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Kazuya Saito

PhD in Second Language Acquisition (McGill University, Canada)

MA in Linguistics (Syracuse University, US)

Contact details

Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
Birkbeck, University of London
Room 334, 25 Russell Square, London




Research interests

  • My research interests cover a wide range of topics in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Education, and Psycholinguistics. Specifically, I am interested in the assessment, development, and teaching of adult second language (L2) speech.
  • For the impact of Dr. Saito’s research, see Google Scholar or ResearchGate.
  • Click here for a public lecture.


  • Saito, K., & Shintani, N. (in press). Foreign accentedness revisited: Canadian and Singaporean raters’ perception of Japanese accented English. Language Awareness. doi: 10.1080/09658416.2016.1229784
  • Uchihara, T., & Saito, K. (in press). Exploring the relationship between productive vocabulary knowledge and second language oral ability. The Language Learning. doi: 10.1080/09571736.2016.1191527
  • Saito, Y., & Saito, K. (in press). Differential effects of instruction on the development of second language comprehensibility, word stress, rhythm, and intonation: The case of inexperienced Japanese EFL learners. Language Teaching Research. doi: 10.1177/1362168816643111
  • Akiyama, Y., & Saito, K. (in press). Comprehensibility development in Japanese telecollaborative interaction: A longitudinal study. Modern Language Journal. doi: 10.1111/modl.12338
  • Saito, K., & Akiyama, Y. (in press). Video-based interaction, negotiation for comprehensibility, and second speech learning: A longitudinal study. Language Learning, 67.
  • Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (in press). Using listener judgements to investigate linguistic influences on L2 comprehensibility and accentedness: A validation and generalization study. Applied Linguistics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1093/applin/amv047.
  • Saito, K., Webb, S., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (in press). Lexical profiles of comprehensible second language speech: The role of appropriateness, fluency, variation, sophistication, abstractness and sense relations. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 38. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1017/S0272263115000297
  • Gooch, R., Saito, K., & Lyster, R. (2016). The role of corrective feedback type in communicative focus on phonological form: Teaching English /ɹ/ to Korean adult EFL learners. System, 60, 117-127. doi: 10.1016/j.system.2016.06.007
  • Saito, K., & *Hanzawa, K. (2016). Developing second language speaking proficiency in foreign language classrooms: The role of the length and focus of instruction and individual differences. Applied Psycholinguistics, 37, 813-840. doi: 10.1017/S0142716415000259
  • Saito, K., Webb, S., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2016). Lexical correlates of second language speaking proficiency: Comprehensibility versus accentedness. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19, 597-609. doi: 10.1017/S1366728915000255
  • Saito, K., & Shintani, N. (2016). Do native speakers of North American and Singapore English difference perceive second language comprehensibility? TESOL Quarterly. Advance online publication, 50, 421-446. doi: 10.1002/tesq.234
  • Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2016). Second language speech production: Investigating linguistic correlates of comprehensibility and accentedness for learners at different ability levels. Applied Psycholinguistics, 37, 217-240.
  • Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., Kennedy, S., Saito, K., & Crowther, D. (2016). Flawed self-assessment: Investigating self- and other-perception of second language speech. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19, 122-140.
  • Saito, K. (2015a). The role of age of acquisition in late second language oral proficiency attainment. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37, 713-743
  • Saito, K. (2015b). Experience effects on the development of late second language learners’ oral proficiency. Language Learning, 65, 563-595.
  • Saito, K. (2015c). Communicative focus on L2 phonetic form: Teaching Japanese learners to perceive and produce English /ɹ/ without explicit instruction. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36, 377-349.
  • Saito, K. (2015d). Variables affecting the effects of recasts on L2 pronunciation development. Language Teaching Research, 19, 276-300.
  • Crowther, D., Trofimovich, P., Saito, K., & Isaacs, T. (2015). Second language comprehensibility revisited: Investigating the effects of learner background. TESOL Quarterly, 49, 814-837.
  • Crowther, D., Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., & Saito, K. (2015). Does task affect second language comprehensibility? Modern Language Journal, 99, 80-95.
  • Saito, K. (2014). Experienced teachers' perspectives on priorities for improved intelligible pronunciation: The case of Japanese learners of English. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 24, 250-277.
  • Saito, K., & Munro, M. (2014). The early phase of /ɹ/ production development in adult Japanese learners of English. Language and Speech, 57, 451-469.
  • Saito, K., & Wu, X. (2014). Communicative focus on form and L2 suprasegmental learning: Teaching Cantonese learners to perceive Mandarin tones. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 36, 647-680.
  • Saito, K. (2013a) Age effects on late bilingualism: The production development of /ɹ/ by high-proficiency Japanese learners of English. Journal of Memory and Language, 69, 546-562.
  • Saito, K. (2013b). The acquisitional value of recasts in instructed second language speech learning: Teaching the perception and production of English /ɹ/ to adult Japanese learners. Language Learning, 63, 499-529.
  • Saito, K. (2013c). Re-examining effects of form-focused instruction on L2 pronunciation development: The role of explicit phonetic information. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 1-29.
  • Saito, K., & Brajot, F. (2013). Scrutinizing the role of length of residence and age of acquisition in the interlanguage pronunciation development of English /ɹ/ by late Japanese bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 847-863.
  • Lyster, R., Saito, K., & Sato, M. (2013). Oral corrective feedback in second language classrooms. Language Teaching, 46, 1-40.
  • Saito, K. (2012).Effects of instruction on L2 pronunciation development: A synthesis of 15 quasi-experimental intervention studies. TESOL Quarterly, 46, 842-854.
  • Saito, K., & Lyster, R. (2012a). Effects of form-focused instruction and corrective feedback on L2 pronunciation development of /ɹ/ by Japanese learners of English. Language Learning, 62, 595-633.
  • Saito, K., & Lyster, R. (2012b). Investigating pedagogical potential of recasts for L2 vowel acquisition. TESOL Quarterly, 46, 387-398.
  • Saito, K., & van Poeteren, K. (2012). Adjustment strategies for intelligibility in L2 teacher talk: Results and implications of a questionnaire study. Language Awareness, 21, 369-385.
  • Saito, K. (2011a). Identifying problematic segmental features to acquire comprehensible pronunciation in EFL settings: The case of Japanese learners of English. RELC Journal, 42, 358-373.
  • Saito, K. (2011b). Examining the role of explicit phonetic instruction in native-like and comprehensible pronunciation development: An instructed SLA approach to L2 phonology. Language Awareness, 20, 45-59.
  • Saito, K. (2011c). Differential effects of phonological and lexicogrammatical errors on NS and NNS listeners’ perceptions of comprehensibility: An exploratory study. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 8, 39-61.
  • Lyster, R., & Saito, K. (2010a). Corrective feedback in classroom SLA: A meta-analysis. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 265-302.
  • Lyster, R., & Saito, K. (2010b). Interactional feedback as instructional input: A synthesis of classroom SLA research. Language, Interaction and Acquisition, 1, 276-297.
  • Saito, K. (2007). The influence of explicit phonetic instruction on pronunciation teaching in EFL settings: The case of English vowels and Japanese learners of English, Linguistic Journal, 3(3), 17-41.

