Doctor Watson official photo

Dr. Jeffrey Watson

Chair of Linguistics & Language Acquisition, CLCRS

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics


Dr. Jeff Watson is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and serves as the Chair of Linguistics and Language Acquisition in the Center for Languages, Cultures, and Regional Studies (CLCRS). He received a Ph.D. in Russian and Second Language Acquisition from Bryn Mawr College and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Foreign Language from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. At West Point, Dr. Watson has taught Russian language, Applied Linguistics, and English as a Second Language. Before West Point, Dr. Watson taught Russian language and culture to astronauts and scientists at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

In the Center for Languages, Cultures, and Regional Studies, Dr. Watson administers many of the Department of Foreign Language’s standardized assessment initiatives including pre- and post-Semester Abroad Program assessments and the assessment of DFL’s beginning and intermediate foreign language courses. Dr. Watson is also an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator and administers the IDI also as part of the Semester Abroad Program. Dr. Watson has published several studies on assessing the gains in foreign language proficiency and cross-cultural competence during study abroad and continues to pursue research initiatives in foreign language assessment, second language acquisition, language socialization, sociocultural theory, and curriculum design. Recent scholarship includes an article co-written with Dr. Richard Wolfel analyzing the speech acts used by Vladimir Putin in his presidential speeches leading up to the Russia-Ukraine war and a chapter on Open Architecture Curriculum Design and Sociocultural Theory in an edited volume published by Georgetown University Press.

Dr. Watson also pursues grants to carry out research in the Center which has led to recent projects with the Defense Language and National Security Office on the use of digital portfolios for foreign language specialists and a project analyzing the State of the Science involved in the Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) enterprise in the military.