Stephen Walter, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Applied Anthropology

Stephen Walter
  • Minority language education
  • Language of instruction issues
  • Bilingual education
  • International education


B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
1980Ph.D.LinguisticsUniversity of Texas at Arlington
1976M.A.LinguisticsUniversity of Texas at Arlington
1969B.A.Religious educationWashington Bible College, SC
Professional Associations
  • Comparative and International Education Society
  • International Reading Association
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, Dallas, TX
1999 - Present
Associate Professor
Current Positions
  • Chair, Department of Language Development (2003– )
  • Member of GIAL Academic Affairs Committee, (2000–  )
  • International Literacy and Education Consultant (2000– )
  • Editor, SIL Series in Language and Education (1999– )
Courses Taught
  • Social Science Research Methods (2000– )
  • Statistical Methods (2000– )
  • Literacy Megacourse (1999– )
Other experience
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Doctoral Seminar in Research Methods. University of Texas at Arlington. (2008)
  • Consultation on early reading assessments in Mali and Niger. PLAN USA. (2007)
  • Consultation on Instructional Time Study carried out in Mali. World Bank (2007)
  • Consultation to HELPS International on the development of standardized tests for schools providing Ixil-medium education. Guatemala (2007– )
  • Research design workshop leader: comparing mother tongue and non mother tongue approaches to education in Cameroon (2005) and for same workshop in Lubuagan, Philippines (2004).
  • Literacy Project Consultant: designed/carried out a three–year evaluation on the literacy component of an internationally funded literacy and development project in Mondolkiri province, Cambodia (2005)
  • Consultant: one week event on development and design of an international strategy for doing literacy assessment. UNESCO Institute of Statistics. (April 2004)
  • Project leader: for research team of international/national educators to design, implement, and analyze a National Reading Survey assessing reading instruction in primary schools in Eritrea. (2002).
  • International Literacy Coordinator–SIL, International (1988–1999).
  • Assistant Professor–Seminar on Multilingual Education. University of North Dakota, Summer (1999).
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor–Literacy program management course. University of North Dakota, Summers (1997, 2000, 2005).
  • Training program leader – seminar for SIL literacy consultants in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya (1997).
  • Seminar leader – training in design/funding of literacy projects for NGOs working in Asia. Jakarta, Indonesia (1996).
  • Consultant – organizational assessment of SIL in Burkina Faso and PNG, GILBERT in Ghana, and TLAP in the Philippines with written reports done for Canadian International Development Agency (1991, 1992)
  • Director of Language Programs – for teams carrying out field research and applied linguistics among ethnic groups in Colombia under the auspices of SIL. (1984-1988)
Language proficiency
  • English (FSI 5-Native Speaker)
  • Spanish 3+/4
  • Tzeltal 2
  • French 1+


Selected Publications

To appear, “Language Policy and Medium of Instruction in Formal Education.” (with Carol Benson).  In Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy, (ed Bernard Spolsky).

In press.  “Mother-tongue Instruction in Lubuagan, Philippines”, (with Diane Dekker) In International Review of Education.

2010.  “The Kom MLE report 2010.” (with Kristine Trammell).  Unpublished research report.

2009.  “The Kom MLE report 2009.”  (with Kristine Trammell). Unpublished research report.

2008. “The language of instruction issue: framing an empirical perspective. ” In Handbook of Educational Linguistics, Bernard Spolsky and Francis Hult (eds). Blackwell, London: UK.

2005. Eritrea National Reading Survey (with Patricia M. Davis). Report presented to the Eritrea Ministry of Education. Pp. 1-503

2003. “Does language of instruction matter?” In Language and Life: Essays in Memory of Kenneth L. Pike. Mary Ruth Wise and T. Headland, and R. Brend, eds. Publications in Linguistics, No.139. Dallas: SIL International and the University of Texas at Arlington.

1994. “Mother tongue literacy–the Work of the S.I.L. ” In Writing and its Use–an Interdisciplinary Handbook of International Research. . pp.798-802. New York: Walter de Gruyter Press.

1994. “Language policy, literacy and minority languages - What can we expect? ” (with Kay R. Ringenberg). Policy Studies Review, pp. 341-366.

Selected papers presented

2008. “Designing educational assessments for experimental mother tongue education programs. ” GIAL Academic Forum Series, Dallas, TX.

2007. “Is this camel carrying too much straw?” Comparative and International Education Conf., Baltimore, MD.

2005. “Reinventing education in Eritrea. ” Paper presented at SIL/UND Forum Series in Linguistics. Grand Forks, ND.

2005. “Designing a research program in mother tongue education. ” GIAL Forum Series. Dallas, Texas.

2004. “Bilingual education in Guatemala.” GIAL Forum Series. Dallas, Texas.

2003. “Learning English in Eritrea. ” GIAL Forum Series, Dallas, Texas.

2003. “Mother tongue education in Eritera. ” GIAL Forum Series,Dallas, Texas.

2002. “National Reading Survey. ” Report presented to the Ministry of Education , Seminar in Education, Asmara, Eritrea.

2000. “Recent research in bilingual education: How extensible? ” SIL/UND Forum Series in Linguistics, Grand Forks, ND.

1999. “What we know about Adult Literacy–The experience of one NGO. ” World Bank, Washington, DC.

1997. “World literacy - issues and trends. ” SIL/UND Forum Series in Linguistics, Valley City, ND.

1993. “Mother tongue literacy and education in the minority languages of the Peoples' Republic of China. ” Paper presented in Indiana University Literacy Forum. Bloomington, Indiana.

Selected online publications

2000. “Explaining multilingual education: information on some tough questions. ” In Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session 2000. Vol 44. Online. URL: