Professional Biography

Dr. Wagner has experience in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to learners of varying proficiency levels and needs. She began her career teaching English at St. Paul’s Convent School in Hong Kong. In the United States, Dr. Wagner has worked with adult immigrants and refugees in a community ESL program, where she was also a member of the advisory board, seeking to improve the instruction and resources that could be offered to members of the community. She has also taught academic and professional presentation and discussion skills to international graduate students at Teachers College, and World Bank scholars at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. Dr. Wagner also served as a student teaching supervisor, observing novice ESL teachers in their classrooms, and giving feedback on their teaching practice, classroom management, and lesson design.

In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities at GSE, Dr. Wagner is a founding member of, and faculty advisor to two free ESL programs sponsored by the ELX Division: PEDAL @ GSE ( offers ESL classes to adult family members of international students, scholars, and staff at the University of Pennsylvania, and Community PEDAL offers ESL classes to the West Philadelphia community.

Research Interests and Current Projects


Ed.D. (Applied Linguistics) Teachers College, Columbia University, 2009.

Ed.M. (Applied Linguistics) Teachers College, Columbia University, 2002.

M.A. (TESOL) New York University, 1999.

B.A. (Hons., Economics) University of Cambridge, 1987.

Areas of Expertise

Discourse analysis of spoken language
TESOL teacher education

Selected Publications

Wagner, S., & Lewis, K. B.: Complaining as reflective practice in TESOL teacher-mentor post-observation meetings. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 34, 1-26. Retrieved from 2019.

Liao, Y-F., Wagner, E. & Wagner, S: Test-takers’ attitudes and beliefs about the spoken texts used in EFL listening tests. English Teaching & Learning, 42, 227-246. 2018.

Eaton, S. E., Wagner, S., Hirashiki, J., & Ciancio, J. Understanding and Exploring Signature Pedagogies for TESOL Teacher Education. Calgary, Canada: University of Calgary. Retrieved from 2018.

Liao, Y-F., Wagner, E., & Wagner, S. Comparing ESL and EFL test-takers’ performance on “Actual” and “Authenticated” GEPT listening tasks. Retrieved from Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC) Foundation, 2017.

Wagner, E., & Wagner, S.:Scripted and unscripted texts used in listening tasks on high stakes tests in China, Japan, and Taiwan. In V. Aryadoust and J. Fox (Eds.), Trends in language assessment research and practice: The view from the Middle East and Pacific Rim. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2016.

Wagner, S.: Asymmetrical aspects of knowledge in mediation talk. In L. Grujicic-Alatriste (Ed.), Linking discourse studies to professional practice. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. 2015.

Wagner, S., & Lopez, J. G.: Meeting the challenges of service-learning teaching with international TESOL student teachers. In A. Wurr and J. Perren (Eds.), Learning the Language of Global Citizenship: Strengthening Service-Learning in TESOL. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Publishing. 2015.

Wagner, S.: Review of the book The Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Modern Language Journal, 98, 2014.

Wagner, S.: The interactive demonstration of interactional competence in the ITA TEACH test. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, 29, 2014.

Wagner, S.: National Communication Association micro grant report. Retrieved from, 2013.

Wagner, S.: Review of the book Learning Politeness: Disagreement in a second language. Modern Language Journal, 95, 2011.

Oxford, R.L., Cho, Y., Leung, S*., & Kim, H-J. : Effect of the presence and difficulty of task on strategy use: An exploratory study. International Review of Applied Linguistics and Language Teaching, 42, 2004.

Leung, S*.: Review of the book Language as social action. Issues in Applied Linguistics, 13, 2002.

Leung, S*.: Conflict talk: A discourse analytical perspective. Teachers College Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 2(2), 2002.

* Previous name