Maya Honda

Wheelock College Associate Professor of Psychology Maya HondaProfessor Emerita

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).

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 (

Selected Publications

  • Ginsberg, D., Honda, M., & O'Neil, W. (2011). Looking beyond English: Linguistic inquiry for English language learners. Language and Linguistics Compass, 5/5: 249-264.
  • 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.
  • Honda, M., & O'Neil, W. (2008). Thinking linguistically: A scientific approach to language. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
  • 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).

Selected Presentations

  • The role of linguistics in indigenous language revitalization. Invited lecture in the Language Diversity Lecture Series, Language Learning and Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY. April 2, 2015.
  • Developing language awareness five ways. Paper presented with W. O'Neil & D. Pippin at the 12th International Conference of the Association for Language Awareness, Hamar, Norway. July 2, 2014.
  • Introducing linguistic inquiry to English Language Learners: A collaborative effort. Invited paper presented with D. Ginsberg & W. O'Neil at the Massachusetts Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages 40th Anniversary Convention, Framingham, MA. May 3, 2012.

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