(Last updated 4.1.2019)

Originally from a small town outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A., I have lived in Japan for over 15 years. During this time I have taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at a range of levels and contexts and worked to develop a thorough understanding of the needs of English language learners. I have taught full-time at the university level since 2006 and received tenure in 2013 as a founding member of the English Education Research Center at Kobe College in Nishinomiya, Japan where I currently work as an Associate Professor.

Besides being actively involved in program management, curriculum development, and classroom teaching, I have also pursued a wide range of scholarly research interests. At the moment, I am most interested in applied linguistics research on second language (L2) speaking development and assessment. I also maintain active interest in the areas of task-based language teaching (TBLT), Rasch measurement, L2 vocabulary testing, Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), instructional technology, and information literacy instruction.

I received my M.A. in TESOL from Eastern Michigan University in 2005 and my M.L.I.S from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011. I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Temple University Japan Graduate College of Education where I am working to complete my dissertation entitled “The development of interactive English speaking abilities in a Japanese university context.”






McDonald, K. (2018). Post hoc evaluation of analytic rating scales for improved functioning in the assessment of interactive L2 speaking ability. Language Testing in Asia, 8(19), 1-23. Available online here.

McDonald, K. (2018). Following up with follow-up questions. In J. Vorholt (Ed.), New Ways of Teaching Speaking (2nd ed., pp. 89-91). Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press. ISBN: 9781945351280.


McDonald, K. (2017). [Review of TBLT 2017: The 7th International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching]. Taking It To Task, 2(1), 3-6.

Kawagoe, E., McDonald, K., & Shirai, Y. (2017). A portrait of Kobe College (2nd ed.). Tokyo, Japan: Kodansha Scientific Ltd.


McDonald, K., & Asaba, M. (2016). 'I don't know' use and guessing on the bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test: Clarifications and limitations. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 5(1), 34-39. Available online here.


McDonald, K., & Asaba, M. (2015). 'I don't know' use and guessing on the bilingual Japanese Vocabulary Size Test: A preliminary report. Vocabulary Learning and Instruction, 4(1), 16-25. Available online here.

McDonald, K. (2015). Connecting academic library users to virtual reference services. 2015 International Business & Education Conference Proceedings, 574.1-574.6. Available online here.

McDonald, K. (2015). The potential impact of guessing on monolingual and bilingual versions of the Vocabulary Size Test. Osaka JALT Journal, 2, 44-61. Available online here.

McDonald, K. (2015). Re-envisioning libraries for training and literacy development. Procedia - Social and Behaviorial Sciences, 176, 504-508. Available online here.

McDonald, K. (2015). Chapters: 2-1) Communication in English (GE100ab) (pp. 13-16), 3-3) English Zone (pp. 61-62), 4-1.3) 受容語彙サイズとTOEIC scoresの相関性の研究 (pp. 68-69), 4-3) 個人研究 (pp. 72-73) in 神戸女学院大学 共通英語教育研究センター 活動報告書, Vol. 1. Nishinomiya, Japan: Kobe College English Education Research Center.




McDonald, K. (2019, March). Promoting student engagement with post-task reflection activities. Paper presented at the 2019 Great Lakes Regional Student Success Conference, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

McDonald, K. (2019, March). How do students perceive video-recorded group discussion and reflection tasks? Paper presented at the 40th TESOL Greece Annual International Convention, Titiana Hotel, Athens, Greece.


McDonald, K. (2018, November). Following up with follow-up questions. Workshop session conducted at the JALT 2018 Conference, Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center, Shizuoka City, Japan.

Kawagoe, E., McDonald, K., & Taoka, C. (2018, November). 共通英語教育研究センターからご報告 [English Education Research Center Report]. Invited presentation for the Fall 2018 General Meeting of the Kobe College Research Institute. Kobe College, Nishinomiya, Japan.

McDonald, K. (2018, July). Tips for teaching technical terms. Workshop session conducted at the 2018 Connections to Education Conference, Hilton Columbus at Easton, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.

McDonald, K. (2018, March). Technological tools for group discussion and reflection tasks. Technology Fair demonstration conducted at the TESOL 2018 International Convention & English Language Expo Electronic Village, McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

McDonald, K. (2018, March). Optimizing analytic rating scales of interactive English speaking abilities. Paper presented at the TESOL 2018 International Convention & English Language Expo Doctoral Research Forum, McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

McDonald, K. (2018, March). Using analytic rating scale quality assessments for optimization and validation. Paper presented at the Language Assessment Research Conference (LARC) 2018, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, U.S.A.

Carney, N., McDonald, K., & Ballou, K. (2018, February). Investigating L2 English learners’ interactive oral communication abilities in different contexts. Panel discussion conferred at the 20th Temple University Applied Linguistics Colloquium, Temple University, Osaka, Japan.



I am currently teaching the following courses offered in the General Education English program at Kobe College:

GE100ab - Communication in English

GE101ab - Communication in English II

GE270(1) - English Honors II

Students, please refer to your class syllabus for course-related information and links.


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