Jay Tanaka


United States


Specially Appointed Associate Professor

Research Keywords

Second Language Teaching, TESOL, Critical Thinking Instruction, Teacher Education, Reflective Practice.


BA: University of Northern Colorado
MA: University of Hawaii at Manoa
PhD: University of Hawaii at Manoa


As an academic English instructor and language teacher educator, I am primarily interested in best practices for second language instruction and how those practices are acquired by teacher learners. In particular, my studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa centered on second language vocabulary acquisition and extensive reading teaching approaches. Currently, my research is focused on the area of critical thinking instruction within second language teaching contexts. Critical thinking continues to be an important aspect of higher education around the world, and my research has shown that it can also be important for students’ lives outside of academics, helping them to better understand and communicate with people from different cultures.

Selected Publications

  • Gilliland, B., Tanaka, J., Schwartz, B. F., & Díez-Ortega, M. (2020). Multiple Dimensions of Teacher Development on an International Practicum. TESL-EJ, 23(4).
  • Tanaka, J. & Patharakorn, P. (2018). Sharing vocabulary size test scores with students: What’s the impact on motivation? PASAA Journal, 55, 78-99.
  • Tanaka, J., & Gilliland, B. (2017). Critical thinking instruction in English for Academic Purposes writing courses: A dialectical thinking approach. TESOL Journal, 8(3), 657-674.