Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics and TESOL
Dr. Purnell served in Thailand for 15 years as a linguistic consultant with OMF International after which he taught at William Carey International University for nine years. Dr. Purnell came to Biola in 1991 as professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics and TESOL (ALT) and served as chair of ALT for 12 years. He also served as Director of the Applied Linguistics program from 2003-2005. Dr. Purnell retired from SICS in 2005 and is now Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics and TESOL. His primary areas of research interest have included applied linguistics (lexicography, orthography, literacy, discourse, and second language acquisition/learning/teaching), Southeast Asian linguistics (Thai, Northern Thai, and Iu Mien), and Iu Mien ethnomusicology. Dr. Purnell has been active among the Iu Mien who came to the United States as refugees, guiding them in their development of a new orthography in 1982, and helping them to negotiate a union orthography with Iu Mien in China in 1984. He continues to work with a Thai language school to revise their curriculum and produce new teaching materials.