Elka Todeva, PhD

Dr. Elka Todeva is professor of applied linguistics at SIT Graduate Institute. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics and a master’s and bachelor’s degrees in British and American literature, English linguistics, and simultaneous interpretation. Her teaching and research are in the areas of plurilingualism, second language acquisition, applied linguistics, language education, teacher cognition, and ecological approaches to teaching.

Dr. Todeva has taught and supervised in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and Latin America, and is equally enthusiastic about teacher training and working with ESL/EFL students. A speaker of multiple languages, she advocates plurilinguistic approaches to language teaching that take advantage of students’ prior knowledge and experiences. Her various courses and projects encourage teachers to become public intellectuals who initiate or participate in discussions around language planning, language and identity, language and power, multilingualism, and the role of English in the era of globalization.

View Dr. Todeva’s full CV

Graduate Courses Taught

Second Language Acquisition. 1-3
English Applied Linguistics, 1-3
Plurilingual Pedagogy

Select Publications or Policy Activities

Books and Book Chapters

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Todeva, E. (2021). A sociocognitive theory for plurilingualism: Complex dynamic systems theory. In E. Piccardo, A. Germain-Rutherford, & G. Lawrence (Eds.). Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education (pp. 209–225).

Todeva, E., & Cenoz, J. (Eds.). (2009). The multiple realities of multilingualism: Personal narratives and researchers’ perspectives. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter

Todeva, E. & Cenoz, J. (2009). Multilingualism: Emic and Etic Perspectives, in E. Todeva and J. Cenoz, (Eds.) The Multiple Realities of Multilingualism: Personal Narratives and Researchers’ Perspectives, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 2009, pp. 1-33

Todeva, E. (2009). Multilingualism as a kaleidoscopic experience: The mini universes within. In E. Todeva & J. Cenoz (Eds.), The Multiple realities of multilingualism: Personal narratives and researchers’ perspectives. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 53-74

Todeva, E., & Enninger, W. (1991). Practicing English Patterns (a textbook for job applicants and advanced English writers), Plovdiv: Lettera Publishing House.

An English Textbook for Bulgarians (with exercises and key), Naouka i Izkoustvo Publishing House, Sofia, 1991, A. Danchev (Ed.), pp. 490

Lexical Minimum of Scientific English, Ministry of Education Publishing House, Sofia, 1989 A. Danchev (Ed.), pp. 138

English For Bulgarians (a textbook for beginners), Naouka i Izkoustvo Publishing House, Sofia, 1983; second edition, Naouka i Izkoustvo Publishing House, Sofia, 1985, A .Danchev (Ed.), pp.494

Lexical Minimum of English for Bulgarian Learners, Narodna Prosveta Publishing House, Sofia, 1980; second edition, Narodna Prosveta Publishing House, Sofia, 1983, A. Danchev (Ed.), pp. 253


Todeva, E. (1991). A Longitudinal Study of the Bulgarian-English Interlanguage Verbal System, a postdoctoral monograph, in Annuaire de l’Université de Sofia, Faculte des Lettres Classiques et Modernes, livre 2, tome 84, pp. 23-79

Todeva, E. (1985). The English Infinitive and its Bulgarian Functional Equivalents, Ph.D. diss. (um), Sofia, Bulgaria, pp.206

Todeva, E. (1978). English Nomina Agentis in -er, -ar and -or, M.A. thesis, in Annuaire de l’Université de Sofia ‘Kliment Ohridski’, Sofia, Bulgaria, pp.54


Werner, R., & Todeva, E (2022). Plurilingualism and multimodality: The metanoia within reach, TESL Canada Journal /Revue TESL du Canada, vol.38, issue 2, pp. 214-227.

Todeva, E. (2015). Grammaring: An almost holy trinity of genuine communication, playful focus-on-form and demand high pedagogy, in Proceedings of the 8th Foro de Lenguas, Montevideo, Uruguay. Administración Nacional de Educación Pública (ANEP), 61- 70 h

Todeva, E. (2015). Paradigms of enrichment in language and teacher education, in TEC 2015, a British Council Publication, Hyderabad, India

Todeva, E. (2015). Riding the waves and scaling the mountains: ecological approaches to ELT, Proceedings of the 20th NELTA conference, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Todeva, E. (2013). Social, Dynamic, and Complexity Theory Approaches to Second Language Development: entry on Diane Larsen-Freeman, in The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, Carol A. Chapelle (Ed.) Wiley-Blackwell.

