Who's Who Top Educators

Numa Markee, PhD

Title: Emeritus Associate Professor and Emeritus Research Professor
Company: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Location: Champaign, Illinois, United States

Numa Markee, PhD, emeritus associate professor and emeritus research professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in linguistics.

Celebrating over 40 years of experience in academia, Dr. Markee retired as an emeritus associate professor from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s department of linguistics in 2018. He was also honored as an emeritus research professor in 2024. Despite retiring, he maintains a full-time research program and is working on several articles. Dr. Markee also currently serves as an English language specialist for the U.S. Department of State, where he helped organize a conference for English language teaching in Thailand. He assists in reviewing scholarly journals and evaluating professors who are applying for tenure or promotion at the University of Illinois. 

Dr. Markee’s time with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign dates to 1988, when he began as an associate professor. Prior to that, he gained experience teaching English internationally. Dr. Markee accepted the role of a key English language teaching officer and lecturer at the British Council in Sudan. His first position in education came as an assistant professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1980.

The success that Dr. Markee has demonstrated was made possible by his own strong academic foundation. He earned a bachelor’s degree in French and Italian from University College London in 1975. Dr. Markee moved to the United States to complete a master’s degree in English as a second language at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1979. He graduated from the aforementioned university with a PhD in applied linguistics in 1988.

Dr. Markee has received widespread praise for introducing revolutionary new concepts to the field of linguistics. He built a reputation for carefully examining emerging trends in the methods of teaching language and employing qualitative analysis of conversations to study how second languages are learned. Dr. Markee has expounded on his ideas in many studies, book chapters and articles in such publications as the Journal of Pragmatics, Language Learning, and Language Teaching. He has likewise written two books: “Managing Curricular Innovation” in 1997 and “Conversation Analysis” in 2000. 

Dr. Markee’s interest in second language education started at a young age. He attributes his success to his parents’ vocations as diplomats, which exposed him to many languages and cultures as the family traveled to different countries regularly. Due in part to this upbringing, Dr. Markee is fluent in four languages and has beginner proficiency in one additional language. His mastery of multiple languages and experience visiting many regions uniquely positioned him for success in the field of linguistics.

Beyond his primary vocation, Dr. Markee enjoys photography and cooking. Though technically retired, he expects the coming years to operate as a second phase of his career in conversation analysis. Dr. Markee plans to travel extensively with his wife, who is also a linguist, and is particularly interested in going on a safari in Africa with his camera gear. In addition to entering photography contests and curating a collection of landscape pictures, he is also writing an autobiography titled “Memoirs of a Cultural Mongrel.” Though he’s already made noteworthy contributions to his discipline, Dr. Markee is still pursuing the ambitious goal of fostering a comprehensive understanding of linguistics that can make an impact across other areas of study.

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