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Faculty of Humanities and Education

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature


Prof. Hazel Simmons-McDonald

Prof. Hazel Simmons-McDonald

Professor Emerita, Applied Linguistics


Department: LLL

Contact details


While pursuing the Ph.D. was a Research Assistant in the Child Phonology Project at Stanford University. Also served as an adjunct member of staff at Santa Clara University and taught Freshman Composition and Linguistics for a year before proceeding to the University of the West Indies. Served there as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and the merged Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature. Also served as Deputy Dean of Outreach, Deputy Dean – Planning, and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Cave Hill Campus.  Was the Co-Chair of The UWI Cultural Studies Initiative that established the discipline at Cave Hill. Last post before retirement was Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus.In retirement has served in selected projects as: Consultant for the OECS/USAID Early Learners Programme (language policy); CARICOM Open and Distant Learning Committee; Erdiston College Literacy Diagnosis and Intervention Strategies.


Ph.D. Applied Linguistics, Stanford University 1988

M.A. Linguistics, Stanford University, 1982

M.A. International Dev. Ed., Stanford University, 1977

Dip.Ed., The UWI, Mona 1972

B.A. English (Hons), The UWI, Mona 1970


Research Areas

Research interests include second language acquisition, the development of literacy by Creole and Creole Influenced Vernacular speakers and vernacular literacy within the formal context.

Prepared the Harmonised Language Arts Curriculum for the OECS.
Prepared the Language Policy proposals for the OECS/USAID Early Learners Project.
Served as Chief Examiner English A from1979 and several years following. Also served more recently as Moderator and Chair, Review Committees of English A.

Main Research Project
Current: French Creole Instruction in Saint Lucia: Promoting Bilingualism and literacy. Funded by 1st National Bank, Saint Lucia (EC$177,000)

Research on the acquisition of English by Creole speakers
French Creole in Education – developing bilingualism and bi-literacy

Select Publications

‘Symbols of Solidarity and Truth?” Vernaculars in Literature. 2019. In Festschrift for Professor John Rickford (Stanford University); London & New York: Routledge.

Policy and instructional models for vernacular contexts: the case of St. Lucia.  In I. Robertson and H. Simmons-McDonald (Eds). 2014. Perspectives on Language and Language Education in Creole Influenced Vernacular Situations; pp. 119-150.

Language, Identity and Freedom: A Creolist Perspective.  In Trajectories of Freedom, A. Cobley and V. Simpson (Eds.). 2013. Lexington Press, University of Mississippi pp. 156-169.

West Indian Englishes: An introduction to literature written in selected varieties. In World Englishes, Andrew Kirkpatrick (Ed.). Routledge. 2010; pages 316-331.

The Effects of Vernacular instruction on the development of bi-literacy abilities of native speakers of French Creole.  In. Exploring the Boundaries of Caribbean Creole Languages. H. Simmons-McDonald and Ian Robertson (Eds.). 2006. University of the West Indies Press, pages 118-146.


Second Language Acquisition, Vernacular Literacy in formal Language Education policy, Literacy Diagnosis and Intervention, Language and Culture, English Language Teaching, Open and Distance Learning

Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature
Telephone: (246) 417-4402/4/5 Fax:(246) 424-0634 Email: