Paolo Infante, Ph.D.

Associate Professor | TESOL

Address: 307F Armstrong Hall (AH 307F)
Phone: 507-389-5505


  • Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Second Language Education) from Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • M.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto
  • B.A. in Italian from the University of Toronto


A native of Toronto, Infante has investigated second language (L2) development within different educational contexts through three primary areas of scholarship. He has conducted classroom research that examines Vygotskian Sociocultural Theory and its use as a basis for L2 education through frameworks such as Dynamic Assessment, Mediated Development, and Concept-Based Instruction. In a related line of inquiry, he has studied how Cognitive Grammar theory can be applied to the design of ESL teaching materials and to the preparation of future ESL educators, especially in the teaching of English grammar and vocabulary. More recently, he has been involved in classroom-based studies of teacher discursive practices that promote more equitable science learning opportunities for emergent bilingual learners in dual language educational settings. His work has appeared in several edited collections as well as journals such as TESOL Quarterly, The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language and Sociocultural Theory, and Language, Culture and Social Interaction. Prior to becoming a professor and teacher educator, Infante served as an ESL teacher at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

Recent Publications:

Infante, P., & Poehner, M. E. (2021). Alex, the toolmaker: Tool-and-result activity in the L2 learning context. Linguistics and Education, 63,

Infante, P., & Poehner, M. (2019). Realizing the ZPD in second language education: The complementary contributions of Dynamic Assessment and Mediated Development. Language and Sociocultural Theory, 6(1), 63-91.

Poehner, M.E., Infante, P. (2019). Mediated Development and the internalization of psychological tools in second language (L2) education. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 22, DOI: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.100322

Poehner, M. E., Infante, P., & Takamiya, Y. (2018). Mediational processes in support of learner L2 writing development: Individual, peer, and group contexts. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology17(1), 112-132.

Infante, P. & Licona, P. (2018). Translanguaging as pedagogy: Developing learner scientific discursive practices in a bilingual science middle school classroom. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2018.1526885

Infante, P. (2018). Mediated Development: Promoting learner internalization of L2 concepts through cognitive-process focused activities. In J.P. Lantolf, M.E. Poehner, & M. Swain (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Development. New York: Routledge

Poehner, M. E., & Infante, P. (2017). Mediated Development: A Vygotskian approach to transforming second language learner abilities. TESOL Quarterly, 51(2), 332-357.

Poehner, M. & Infante, P. (2016). Dynamic Assessment in the language classroom. In D. Tsagari & J. Banerjee (Eds), Handbook of Second Language Assessment, (pp.275-290).Boston: De Gruyter.

Torch end