Dr Irina Elgort

  • Senior lecturer, Centre for Academic Development
    Faculty contact for Architecture and Design, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Research Areas:
    L2 vocabulary development, teaching and learning vocabulary, bilingual lexicon, computer-assisted language learning, L2 reading, e-learning, higher education


Irina provides consultation and support in the use of digital technologies in learning and teaching. She teaches on the Postgraduate Higher Education Learning and Teaching (PHELT) programme and the Master's Programme in Applied Linguistics (School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies). Irina also teaches a language and diction paper in the New Zealand School of Music.

Professional Activities

Editorial Board Member:


Irina has a PhD and MA in Applied Linguistics from Victoria University, and an MA in Education from the Pedagogical University in St Petersburg, Russia. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Research and supervision

Irina's research interests include lexical development in a second and foreign language, reading, computer assisted language learning (CALL), instructional design and educational technology.

Selected publications

Peer reviewed journals, books and book chapters

Elgort, I., Perfetti, C.A., Rickles, B., & Stafura, J.Z. (2014). Contextual learning of L2 word meanings: Second language proficiency modulates behavioural and ERP indicators of learning. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.

Elgort, I. & Warren, P. (2014). L2 vocabulary learning from reading: Explicit and tacit lexical knowledge and the role of learner and item variables, Language Learning, 64(2), pp. 365–414. 

Elgort, I. & Piasecki, A. (2013). The effect of a bilingual learning mode on the establishment of lexical-semantic representations in the L2. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(3), pp. 572-588. 

Crabbe, D., Elgort, I. & Gu, P. (Eds.). (2013). Special Issue: Autonomy in a networked world. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 7(3). 

Crabbe, D., Elgort, I. & Gu, P. (2013). Introduction to the Special Issue: Autonomy in a networked world. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 7(3), pp. 193-197. 

Elgort, I. (2013). Effects of L1 definitions and cognate status of test items on the Vocabulary Size Test. Language Testing, 30(2), pp. 253–272.

Elgort, I. (2011). Deliberate learning and vocabulary acquisition in a second language. Language Learning 61(2), pp. 367-413.

Elgort, I. (2011). Dealing with complexity through course design. On the Horizon 19(2), pp. 97-108. Special Issue: Complexity and the Future of Education.

Elgort, I. and Nation, I.S.P. (2010). Vocabulary learning in a second language: Familiar answers to new questions. In P. Seedhouse, S. Walsh and C. Jenks (Eds.) Conceptualising 'learning' in applied linguistics. Houndmills: Macmillan. Available from Palgrave Macmillan

Warren, P., Elgort, I., and Crabbe, D. (2009). Comprehensibility and prosody ratings for pronunciation software development. Language Learning & Technology, 13(3), 87-102. Special Issue On Technology And Pronunciation.

Elgort, I., Smith, A.G., and Toland, J. (2008). Is wiki an effective platform for group work. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology 24(2), pp. 195-210. 

Peer reviewed conference papers

Elgort, I. (2014). Word writing as a means of improving quality of lexical representations, does it make a difference? Eurosla 24 Conference, York, England.

Elgort, I. (2014). Academic blogging and academic writing in English as a first and second language - same or different? EUROCALL Conference, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Elgort, I. (2013). L2 vocabulary learning at different proficiencies: Do the rich really get richer? Vocab@Vic Conference, Wellington, December, 2013.

Elgort, I. (2013). The VST and behavioural measures of L2 vocabulary knowledge. In Coxhead, A., Nation, P., & Elgort, I. Measuring Vocabulary Size - A Colloquium. ALANZ & ALAA Conference, Wellington, November, 2013.

Elgort, I., Perfetti, C.A., Rickles, B., & Stafura, J.Z. (2013). Second language proficiency modulates ERP and behavioral indicators of contextual word learning. Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR) Annual Meeting, Hong Kong, July, 2013.

Elgort, I. and Piasecki, A. (2013). Learning L2 words with L1 in mind. International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB9), Singapore, June, 2013.

Rickles, B., Elgort, I., and Perfetti, C. (2012). Individual differences associated with EEG frequency band power during sentence reading in L2. Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Pittsburgh, PA, October, 2012.

Elgort, I., and Quero, B. (2012). Development and evaluation of bilingual vocabulary size tests. Community Languages & ESOL (CLESOL) Conference, Palmerston North, October, 2012.

Elgort, I. (2011). Learner and text factors affecting acquisition of L2 vocabulary from reading. Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Ames, Iowa, October, 2011.

Elgort, I. (2011). The what, the why and the how: Second language vocabulary development from reading. Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), Boston, Massachusetts, November, 2011.

Elgort, I. (2010). Using priming effects to evaluate L2 vocabulary acquisition. Eurosla 20 Conference, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Elgort, I. (2010). Teaching the teacher: Dealing with complexity through course design. EUROCALL Conference, Bordeaux, France.

Elgort, I. (2010). Evaluating educational software for institutional adoption: A case study. Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) Conference, Wellington.

Warren, P., Elgort, I., Larson, M., & Piasecki, A. (2010). Behind the scenes of cognitive experimental SLA research. 16th ALANZ Symposium, Wellington.

Elgort, I. (2009). Is deliberate L2 vocabulary learning out of context a waste of time? In the 1st Combined Conference of The Applied Linguistics Association of NZ and of Australia (ALANZ ALAA). Auckland, New Zealand.

Elgort, I. (2009). How does assessment design shape the learning space of a distance course? In Same places, different spaces. Proceedings ascilite Auckland 2009


Visible Words: Using writing in second language vocabulary learning. (2013-2014). Provider: Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Research and Study Leave Grant (2011-2012). Second language vocabulary acquisition from reading. Visiting Scholar with Professor Charles Perfetti at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), University of Pittsburgh.

University Research Fund (2010). Vocabulary acquisition in a second language: Deliberate and naturalistic learning. Provider: Victoria University of Wellington.

eTools for Collaboration in Learning, Teaching and Research. (2007-2008). Provider: Ako Aotearoa, National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Flexible Learning Leaders in New Zealand. (2004-2005). An e-Learning Collaborative Development Fund, The Tertiary Education Commission Provider: University of Waikato

Prizes and Awards

2007 Christopher Brumfit PhD / Ed.D. Thesis Award for doctoral thesis research that makes a significant and original contribution to the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and/or Foreign Language (FL) teaching and learning. Citation: (2008). Sponsored by Cambridge University Press and promoted by Language Teaching. Language Teaching, 41, pp ii-ii doi:10.1017/S0261444808005193.

The VUW Applied Linguistics Prize (2007) for the best year's work at the graduate level in applied linguistics.