Publications in Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings (5)

  • Saito, K. (in press). Recasting. In Liontas, J. (Ed.), The TESOL encyclopedia of ELT. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., & Webb, S. (in press). Re-examining phonological and lexical correlates of second Language comprehensibility: The role of rater experience. In. J. T. Isaacs & P. Trofimovich (Eds.). Interfaces in second language pronunciation assessment: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Saito, K. (2015). Review of Teaching and Researching English Accents in Native and Non-native Speakers edited by Ewa. Waniek-Klimczak and Linda. Shockey (2013, Springer). World Englishes, 33, 293-295.
  • Saito, K. (2015). How do non-native speakers perceive the role of phonology and leixogrammar in improved comprehensibility? Waseda Culture Review, 46, 63-75.
  • Munro, M. J., Derwing, T. M., & Saito, K. (2013). English L2 vowel acquisition over seven years. In. J. Levis & K. LeVelle (Eds.). Proceedings of the 4th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Aug. 2012. (pp. 112-119). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.

One-Time Publications in Instructional Resources

  • Isaacs, T., Crowther, D., Trofimovich, P., & Saito, K. (2014). Learning to speak English? Making yourself understood isn’t all about the accent. The Conversation.
  • Saito, K., & MacKay, D. (2011). What characterizes intelligible pronunciation? The case of 10 experienced non-native speakers in Canada. The English Journal, 41(3), 22-35.
  • Saito, K. (2009). How to learn and practice eight English-specific sounds in English. The English Journal, 39(1), 24-32.

