Maya Honda

Wheelock College Associate Professor of Psychology Maya HondaAssociate Professor of Psychology
Phone: 617-879-2368
Office: Activities East 223B

Educational Degrees

B.A. 1977, Brandeis University
Ed.M. 1979, Harvard University
Ed.D. 1994, Harvard University

Maya Honda is a linguist and developmental psychologist. Her work focuses on making linguistics—the scientific study of our knowledge of language—conceptually accessible and meaningful to students of all ages. To this end, she creates and implements inquiry materials that lead students to investigate the complexity and diversity of English and other languages.

She is active in the Linguistic Society of America's Committee on Language in the School Curriculum and is co-editor of the Education and Pedagogy section of Language and Linguistics Compass, an online journal (

Honda also works with the indigenous language revitalization movement, offering workshops and courses to prepare educators and community members to teach, maintain, and promote their languages. This work took root many years ago in Nicaragua, where, on behalf of Linguists for Nicaragua, Honda worked with teachers to develop bilingual education materials in local languages (1985-1991). Other collaborations have followed, most recently at the Navajo Language Academy (2007-present). In November 2010, Maya received Community Change, Inc.'s Drylongso Award for her support of indigenous language revitalization (see The Drylongso Award honors "ordinary people doing extraordinary work against racism."

Locally, Honda serves on the Advisory Board of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, a multiservice agency meeting the needs of the Asian immigrant and Asian American community (see

Selected Publications

Honda, M. (1994). Linguistic Inquiry in the Science Classroom: "It is science, but it's not like a science problem in a book." MIT Occasional Papers in Linguistics, No. 6. Cambridge, MA: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics.

Honda, M., & O'Neil, W. (2004). Understanding First and Second Language Acquisition (Handbook 10). In L. Peter (Ed.), Awakening our languages: An ILI handbook series. Santa Fe, NM: Indigenous Language Institute (ILI).

Honda, M., & O'Neil, W. (2008). Thinking linguistically: A scientific approach to language. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Honda, M., O'Neil, W., & Pippin, D. (2010). On promoting linguistics literacy. In K. Denham & A. Lobeck, Linguistics at school: Language awareness in primary and secondary education (pp. 175-188). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Ginsberg, D., Honda, M., & O'Neil, W. (to appear in 2011). Looking beyond English: Linguistic inquiry for English language learners. Language and Linguistics Compass.

Courses taught

HDP 227 Language Development
HDP 382 HR Nature of Linguistic Knowledge
HDP 335 Cognition in the Deaf and Blind

inspire a world of good

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