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

  • Macaro, E, Vanderplank, R, Graham, S (2005) A systematic review of the role of prior knowledge in unidirectional listening comprehension. Research Evidence in Education Library. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.


  • Department staff

College affiliation

  • Worcester College


  • Professor of Applied Linguistics (Second Language Acquisition)

Subject area

  • MSc Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • PGCE Modern Foreign Languages (French, German, Spanish and Italian)

Research groups

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Teacher Education and Professional Learning


Publications, books and other work