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Entering Class of 2010

imagesZachary Brooks

My name is Zachary S. Brooks and prior to coming to SLAT I had other “lives.” Most recently I earned an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston (Most Outstanding Student), won 7 medals at the U.S. Transplant Games, have taught at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles, appeared in 38 independent films, worked at a VeriSign, a successful Silicon Valley startup (110themployee), established a youth exchange program between the U.S. and Germany, played soccer overseas and founded, a blog that provides information on linguistics programs offering PhDs. My research interests include: visual linguistics – studying the visual processing of orthographic and non-orthographic symbols; literacies – looking at the foundation of all literacies and media literacy; acquisition – how the acquisition of speech acts comport with the acquisition of morphemes; and pragmatics – pragmatics in second language acquisition. I am currently a Graduate Associate in Teaching – Department of English, teaching English composition to native and non-native speakers of English.

bonnieholmesslat-200x267Bonnie Christina Holmes

I am a PhD student (2010 – present) in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT).  My interests are L2 processes, pedagogy and L2 use as well as the effects of study abroad on L2 acquisition.  I hold an MA in Spanish from Middlebury College (the Madrid campus), and an MA in Spanish Linguistics from Penn State University.  I currently teach Span 102 and have previously taught both abroad in Spain at a bilingual grade school in Alcalá de Henares, and in the US at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute as well as at Penn State, where I also served as the content coordinator for Spanish 002.   My research interests include Spanish L2 sentence processing/lexical access and the acquisition of L2 pragmatics. 

lemus-200x150Linda Rafaela Lemus

Hola, yo soy Linda Lemus. I started the PhD SLAT Program Fall 2010 and I am specializing in second language (L2) pedagogy and use.  Some of my interests include L2 and L3 pragmatic acquisition and mobile gaming.  I received my Master’s Degree in Spanish Linguistics from the  University of New Mexico, where I also taught Spanish as a Second Language. Here at the U of A I will be teaching Spanish as a Heritage Language. I have also taught English to 2nd graders in Spain, as well as to adults in California. I hope to keep acquiring knowledge and finding new interests.


mattix-200x150Jessica E Mattix (

My name is Jessica E. Mattix and I joined the SLAT program in the fall of 2010.  After having spent almost eight years teaching EFL and Russian in Kazakhstan, I returned to the US to pursue an MA in Russian.  My research interests are in pedagogy, primarily materials design, however I have also done work with global simulation.  I am involved in questions of how people learn and teach Russian and how materials and curriculum can be developed to enhance language acquisition.   


pic2Merica McNeil

My name is Merica McNeil.  I completed my Master’s degree in Second Language Studies with a focus in Language Teaching at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. In the SLAT program, I am specializing in the L2 Pedagogical Theory area. I am also interested in technology, study abroad programs, teacher education, intercultural communication, and assessment. I love learning, especially languages; I speak French, German, and Spanish, in addition to English. I have enjoyed teaching in France, Switzerland, Austria, England, Thailand, Japan, and Hawai’i. I agree with W. B. Yeats, who said, “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”

deniseosbornepic-200x150Denise M Osborne

My area of interest is second language acquisition, especially the acquisition of second language sounds by adult learners.  I am interested in investigating the interlanguage phonology of Portuguese Brazilian speakers of English, as well as the acquisition of Portuguese as a second language.
I am also interested in the teaching of English and Portuguese as second languages. I have taught English and Portuguese in Brazil and in the United States.  My interest in language encompasses other aspects of language study, such as the use of language in context by first and second language speakers. 
I also enjoy writing! I am a regular contributor to the op-ed page of Clarim, a weekly newspaper published in Araxá, Brazil.
Since Fall/2010, I have been a Ph.D. student and teach Portuguese at the UofA. I live in Tucson with my husband, Jim, and Oscar (our cat)!
My website is :

piskulacroppedprofilepic-200x163Glen A Piskula

Greetings! Originally, I’m from southeast Wisconsin, which is known for its green fields, delicious cheese, cold weather, and warm people. That is where my interest in other languages and cultures began. I studied Japanese intensively for three years at UW-Whitewater before partaking in a study abroad to the Kansai region of Japan. I returned in 2003 to graduate with a BA in English Literature. Soon after, my career in teaching began in Madison, Wisconsin, where I got certified to teach ESL/EFL to non-native speakers.  Since that time I have taught English conversation in Japan through the JET Program, English composition to students attending the University of Arizona, and everything in between at the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL). Presently, I am the coordinator of their Evening Program, so if you’re interested in observing classes of language learners, I welcome you!  My research interests include discourse analysis and Japanese-English socio-linguistics.  Personally, I enjoy golf, mountain climbing, and collecting wine.  I look forward to spending time with all of you in this fantastic program!