Marilyn Plumlee majored in the teaching of French and German as foreign languages for her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas (USA). She later obtained an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of North Dakota (USA) and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Hawai`i (USA). She has taught a wide variety of language and linguistics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at universities in the U.S., South Korea and Egypt. From 2000-2012 she was a faculty member at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul (South Korea) and from 2012-2018 she was a faculty member of the Department of Applied Linguistics at the American University in Cairo (Egypt).
Serving terms as the national president of the professional association of English language teachers in both Korea and Egypt, she has given invited conference keynote talks and workshops on language learning, foreign language teaching methods and developing inter-cultural communication skills in Korea, Russia, Mongolia, Thailand, and Egypt. In the course of her studies, travel and living in several countries, she has acquired, in addition to her native American English, varying levels of competence in five spoken languages and three sign languages. After arriving in Astana, she plans to begin learning Russian and Kazakh.
She brings this background of her own experience at language learning and in teaching foreign languages and various sub-fields of linguistics along with her experience as writing mentor and thesis supervisor to non-native English-speaking student writers to her role as an instructor in the Writing Center at NU.
Her primary areas of interest and research are multilingualism and language contact phenomena, sign language linguistics, the teaching and learning of second languages and the professional development of language teachers, the use of English as a medium of instruction at the tertiary level, the pragmatics of inter-cultural communication and expressions of identity through language, and discourse analysis using ethnographic methodologies.