Todeva, E. (2013). Grammaring: a personal odyssey perspective, in The Language Teacher, Issue 37.4. Japan

Todeva, E. (2009). The Power of Ps: Prior Knowledge, Pattern Recognition, Projection, and Permeability, in Second Language Acquisition Binder, DLTE, World Learning, 2007-2009, 160-185

Todeva, E. (2006). Scaffolded Reflection, IATEFL Aberdeen Summary

Todeva, E. (2005). Core Grammar, Authenticity, and Brain-Friendly Learning, IATEFL Cardiff Summary

Todeva, E. (2003). Enhancing the Hundred Secret Senses: on scaffolding reflection, in The Language Teacher, v. 27, n.7

Todeva, E. (2000). Discourse Differences and Norm Flouting: on the Translation of Hedging in Academic Writing, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp.15

Todeva, E. (1998). Non-traditional Focus on Form Activities in Japanese EFL Classes: Collaborative Dictoglosses, NUCB Journal of Language Culture and Communication, v. 1, Nagoya, Japan.

Todeva, E. (1997). Capulet and Montague – Reconciled and Ennobled. Recognizing theexistence of a balanced approach within communicative language teaching,Journal of Communication and International Studies, NUCBA, v.1, n.4, 127-135

Todeva, E., & Holmes, B. (1997). Exploring Multimedia in the Language Classroom. Part One: The Role of Microphones in Instructed Language Learning, Journal of Communication and International Studies, NUCBA, v.1, n.4, 119-127

Todeva, E., & Savova, M. (1997). Culture Quest. In A. Fantini (Ed.), New Ways of Teaching Culture, A TESOL Series

Todeva, E. (1997). The Communicative Approach and Grammar Instruction: Ume ni Uguisu, Proceedings of the 14th Annual Hokkaido Language Conference, Sapporo, Japan

Todeva, E. (1997). Sound Advice: Wireless Microphones in the Language Classroom, JALT Conference Proceedings, Japan

Todeva, E. (1996). To Teach or not to Teach – That is not the Question, Journal of Communication and International Studies, NUCBA, v. 3, n. 1, pp. 91-103

Todeva, E. (1992). On Fossilization in (S)LA Theory, In D. Staub and C. Delk (Eds.), Proceedings of the Twelfth Second Language Research Forum, April 2 – 5, 1992, E.Lansing, MI, published in the series Papers in Applied Linguistics – Michigan, pp. 216-255

Todeva, E. (1991). Language Corpora – Problems, Achievements and Perspectives, in Contrastive Linguistics, Sofia, Bulgaria

Todeva, E. (1991). Choosing between the Gerund and the Infinitive in English Verbal Syntagms, in Contrastive Linguistics, v.XVI, N 1, pp. 38 – 52

Todeva, E. (1991). Simplification in the Shaping up of the Learners’ Interlanguage, in N.Boretzki, W.Enninger, Th.Stolz (Eds.), Kontakt und Simplifikation, Universitätsverlag Dr.N.Brochmeyer, Essen, Germany, pp. 193-209

Todeva, E. (1991). Language Change Factors in a Broader Perspective, in N. Boretzki, W.Enninger, B.Jebing, Th.Stolz (Eds.), Sprachwandel und seine Prizipien, Uversitätsverlag Dr.N.Brochmeyer, Bochum, Germany, pp. 71-85

Todeva, E. (1990). Computer Programs for Foreign Language Teaching, in M. Andonyan et al (Eds.), Collection of Outstanding Papers of Young Researchers, MNP Publishing House, Sofia, Bulgaria

Todeva, E. (1990). On the Necessity of Having a Correction in the Existing Grammatical Minima of English, in Foreign Language Teaching, v. 4, Sofia, Bulgaria