Monthly Publications in Instructional Resources

  • Saito, K. (March 2011– March 2019). Learning intelligible pronunciation. In Hearing Marathon. Tokyo: ALC press.
  • Saito, K. (February 2009 – February 2011). Introduction to English pronunciation. In Hearing  Marathon. Tokyo: ALC press.
  • In the magazine entitled Hearing Marathon, published monthly by ALC Press (Tokyo, Japan) to which more than 50,000 learners, as well as teachers, subscribe, I have had the opportunity to write articles monthly to provide research-based information to improve their pronunciation learning/teaching methods.

Thesis Supervision/Research Training

  • Language Teaching Research (BA)
  • Language Learning (BA)
  • Investigating Language (BA) (team-taught)
  • Second and Additional Language Acquisition (MA)
  • Linguistic Description and Corpus Applications (MA) (co-taught with Bojana Petrić & Rachelle Vessey)
  • Linguistic Description for Language Teaching (MA) (co-taught with Bojana Petrić)
  • Introduction to Applied Linguistics (MA) (team-taught)

Areas of Interest for Research Supervision

  • Second language acquisition
  • Second and foreign language teaching
  • Second language speech (pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, grammar) learning
  • Effects of instruction (corrective feedback; task; input; output; interaction)
  • Age and experience effects on second language acquisition
  • Aptitude and motivation in second language acquisition
  • Second language assessment and testing
  • Second language speech perception and production
  • Pronunciation teaching
  • Fluency training
  • Listening teaching
  • Vocabulary teaching

Current Students

  • Meltem Ilkan (in progress, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • A longitudinal study of L2 pronunciation and cognition development of NNESTs during teacher education: The role of self-perceived pronunciation improvement and confidence development
  • Tran Ngoc Mai (in progress, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Effects of peer interaction and corrective feedback on complexity, accuracy and fluency in oral production
  • Yui Suzukida (in progress, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Examining an optimal teaching method to help non-native speakers of English attain successful speaking skills in international and intercultural communication
  • Hui Sun (in progress, co-supervision with Dr. Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London)
  • A longitudinal study of second language oral ability development during study abroad: The role of linguistic domains and individual differences
  • Yukie Saito (2016, PhD Independent Research, Temple University, Japan Campus)
  • Effects of suprasegmental-based instruction on second language comprehensibility in meaning-oriented classrooms
  • Published in Language Teaching Research 2016 (SAGE)
  • ***I have served as an examiner on 10 PhD and MA thesis committees (2013-2015) in Japan and Canada


  • Advisory board:
  • TESOL Quarterly (2016-present)
  • Language Teaching Research (2016-present)
  • Ad hoc journal reviewer:
  • Reviewer for Modern Language Journal, Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Canadian Modern Language Review, University of Toronto Press. (2012, 2014, 2016)
  • Reviewer for International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Wiley-Blackwell. (2016)
  • Reviewer for Applied Linguistics Review, De Gruyter. (2016)
  • Reviewer for Language Learning, Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, 2010, 2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Routledge. (2016)
  • Reviewer for TESOL Quarterly, Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Applied Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University Press. (2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for International Journal of Bilingualism, SAGE. (2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Language Teaching Research, SAGE. (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Cambridge University Press. (2014, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Language and Speech, SAGE. (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Routledge. (2015, 2016)
  • Reviewer for Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press. (2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Reviewer for Language Awareness, Routledge. (2015)
  • Reviewer for Classroom Discourse, Routledge. (2015)
  • Reviewer for Second Language Research, SAGE. (2015)
  • Reviewer for Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, John Benjamins (2015)
  • Reviewer for Applied Linguistics, Oxford University Press. (2011, 2014)
  • Reviewer for Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Conference (2013, 2014)
  • Reviewer for Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, John Benjamins. (2013)
  • Reviewer for Speech Communication, Elsevier. (2013)
  • Reviewer for Journal of Speech Sciences, LBASS. (2013)
  • Reviewer for TESL Canada Journal, TESL CANADA. (2013)
  • Reviewer for The New Sounds 2013 conference (2013)
  • Reviewer for The Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (2013)
  • Reviewer for The Annual Conference Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching (2012)
  • Reviewer for System, Elsevier. (2009, 2010, 2012)