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Entering Class of 2011

pic2Amani Alageel

Assalamu Alikum, I am Amani Alageel. I started the PhD SLAT program Fall 2011. I am majoring in L2 use and minoring in computational linguistics or technology. I hold a BA in English language and Literature, and an MA in Applied Linguistics. I speak Arabic and English. I have taught EFL for many years and I work as a lecturer at Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. My research interests include the acquisition of L2 pragmatics, internet linguistics, media discourse, computer-mediated communication (CMC), and technology in language learning.


pic2Asma Alsahil (

My name is Asma Alsahil and I am from Saudi Arabia. I received my baccalaureate degree in English Language and literature from Language and Translations College at Imam Mohammed University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In 2008, I earned my first master’s degree in Linguistics from Imam University, Riyadh. I came to the United States right after I graduated. I obtained a second master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 2011, I moved to Tucson with my family. I joined SLAT (Second Language Acquisition and Teaching) at University of Arizona in the Fall 2011. I am pursuing a major in Pedagogy and a minor in L2 use. I have an interest to research topics on integrated technology and multimedia in the classroom. I am also interested in the role of first language on second language learning, and assessment in EFL/ESL classroom.

hawaiispring2011179-238x179Tamara Boyens

I’m originally from Santa Cruz, California, but I have spent the majority of my adult life in other locales. I received my B.S. in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and I completed my M.A. in Applied Linguistics at San Diego State University. I’m interested in the neurological bases of language learning and the applications of computational linguistics in SLA.  My language of focus is Japanese, and I’m particularly fascinated with the processing, teaching, and acquisition of logographic writing systems.

274909507205943957944442nchopped-158x286Kelvin Chong

Nei Hou/ Hello/Ni Hao/ Bonjour/안녕하세요/ Hola/ Buongiorno/مرحباً حالك كيف
My name is Kelvin Chong. I was born, raised and educated in Hong Kong. My L1 is Cantonese; L2 English; L3 Mandarin (I started my L3 learning when I was 20). My primary research interest is to investigate noticing and processing issues, such as determining how learners with different L2 background and proficiency process L2 input, and what the influence of their L1 is on their L2 semantic comprehension and syntactic production. I am also intrigued by the representation and processing of bilingualism. At leisure, I enjoy playing the flute, hiking, traveling, playing basketball, and of course, learning or fostering a language. I am very pleased to be part of the big SLAT family. I will try to make my every day at UA count and look forward to exchanging my thoughts with you both in the classroom and outside classroom.

sansaneep-147x255Sansanee Punyalert

Sawasdee Ka!! My name is Sansanee Punyalert. My nickname is Ying. I come from Thailand. I am a teacher teaching Business English at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. I started the SLAT program in the Fall of 2011 along with enthusiasm to pursue my interests and studies on second language learning and pedagogy.

Based on my belief, present-day students are natural multi-taskers and they innately use technologies to communicate and collaborate with others in the world of diversity, connection, production, and globalization. I have a desire to remodel traditional ways of teaching and learning literacies and communication practices for Thai EFL (English as a foreign language) learners by giving them more opportunities to enhance their communicative competence and new literacies as well as understanding the authentic language use in the real world. Hence, I have diverse interests which include a pedagogy of multiliteracies, digital literacies, game-enhanced learning, communicative competence, task-based language teaching, ESP (English for Specific purposes), genre-based pedagogy, and technology-mediated pedagogy.

img3032-2Stefano Maranzana

I have always been fascinated by languages and the processes involved in its acquisition. Since my childhood I was exposed to different languages and cultures. My father worked for the United Nations Organization so our family lived in numerous countries. Though the family language was Italian, I had to quickly switch from Spanish, to French, to English, and back to Italian, according to the country where we lived and attended school. In a later stage in life I studied in Paris, in Italy and in the USA intensifying my interest and language skills.
I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English and French Literatures at the University of Florence. During that time I had my first experiences teaching Italian at an American study abroad program. I earned my Master’s in Italian Studies at the University of Minnesota, where I furthered my teaching experience as an Italian TA and translator.
I allowed myself a hiatus from academia and returned to Italy to explore a private business venture as Director of Communications, where I utilized my skills for languages and writing while getting acquainted with modern forms of communication and technology. On a personal level, I am an amateur musician, songwriter and singer, which led me to develop a proficiency in digital audiovisual recording and editing.
The SLAT doctoral Program, with its stimulating interdisciplinary approach, has rekindled my interest of language acquisition, learning and teaching. I’m particularly interested in Second Language Pedagogy, with emphasis on technology.

mikesaylepicture-250x260Michael Sayle

I started the SLAT program in 2011 after finishing my MA. in English Language and Linguistics.  Before that I spent a year working in the libraries for TUSD in Tucson while waiting for my family to return from China.  We had lived in Hunan Province, China for five years where I taught composition (among other English skills) to university students.  My B.A. (Religious Studies) and dabbling in Latin and German in high school were what sparked my interest in studying the structure of language.
I have three particular research interests.  My primary interest is second language use of figurative language (specifically, metonymy) in Chinese and English.  Secondarily, I’m interested in what current translation research is applicable within contemporary language learning pedagogy.  And thirdly, I’m interested in motivation research as derived from computer gaming.