Todeva, E. (1988). Bulgarian Learners’ Problems with an “Unproblematic” English Construction, in A.Danchev (Ed.), Error Analysis of Bulgarian Learners of English, Narodna Prosveta Publishing House, Sofia, pp. 113-127

Todeva, E. (1988). The Retroactive Infinitive in Modern English, in Annuaire de l’Institut des Etudiants Etrangers, Sofia 88, v. 5, pp. 107-111

Todeva, E. (1988). On the Dynamics of the Verbal Subsystem of the Bulgarian-English Interlanguage, in Collection of Papers Published on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Institute for Foreign Students, Sofia, Bulgaria, pp.S9

Todeva, E. (1983). On the Modality of the English Attributive Infinitive, in Annuaire de l’Institut des Etudiants Etrangers,  v. II, pp. 82-103

Todeva, E. (1983). Compiling an Error Data Bank – Basic Principles and Problems, in Topical Problems of Education, pp. 310-313

Todeva, E. (1982). Some High-frequency English Infinitive Patterns and their Rendition into Bulgarian, in Topical Problems of Translation Theory, UBTI, Sofia, pp. 141-146

Todeva, E. (1982). On Translation and Translation Equivalence, in Contrastive Linguistics and Foreign Language Teaching, v. 4, pp. 253-273

Todeva, E. (1980). Obligatory and Optional Components in Choosing a Translation Equivalent, in Contrastive Linguistics and Foreign Language Teaching, v. 2, pp.167-178

Todeva, E. (1979). The English Infinitive and its Functional Equivalents in Bulgarian, in Contrastive Linguistics and Foreign Language Teaching, v. 1, pp. 97-113

Select Presentations

Todeva, E., & Werner, R. (2021, December 9). Plurilingualism and translanguaging: Pedagogical approaches for empowerment and validation [panel presentation at the Plurilingual Lab at McGill University, Canada]

Turpin, L., & Todeva, E. (2021, December 9). Harmonizing real life trends and educational realities through graduate study. [Conference presentation]. BridgeUNIVERSE Summit, virtual event

Todeva, E. (2021, July 29) Plurilingualism and grammaring [Conference presentation]. ELEVATE Virtual Conference

Todeva, E. (2021, March 30). On mediation and enrichment: The wh-questions of research [Invited presentation for the Ph.D and MA students at OISE, University of Toronto, Canada]

Todeva, E. (2020, March 14). Levels of granularity effects: An Eastern European example [Conference presentation] GURT, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Todeva, E. (2020, rescheduled) Philologia & Paidagōgia: The roots of (E)LT reinvigorated and reimagined [Conference presentation] LIF, Malta

Todeva, E. (2019, April 4) The visual dimensions of language (re)explored [Conference presentation] Liverpool, England

Todeva, E. (2017, November) ELT curriculum development for the 21st century [Invited presentation] Astana, Kazakhstan

Todeva, E. (2017, June) From Roman to Möbius bridges and back: Where are we taking (E)LT next? [Keynote] BETA International Conference. Learning and teaching languages: Creating bridges to the future, Fédération internationale des professeurs de langues vivantes

Todeva, E. (2016, October) Setting the right goals [Keynote] SOFL, Hanoi, Vietnam

Todeva, E. (2015, October) Wanderers or mediated explorers: Ecological approaches to language teaching [Keynote] ANEP, Montevideo, Uruguay

Todeva, E. (2015, February) Paradigms of enrichment in language and teacher education [Keynote] TEC, Hyderabad, India

Todeva, E. (2015, February) Riding the waves and scaling the mountains: Ecological approaches to ELT [Keynote] Kathmandu, Nepal

Todeva, E., & Iams, S. (2014, November) Living corpus: Animating the classroom with language corpora [Conference presentation] NNETESOL

Todeva, E., Kennedy, J., Popovic, R., Burkett, B. & Tannenbaum, E. (2014, March) Experiential learning going digital: Teacher education for the next generation”, TESOL International, Portland, Oregon

Todeva, E. (2013, October) Grammaring: A probe into its theory and practice [Featured Speaker] 39th JALT Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning. Kobe, Japan

