Mark D. Johnson

Associate Professor
Bate 2105


Mark Johnson’s research focuses on cognition in second language writing, particularly features of writing tasks and the demands they make on language production. His publication, Cognitive Task Complexity and L2 Written Syntactic Complexity, Lexical Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency: A Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis, received an honorable mention from the Journal of Second Language Writing in their competition for the best paper of 2017. Dr. Johnson teaches classes on linguistics and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).


  • B.A. University of Iowa
  • M.A. TESOL University of Alabama
  • Ph.D. Northern Arizona University

Research Interests

  • Second language acquisition
  • Cognition in second language writing
  • Vocabulary in second language writing

Courses Taught

  • ENGL 7535: Principles of Language Testing
  • ENGL 7702: Research Methods in Empirical Enquiry
  • ENGL 6009: Research Methods in Language Study
  • LING 4740/ENGL 6531: TESOL Methods
  • ENGL 4720/6529: Applied Linguistics for Language Teachers
  • ENGL 4710/6528: TESOL: Theories and Principles
  • LING 3750: Introductory Linguistics
  • ENGL 2710: English Grammar
  • LING 2700: Introduction to Language Studies
  • ENGL 2201: Writing about the Disciplines
  • ENGL 1100: Foundations of College Writing

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Johnson, M. D. (2023). Formal genre-specific knowledge as a resource-dispersing feature of task complexity. Languages, 8(1), 64.
  • Johnson, M. D., & Abdi Tabari, M. (2022). Task planning and oral L2 production: A research synthesis and meta-analysis. Applied Linguistics, 43(6), 1143-1164.
  • Johnson, M. D. (2022). Cognitive task complexity in L2 writing. In C. Coombe, & H. Mohebbi (Eds.), Research questions in language education: A reference guide for teachers. New York: Springer.
  • Johnson, M. D. (2021). Task complexity studies. In R. M. Manchón, & C. Polio (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Writing. New York: Routledge.
  • Johnson, M. D. (2020). Research timeline: Planning in L1 and L2 writing: Working memory, process, and product. Language Teaching.
  • Johnson, M. D. (2017). Cognitive task complexity and L2 written syntactic complexity, lexical complexity, accuracy, and fluency: A research synthesis and meta-analysis. Journal of Second Language Writing, 37, 13-38.


Curriculum Vitae