He joined the U-M in 1977 as professor of linguistics and director of the English Language Institute. He served in the latter position until 1982.
Although his primary appointment was in the English Language Institute, Prof. Selinker was also on the faculty of the Department of Linguistics, where he specialized in second language acquisition and interlanguage theory, the Regents noted. In recent years, he taught a popular undergraduate course, The Good and Bad Language Learner. He is well known for his paper, Language Transfer, which first appeared in General Linguistics in 1969 and has since been reprinted in a number of other journals and collections.