Doctor Watson official photo

Dr. Jeffrey Watson

Chair of Linguistics & Language Acquisition, CLCRS


Dr. Jeff Watson is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and serves as the Chair of Linguistics and Language Acquisition in the Center for Languages, Cultures, and Regional Studies. 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. Dr. Watson teaches Russian language, 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 a chapter written with COL Gregory Ebner in the Routledge Handbook of Study Abroad 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 in conjunction with Department of Defense resources like the Regional Proficiency Analysis Tool to better assess Language, Regional Expertise, and Culture (LREC) skills in the military. Other recent grant-related research include a three-week research trip sponsored by the Army Research Lab to travel with West Point cadets to Mumbai, India to study the multilingualism and multiculturalism in megacities.