Bachelor of Arts, Carleton College, 1953; Master of Arts in English and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, 1955; Doctor of Education, Columbia University, 1966.
Teacher, Clara City and Pine Island High Schools, Minnesota, 1955-1960; teacher, American School of Tangier, Morocco, 1960-1962; teacher, Katrineholm Allmanna Laroverk, Katrineholm, Sweden, 1962-1963; teacher, East Asian Library, Columbia University, New York City, 1963-1964; assistant instructor, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1964-1966; instructor, U. Punjab, Chandigarh, India, summer 1966; instructor, Pontificia Universidad Catolica Del Peru, Lima, 1966-1967; consultant, Instituto Linguistico de Verano, Lima, 1967-1968; assistant professor linguistics, U. Pittsburgh, 1969-1975; professor, U. Pittsburgh, since 1975; assistant director English Language Institute, U. Pittsburgh, 1969-1970; director English Language Institute, U. Pittsburgh, 1970-1997; acting director Language Acquistion Institute, U. Pittsburgh, fall 1971; acting department chairman general linguistics, U. Pittsburgh, 1974-1975; chairman, U. Pittsburgh, 1975-1989. Appointed international advisor in sociolinguistics to Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1997.
Member Association Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Langs. (2d vice president, convention, chairman 1972, Executive Committee 1972-1975, research committee 1973-1975, 78-80, Chairman.1973-1975, 1st vice president 1975, president 1976), Linguistics Society American (committee linguistics public interest 1973-1977), International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, American Council on Teaching of Foreign Langs., Modern Language Association (Executive Committee language and society 1975-1976), Center Applied Linguistics (trustee 1976-1981, Executive Committee 1980, publications committee 1981, research committee 1981), Eastern Competitive Trailriding Association.
Married Rolland G. Paulston, July 26, 1963 (deceased January 2006). Children: Christopher-Rolland, Ian Rollandsson.