Todeva, E. (2013, October) Gifts along the Journey: milestones in ELT [Featured Speaker] 39th JALT Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning. Kobe, Japan

Todeva, E. (2013, July) Jokes, Applied Linguistics, and ELT– “these are all made out of the same stuff [Invited public lecture] New School Speaker Series, New York, NY

Todeva, E., Tannenbaum, E., Turpin, L., Giddens, K., & Popovic, R. (2013, March) The Seven (st)ages of a teacher [Conference presentation] TESOL Annual Convention, Dallas, Texas

Todeva, E., Kennedy, J., Conley, L., Burkett, B., & Tannenbaum, E. (2013, March) Humanizing online teaching: A new low residency MATESOL program [Conference presentation] TESOL Annual Convention, Dallas, Texax

Todeva, E. (2012, October) FUN theory, art synthesis and other language learning boosters: Applied SLA [featured speaker] KOTESOL International Convention, Seoul, South Korea

Todeva, E., Burkett, B., & Turpin, L. (2012, May) Achieving more encompassing and sustainable language revitalization through combining global goals with local objectives [Conference presentation] Language Revitalization in the 21 Century, New York, NY

Todeva, E. (2012, April) Grammaring – unpacking the concept [Invited virtual webinar] TESOL International

Todeva, E. (2012, March) Native language and community revitalization: Untapped resources for English teaching [Conference presentation] 46th Annual TESOL Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Todeva, E. (2010, September) De la supervisión a la SUPERvisión: On scaffolded reflection [Keynote] 2o. Congreso Regional de Enseñanza en Lenguas, Mexico City, Mexico

Todeva, E. (2010, August) Languages lost and found – A new role for language educators [Conference presentation] Fostering Multicultural Competence and Global Justice, World Learning, Brattleboro, Vermont

Todeva, E. (2010, July) Common myths around learning and teaching [Invited public lecture] Kamenitsa Learned Society, Velingrad, Bulgaria

Todeva, E., & Morule, N. (2009, May) Learners as anthropologists: An untapped (re)source [Conference presentation] MATSOL Annual Conference, Leominster, Massachusetts

Todeva, E. (2007, October) A Two-way student/teacher learning: The equalizing and energizing power of ELF. KOTESOL, Seoul, South Korea

Todeva, E. (2007, October) Engaged pedagogy and empowerment as maximized learning [Keynote] The 15th Korea TESOL International Conference, Seoul, South Korea

Todeva, E. (2007, April) Scaffolded reflection [Conference presentation] IATEFL 41st Annual Conference, Aberdeen, Scotland

Todeva, E. (2007, February) Learning styles and multiple intelligences [Invited lecture] Centre for Gestalt Studies, Veracruz, Mexico

Todeva, E. (2006, April). Interesting choices and untapped potential: What and who we teach [Conference presentation] IATEFL 40th Annual Conference, Harrogate, England

Todeva, E. (2005, May) ELF and the concept of core language – shortcuts and the core to periphery progression [Workshop as part of the May 24 Honorary Series] University of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria

Todeva, E. (2005, April). Core grammar, authenticity, and brain-friendly learning [Conference presentation] IATEFL 39th Annual Conference, Cardiff, Wales

Todeva, E. (2005, January) Suggestopedia, authenticity, and brain-friendly teaching [Invited lecture] Quito, Ecuador

Todeva, E. (2004, April) To Russia (Vygotsky) with love: A diachronic co-construction [Conference presentation] IATEFL 38th Annual Conference, Liverpool, England

Todeva, E. (2004, February) An overview of the ELT and SLA field [Invited lecture] College of Micronesia, Pohnpei, Micronesia

Current Research Interests

Complex dynamic systems theory
Level of granularity in research
Teacher cognition
Plurilingual pedagogy
Pattern recognition and brain friendly learning and teaching


  • PhD, Applied Linguistics, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • MA, English Philology, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
  • BA, Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpretation, University of Sofia, Bulgaria
Elka Todeva, PhD

SIT Graduate Institute

Professor Emerita

EdD in Global Education

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