Patti Spinner’s primary research interests are in the second language acquisition of grammar, particularly the acquisition of features such as grammatical gender, case, number, and tense. Currently she is developing music-based lessons for ESL grammar instruction, called L-Pop: Real Music for English Language Learning. She has also developed music lessons for Betty Azar’s English Grammar series.
Other work includes research on the acquisition of grammar in Swahili, German, Italian and English, using eye-tracking, self-paced reading, acceptability judgments, and other measures. Her work has appeared in journals such as Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Second Language Research, Applied Linguistics, and Language Learning.
She has taught German as a foreign language at the Ohio State University, Michigan State University, and Kenyon College, and ESL at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Rostock (Germany), and Inlingua Language Schools (Germany).