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English Faculty

Anca Nemoianu – Lecturer and Director of the Intensive English Program

Anca Nemoianu

Dr. Anca Nemoianu teaches linguistics, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and founded and runs the University’s Intensive English Program. Her research and teaching interests range from first and second language acquisition and development (in naturalistic and classroom settings) to discourse analysis of literary texts; from the role of linguistics in the undergraduate curriculum to writing pedagogy at all ages and skill levels; from American to Japanese literature as repositories of culture open to students through carefully planned language detective work. She has taught classes and has presented and published in all these areas. A grammarian at heart, she is interested in anything that has to do with language, and in literature as “a kind of extension and application of certain properties of language,” to use Paul Valèry’s words. She has been engaged in a nation-wide effort to promote the study of linguistics at the undergraduate level and, at the local level, to share with students her wonder at the miracle of language acquisition in children: how fast and without effort children figure out what it has taken linguists for ever to describe with adequacy.



Select Publications

“Time, Tense, and Narrative Style:  Linguistic insights from contemporary fictional discourse. International Journal of Languages and Literatures, Vol. 2, No.3 (forthcoming)

 “English Gairago: Learning about language structure from the margins of Japanese,” Language in the Schools, Eds. Kristin Denham and Anne Lobeck. Lawrence Erlbaum , 2005, pp. 235-246.
“Those Divine Details: Hyponyms in descriptive texts,” Syntax in the Schools, 16:3, 2000
“In front of our eyes: Undergraduates reflecting on language change,” Language Alive in the Classroom, Ed. Rebecca S. Wheeler. Praeger, 1999, pp. 89-99.
“The vanishing narrator: Repositioning stories of personal experience,” Germanic Studies (Festschrift), University of Bucharest, Romania, 1999.
“An interactional decision-making model for teaching paraphrasing skills,” International Journal for Teachers of English Writing Skills, 1995, pp. 31-40.


The Boat's Gonna Leave: A Study of Children Learning a Second Language (1980).


Office: Gibbons B-2
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Phone: 202-319-5229



  • ENG 103—English Composition for International StudentsI
  • ENG 104—Cultures in Contact: American Literature and Writing for International Students
  • ENG 324—Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENG 325—Contemporary English Grammar
  • ENG 625—General Linguistics


Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1986 (applied linguistics)

M.A.  University of California, Berkeley, 1981 (second language acquisition)

Licenta University of Bucharest, Romania, 1972 (English language and literature)

Areas of Expertise

  • First and Second Language Acquisition and Development
  • Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Syntax
  • Writing Pedagogy
  • ESL Pedagogy