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University of Pittsburgh


Stephen Luft


Advisor for Chinese and Japanese Majors


Office Location

110B Old Engineering Hall
Phone: 412-648-0848
Fax: 412-624-3458

Office Hours

Spring 2015: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Other times by appointment.

Areas of Interests

I find teaching and learning Japanese to be both immensely challenging and immensely rewarding. The challenge of teaching and learning a foreign culture, where using vocabulary and grammar well is the tip of the iceberg, I find fascinating. I try to instill in students a greater understanding of their own culture as well as Japanese culture in all my teaching.

In regard to research interests, I am interested in East Asian second language acquisition and second language pedagogy. Specifically, I am interested in what students do outside of class to study the language and how their out-of-class study efforts might be made more effective. I am also interested in how assessment, particularly daily grading, affects students’ language learning inside and outside the classroom.

Courses taught

First Year Japanese: Fall, 2013

Fourth Year Japanese: Fall, 2013

First Year Japanese: Spring, 2014

Pragmataics of Japanese: Spring, 2014

Third Year Japanese: Fall, 2014

Fourth Year Japanese: Fall, 2014


  • Ph.D., Japanese language pedagogy, 2014, The Ohio State University

  • M.A., Japanese language pedagogy, 2007, The Ohio State University

  • B.A., Japanese, 2005, Brigham Young University

Conference Presentations

Luft, S. D. (March 2013). How reliable is daily grading? An investigation of the inter-rater reliability of daily grades assigned by trained teachers. Paper presented at the American Association of Teachers of Japanese Annual Spring Conference, San Diego, California.

Luft, S. D. (September 2012). Japanese language learners’ preparation for class: Case studies in a performed culture-based program. Paper presented at the 61st Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, Kalamazoo, Michigan.