Yuko Goto Butler

Associate Professor

Educational Linguistics Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-898-5937

Email: ybutler@gse.upenn.edu

Professional Biography

Dr. Yuko Butler is the Director of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Associate Professor in the Educational Linguistics Division at Penn GSE. She serves as a professional consultant on language assessments of young learners at Educational Testing Service (ETS), the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), and the Eiken Foundation (Japan). She was awarded the National Academy of Education’s Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2004, studying East Asian perspectives on TESOL.

Originally from Tokyo, Dr. Butler earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Stanford University. She worked at their Center for Educational Research as a postdoctoral fellow, and jointly received the 1999 Cognitive Studies in Educational Practice Award for her research on the effects of metacognitive approaches to improve English as a Second Language (ESL) for language minority students. She then taught California’s Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development certificate program at San Jose State University.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Butler’s research focuses on second language and bilingual language acquisition and learning, with emphasis on the role of cognitive, metacognitive, and socio-cognitive factors in language learning. Her interests include the role of metacognition in language learning and instruction, assessments to measure English language proficiency as well as “academic language” proficiency among learners and teachers, and cross-linguistic and cross-cultural learning, teaching styles, and strategies. 

Dr. Butler is currently conducting research on English-learning students and their teachers in both the U.S. and East Asia, investigating second language and biliteracy acquisition. A recent project involves examining and comparing various issues that have emerged as a result of the recent introduction of English language instruction in elementary schools across various Asian countries. Her research for this project is focused on examining and assessing the qualifications of elementary school teachers who have been asked to teach English in select Asian countries. Dr. Butler studies how best to assess young learners’ second/foreign language proficiency and identify effective English learning/teaching methods and strategies given the cultural and social contexts in which instruction takes place. 

Selected Publications

Butler, Y. G. (2015). English language education among young learners in East Asia: A review of current research. Language Teaching, 48(3), 303–342.

Butler, Y. G. (2015). The use of computer games as foreign language learning tasks for digital natives. System, 54, 91–102.

Butler, Y. G. (2015). Task-based assessment for young learners: The role of teachers in changing cultures. In M. Thomas & H. Reinders (Eds.), Contemporary task-based language teaching in Asia (pp. 348–365). London, England: Bloomsbury.

Butler, Y. G. (2015). Parental factors in children’s motivation for learning English: A case in China. Research Papers in Education, 30(2), 164–191.

Butler, Y. G., & Zeng, W. (2015). Young learners’ interactional development in task-based paired-assessment in their first and foreign languages: A case of English learners in China. Education 3–13, 43(3), 292–321.

Butler, Y. G. (2014). Socioeconomic disparities and early English education: A case in Changzhou, China. In N. Murray and A. Scarino (Eds.), Dynamic ecologies: A relational perspective on languages education in the Asia-Pacific region (pp. 29–115). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Butler, Y. G. (2014). Parental factors and early English education as a foreign language: A case study in Mainland China. Research Papers in Education, 29(4), 410–437.

Butler, Y. G., Someya, Y., & Fukuhara, E. (2014). Online games for young learners’ foreign language learning. ELT Journal, 68(3), 265–275.

Butler, Y. G., & Zeng, W. (2014). Young foreign language learner’s interactions during task-based paired assessment. Language Assessment Quarterly, 11, 45–75. 

Butler, Y. G., & Zeng, W. (2014). Young learners’ storytelling in their first and foreign languages. In J. Connor-Linton (Ed.), Measured language: Quantitative approaches to acquisition, assessment, processing, and variation (pp. 79–94). Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 

Butler, Y. G. (2013). Bilingualism/multilingualism and second language acquisition. In T. K. Bhatia & W. C. Ritchie (Eds.), The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism (2nd ed., pp. 109–136). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Butler, Y. G. (2011). The implementation of communicative and task-based language teaching in the Asia-Pacific region. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 36–57.

Butler, Y. G., & Zeng, W. (2011). The roles that teachers play in paired-assessments for young learners. In D. Tsagari & I. Csepes (Eds.), Classroom-based language assessment (pp. 77–92). Frankfurt, Germany: Peter Lang.

Butler, Y. G., & Lee, J. (2010). The effect of self-assessment among young learners. Language Testing, 17(1), 1–27.

Butler, Y. G. (2009). How do teachers observe and evaluate elementary school students’ foreign language performance? A case study from South Korea. TESOL Quarterly, 41(4), 731–755.

Butler, Y. G. (2007). How are non-native English speaking teachers perceived by young learners? TESOL Quarterly, 41(4), 731–755.

Butler, Y. G., & Lee, J. (2006). On-task versus off-task self-assessment among Korean elementary school students studying English. The Modern Language Journal, 90(4), 423–446.

Butler, Y. G. (2005). Comparative perspectives towards communicative activities among elementary school teachers in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Language Teaching Research, 9(4), 423–446.

Butler, Y. G., & Iino, M. (2005). Current Japanese reforms in English language education: The 2003 “Action Plan”. Language Policy, 4(1), 25–45. 

Butler, Y. G. (2004). What level of English proficiency do elementary school teachers need to attain in order to teach EFL?: Case studies from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. TESOL Quarterly, 38(2), 245–278.

Butler, Y. G., & Gutierrez, M. B. (2003). Learning climates: A case of 4th grade students in an English-only district in California. Bilingual Research Journal, 27(2), 171–194.

Butler, Y. G. (2002). Second language learners’ theories on the use of English articles: An analysis of the metalinguistic knowledge used by Japanese students in acquiring the English article system. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24(3), 451–480.

Butler, Y. G., Orr, E., Bousquet, M., & Hakuta, K. (2000). Inadequate conclusions from an inadequate assessment: What can SAT-9 tell us about the impact of Proposition 227? Bilingual Research Journal, 24, 141–154