Richard Donato
Faculty - Department Chairperson

Professor Richard Donato is the Chair of the Department of Instruction and Learning. His research interests include early foreign language learning, language program assessment, sociocultural theory and second language acquisition, the discourse of classroom collaboration, and foreign language teacher education. He teaches courses on current research on foreign and second language learning, Vygotsky and sociocultural theory, and sociocultural approaches to language instruction. He received the Modern Language Journal/ American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Paul Pimsleur award for his published research in 1997 on early language learning and in 2006 on the connection of language learning to literature instruction in university foreign language classes. He has received the Northeast Conference Freeman Award (2004) and the French Institute of Washington Award (2003) for his work on dialogic grammar instruction in foreign language classes. In 2016, he wasthe recipient of the Provost’s award for research mentoring at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2019, he recevied the Pennsylvania State Language Association, Frank Mulhern Award, for leadership.

School Affiliations

Recent Grants

Title XI National Resource Center grant, submitted May 24, 2018. Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research, $134, 385. (funded)

Recent Publications

Glisan, E. & Donato R. (in press to appear Nov 2020) Enacting the Work of Foreign Language Instruction: High Leverage Teaching Practices, Volume II. Alexandria, VA: ACTFL.
Fernandez, L & Donato, R. (in press). Interacting with SCOBAs in a genre-based approach to Italian as a foreign language. Language and Sociocultural Theory.
Richard Donato


University of Pittsburgh
5314 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260