Matt Coss

Matt Coss headshot
Rome Hall 451
[email protected]


Matt Coss received his BA in Hispanic Linguistics and Asian Studies (Chinese) with a minor in Entrepreneurship from UNC Chapel Hill and his MA in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland College Park. In addition to teaching Chinese classes of all levels at GWU, Matt works as a Second Language Acquisition Specialist on the STARTALK project at the National Foreign Language Center. Prior to coming to GWU, Matt has taught Chinese at Georgetown University and Washington Yuying Public Charter School and has also worked in various roles in STARTALK summer Chinese programs including: teacher’s assistant, co-teacher, instructor, lead instructor, curriculum consultant and teacher trainer.

In addition to his work teaching Chinese, Matt has worked as a Spanish language instructor at every age and proficiency level from novice children to advanced proficiency adult learners and profession-specific (medical school students, engineers, lawyers, etc.) students. The time spent in different classrooms with a range of very different students sparked an interest in what makes for successful language learning and teaching, in both commonly taught and less commonly taught languages. Matt has also given presentations at state and national language conferences, including the NCLC and ACTFL. Matt was also rated Superior on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) in Chinese in 2015.

Current Research

Matt’s research interests lie primarily in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), particularly Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), language assessment, program evaluation, and the multiple interfaces of (I)SLA research and classroom/program language pedagogy and assessment practices. Matt has current and forthcoming publications about TBLT and TBLA, K-16 language program articulation, second language vocabulary acquisition from different kinds of input, and L2 Chinese character (Hanzi/汉字) teaching and learning in the 21 st century.


MA Second Language Acquisition, University of Maryland (College Park)

Ph.D. (in progress) Second Language Studies, Michigan State University

Classes Taught

CHIN1001 Beginning Chinese I

CHIN1002 Beginning Chinese II

CHIN2003 Intermediate Chinese I

CHIN3151 Developing Chinese Literacy (undergraduate)

CHIN4201 Special Topics in Advanced Chinese

CHIN4301 Chinese-English Translation (undergraduate)

CHIN6151 Developing Chinese Literacy (graduate)

CHIN6301 Chinese-English Translation (graduate)