Susan J. Behrens

  • Susan Behrens, Ph.D.


Professor and Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders





Susan J. Behrens holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Brown University. At Brown, and later as a research associate at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (NY) and Cambridge University (UK), Susan conducted research on the processing of language and its neural connections. At MMC, Susan is Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and teaches courses in linguistics and sociolinguistics. She is the chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is also the director of the MMC Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence.

Her textbooks include An Introduction to Speech Science (with Jack Ryalls; Allyn and Bacon, 2000), Grammar (Routledge 2010), Language in the Real World (with Judith Parker, Routledge, 2010), Understanding Language Use in the Classroom (Multilingual Matters, 2014), and an expanded/enhanced version of Understanding Language Use (2018).


B.A., Queens College of the City University of New York
M.A., Brown University
Ph.D., Brown University

Recent Work


Grammar: A Pocket Guide. 2010. Routledge.

Language in the Real World: An Introduction to Linguistics. 2010. Co-edited with Judith A. Parker, Routledge.

Understanding Language Use in the Classroom: A Linguistic Guide for College Educators. 2014. Multilingual Matters.

Understanding Language Use in the Classroom: Including Teaching Materials for College Educators. 2018. Multilingual Matters.


The Three Rs: Representation of Language in College, Reality of Language, and Realignment of Expectations. Director and Producer: Plaster Bear Productions.

Selected Articles and Reviews:

Behrens, S. J. & Fernández, E. M. (2020). Linguistically informed pedagogy in higher education: A role for teach- ing and learning centers. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 31(2), 143-160.

Behrens, S.J., Gomez, A., & Krimgold, J. (2019). Spelling counts: The educational gatekeeping role of grading rubrics and spell check programs. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, 7-20.

Behrens, S.J. 2018. Spring Garden. A review. Names, A Journal of Onomastics.

Behrens, S.J. 2017. Review of “Name Therapist,” by Duana Taha. A review. Names, A Journal of Onomastics.

Behrens, S.J. et al. 2016. I know it when I see it: Uncovering college student-

educator expectations about academic writing. Writing & Pedagogy.

Behrens, S.J. 2014. English Pronouns Revealed: A Meta-discussion of the English Pronoun System. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education 30 (2), 91-95.

Behrens, S.J. December 2013. A Note on “The Bell Jar” (1963). Names, A Journal of Onomastics 61(4), 273-277.

Behrens, S.J. Summer 2013. Review of Teaching and Researching Language and Culture, 2nd ed. 2012. Joan Hall Kelly. Teaching American Speech 88 (2), 247-253.

Behrens, S.J. and Mercer, C. Fall 2011. Syntactic Boundaries and the Mechanics of Academic Written English. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education 28 (1), 50-56.

Behrens, S.J. and Mercer, C. Spring 2011. The Ambiguous Nature of Bilingualism and its Ramifications for Writing Instruction. NADE Digest 5 (2), 11-22.

Behrens, S.J. Fall 2010. Using Naming Practices in the Developmental English Classroom. Research and Teaching in Developmental Education 27 (1), 32-36.


Student and professor expectations of academic English.

Conversational analysis of student-teacher/tutor meetings.

Linguistics and grammar as a pedagogical tool.


Courses offered:

Introduction to Linguistics

Analyzing the Structure of English across Genres


Speech and Hearing Science

The Sound of Your Voice: General Education Upper Division

Language and Culture: General Education Upper Division

Professional Experience

Director: Marymount Manhattan College Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (C-TIE)

Associate: Institute for Writing and Thinking, Bard College, NY

Free-lance Contributor: The New York Times in Education

Summer Instructor: Columbia University, High School Program and Internship in Building Community


Carson Hall, Room 706J


Susan Behrens, Ph.D.