LLL Faculty: Karen E. Lillie, Ph.D.

Dr. Lillie

Karen E. Lillie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office: TH E 274 Phone: (716) 673-4656
Email: Karen.Lillie@fredonia.edu


Karen E. Lillie (Ph.D., Applied Linguistics) is an Associate Professor of TESOL/Bilingual Ed at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she works with graduate students. Her specialization is in language policy and forensic linguistics. More specifically, Dr. Lillie’s research involves examining (restrictive) language policy, language and the justice system, language discrimination, immigration, rights for language minorities, dropout rates and ELs’ schooling, heritage language maintenance/revival, and other sociolinguistic considerations which cut across education and law.

Dr. Lillie is Associate Editor for the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education (http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hlie20/current) and is on the Advisory Committee for the Language Policy Research Network (LPREN), an international group of recognized scholars who serve the field of language policy. Dr. Lillie formerly was the EL Coordinator for the school district in which she taught 9th-12th grade ELs in Arizona. Here at Fredonia, Dr. Lillie currently teaches courses dealing with sociolinguistics, second language acquisition theory, types of ELs (migrants, SIFE, adults), linguistics for educators, and educational research.

Research Interests

Dr. Lillie’s current research and scholarly interests include the following: Language policy, forensic linguistics, and language rights.

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; (heritage) language reclamation; critical race theory; language minority education (esp. secondary levels); and other sociolinguistic considerations for language learners.

Specially 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; authorship; police interviews; and speaker identification.



Book Chapters (peer-reviewed)

  • Lillie, K. E. (2016). "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 (pp. 79-100). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Lillie, K. E. (2015). 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 (pp. 297-314). UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Lillie, K. E., & Moore, S.C.K. (2014). SEI in Arizona: Bastion for states’ rights. In S. C. K. Moore (Ed.), Language policy processes and consequences: Arizona case studies (pp. 1-27). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Lillie, K. E., & Markos, A. (2014). The four-hour block: SEI in classrooms. In S. C. K. Moore (Ed.),Language policy processes and consequences: Arizona case studies (pp. 133-155). Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Lillie, K. E. (2013). Afterwords. In M. B. Arias & C. J. Faltis (Eds.) Academic language in second language learning (pp. 225-234). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Lillie, K. E., (2015). The lost generation: Students of Arizona's SEI. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 19(4), 408-425. doi: 10.1080/ 13670050.2015.1006162
  • Lillie, K. E., Markos, A., Arias, M. B., & Wiley, T. G. (2012). Separate and not equal: The implementation of structured English immersion in Arizona’s classrooms [Special Issue]. Teachers College Record, 114(9), 1-33.
  • Lillie, K. E., Markos, A., Estrella, A., Nguyen, T., Peer, K., Perez, K., Trifiro, A., Arias, M.B., & Wiley, T.G. (2010). Policy in practice: The implementation of structured English immersion in Arizona. University of California, Los Angeles: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles. Retrieved from http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/language-minority-students/policy-in-practice-the-implementation-of-structured-english-immersion-in-arizona

Selected Recent Scholarly Presentations (Lead or Co-author as specified)


  • AAAL (American Association for Applied Linguistics): Panel session, Toronto, Canada: Theorizing Dis-Citizenship: The Reproduction of Illegitimate Hierarchies, March 2015. Lead/sole author and presenter on paper entitled “The ELD classes are … too much”: Arizona's Restrictive Language Policy and the Dis-Citizenship of ELs.
  • TESOL International: Secondary Special Interest Section (SSIS) of TESOL, Toronto, Canada: Language Policies and Academic Progress of Secondary Language-Minority Students, March 27, 2015. Chairs: Shannon Fitzsimmons-Doolan and Jen Himmel. Discussant: Terrence Wiley. Lead/sole author and presenter on paper entitled “Language Policies and the Implications for Secondary ELs: A Comparison of Arizona and New York Policy”.


  • West Coast Roundtable of Language & Law: Roundtable session of individual paper, Missoula, MT. “No longer the vehicle to pursue the myriad of educational issues in this state”: Examining Judges’ Ideologies in Flores, July 18, 2014. Chair: Roger Shuy. Lead/sole author and presenter.
  • AAAL: Roundtable session of individual paper, Portland, OR. “No longer the vehicle to pursue the myriad of educational issues in this state”: Examining Judges’ Ideologies in Flores, March 22, 2014. Lead/sole author and presenter.
  • AERA (American Educational Research Association): Panel Session, Philadelphia, PA. The Role of Critical Language Policy Analysis in the “Post” Civil Rights Era, April 6, 2014. Discussant: Terrence G. Wiley. Lead Presenter on co-authored paper entitled “No Holds Barred on Restricting Language Rights: English-only in Arizona”.


  • AAAL: Individual Paper presentation, Dallas, TX. The Lost Boys (and Girls): Students in Arizona Speak Out about SEI, March, 2013. Lead/sole author and presenter.


  • LPP (Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning): Individual Paper presentation, Calgary, Canada. “Whose Expertise?: The Rose of Expertise in Determining Language Policy in the United States, September 2012. Lead author and co-presenter with Terrence G. Wiley.
  • LPP: Individual Paper presentation, Calgary, Canada. “‘Just Tell Me What to Do’: Language Policy in New York State School Settings, September 2012. Co-presenter with Kate S. Mahoney.
  • AERA, Division L, Section 2: Roundtable Session, Vancouver, Canada. The Impact of a Restrictive Language Policy on the Education of ELLs, April 2012. Discussant: Terrence G. Wiley. Lead Presenter on paper entitled “Hearing the Students: The Impact of SEI as Perceived by Language Minority Students”.
  • AAAL: Colloquium session, Boston, MA. The Impact of Structured English Immersion Policies: The Case of Arizona, March, 2012. Chair: Sarah C. K. Moore. Discussant: Terrence G. Wiley. Lead Presenter on paper entitled “Policy as Practiced: Arizona’s Implementation of Structured English Immersion (SEI)”.


  • ALAA-ALANZ (Applied Linguistics Association of Australia and Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand, combined Langfest conference): Language and the Law Symposium Session, Canberra, Australia. Language Rights in Education: International, American and Australian Experiences, December 2, 2011. Chair: Joseph Lo Bianco. Discussant: Ben Grimes. Co-author on paper presented with Terrence G. Wiley (lead presenter)entitled “States’ Rights v. Minority Rights: Implications of the Case of Arizona for the Multilingual U.S.”.


  • American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
  • International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL)
  • Language Policy Research Network (LPREN)
  • American Education Research Association (AERA, Division L: Educational Policy and Politics and Division G: Social Context of Education)
  • International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA)
  • International Language and Law Association (ILLA)

Terminal Degree

Ph.D., Applied Linguistics (Specialization: language policy, forensic linguistics). August 2011. Arizona State University (Tempe).

Department of Language, Learning & Leadership, College of Education

E262 Thompson Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3702
(716) 673-4664 fax