I teach courses in English for academic purposes to international graduate students, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I also teach an undergraduate course in teaching spoken English. I have developed a course in Language and Culture in Silicon Valley for the summer 2014 session.

My teaching focuses on acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful as a graduate student and professional in the United States and other Anglophone environments. I am interested in helping students to develop extra-curricular communicative skills, focusing on the cultural literacy necessary to produce professional documents like cover letters, CVs, and resumes.

I earned my PhD in 2013 from the University of Pittsburgh in Linguistics. My dissertation examined homonormativity and language use of Black and white gay men in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Research Interests

Critical Pedagogy: I strive to create open environments where students can explore themselves, their environments, and language. To that end, I am interested in that ways that ESL/EFL curricula reinforce existing hegemonies of race, sex, nationalism, sexuality, ability, etc. as well as ways to address these issues in the classroom and with students in a non-confrontational and collaborative way.

Learner Identity: Many people have addressed the question of learner identity and its effect on the language learning process. In my classroom, I attempt to explore students' internal and external motivations, their attitudes toward English and their need for it, and how their myriad personal identities come to bear on these phenomena.

Language and Sexuality: I have investigated the connections between language and identity, specifically the way that sexuality affects speech production and interaction. Turning to the English classroom, I wonder about what roles, if any, gay ways of speaking play in non-native speakers' production and perception of language.

Language Attitudes: Having previously examined some of the connections between language and ethnicity, I am further interested in the ways that ethnicity and race influence the perception of speakers' English language competency. Heritage speakers face additional challenges due to cultural expectations of language ability that they may or may not possess.

Other Broad Research Interests: language policy and planning, language maintenance and shift, and language and the law.

Contact Info

Feel free to email me if you have questions, would like to collaborate, or just want to say hello.