Dr. Karen Lillie

Dr. Karen Lillie, Ph.D.

Dr. Karen Lillie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

E274 Thompson Hall

(716) 673-4656

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Ph.D., Arizona State University


Dr. Lillie’s specialization is in language policy and forensic linguistics. Research interests include language and law, language rights, immigration, and critical language policy. Her publications appear with The Civil Rights Project out of UCLA, Teachers College Record, the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, and multiple chapters published in edited volumes by Multilingual
Matters. She is on the Advisory Committee for the Language Policy Research Network, an international board of selected scholars. Dr. Lillie is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, having previously been the Associate Editor.

Office Hours

By appointment or as posted in OnCourse.

Research Interests

Language policy, forensic linguistics, language rights, immigration, and language schooling.

Specifically within language policy and schooling: (restrictive) language policies in the U.S.; language policy and the justice system; language discrimination; immigration; rights for language minorities; dropout rates and ELs; language reclamation; critical race theory; language minority education (esp. secondary levels); and other sociolinguistic considerations for language learners.

Specifically within forensic linguistics: language rights for non-native English speakers; immigration law / detention (language learners); implications of language in the courtroom/criminal justice system for language learners; intersection of language policy & laws; vulnerable witnesses; and police interviews.

Professional Membership

  • TESOL International Association
  • American Association for Applied Linguistics
  • International Association of Applied Linguistics
  • American Educational Research Association
  • International Association of Forensic Linguists
  • Language Policy Research Network
  • Law and Society Association
  • Linguistic Society of America

Contracts, Grants and Sponsored Programs

  • "Project BELA," N/A (2012).

Intellectual Contributions

  • "Castañeda’s Third Prong Redux: The Achievement of Arizona’s English Language Learners after Proposition 203 (2002-2013)," N/A (N/A).
  • "Review of E. M. Feuerherm & V. Ramanathan (Eds.) Refugee resettlement in the United States: Language, policy, pedagogy," Language Policy (2017).
  • ""The ELD classes are … too much and we need to take other classes to graduated": Arizona's restrictive language policy and the dis-citizenship of ELs. In A. Loring & V. Ramanathan (Eds.), Language, immigration, and naturalization: Legal and linguistic issues ," Multilingual Matters (2016).
  • "Making an example of Arizona: Analyzing a case of restrictive language policy for minority rights. In E. Stracke (Ed.), Intersections: Applied linguistics as a meeting place," Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2015).
  • "The lost generation: Students of Arizona’s SEI," International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (2015).
  • "SEI in Arizona: Bastion for states’ rights. In S. C. K. Moore (Ed.), Language policy processes and consequences: Arizona case studies ," Mulitlingual Matters (2014).
  • "The four-hour block: SEI in classrooms. In S. C. K. Moore (Ed.), Language policy processes and consequences: Arizona case studies ," Mulitlingual Matters (2014).
  • "Afterwords. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.) Academic language in second language learning ," Information Age Publishing (2013).
  • "Separate and Not Equal: The Implementation of Structured English Immersion in Arizona’s Classrooms," Teachers College Record (2012).
  • "Report for Tucson Unified School District for the United States Office of Civil Rights," N/A (N/A).
  • "Policy in Practice: The Implementation of Structured English Immersion in Arizona.," The Civil Rights Project/Projecto Derechos Civiles (2010).