Second Language Acquisition and Teaching

Director’s MessageLatest News

Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona!  SLAT is home to some of the most innovative and creative work around teaching multiple languages to multiple types of students in multiple contexts.  We hope you will find resources throughout this site to explore opportunities to apply to study with us or to start a collaborative research partnership or engagement initiative with us.

Being an interdisciplinary program at the University of Arizona means that our work reaches across traditional boundaries of all types and that organizationally, we are associated with five colleges at the UA.  Our faculty are more than 90 in number and bring expertise from more than 19 academic departments, many of which are nationally ranked.  Across our cohorts, our students hail from all over the world and the U.S. Admission to our program is highly competitive as we work to maintain small class sizes and a strong advisory support system with each student having two faculty mentors and a faculty advisor. 

The SLAT Ph.D. program is designed to provide rigorous advanced training for researchers, teacher-researchers, and administrators whose interests lie in second language acquisition and applied linguistics. Our students choose from a range of majors in Instructional, Linguistic, Cognitive, and Sociocultural Dimensions and a minor in these areas or in Language Program Administration or Technology and Second Language Teaching.  We offer graduate certificate programs as well.  Additionally, our students have access to numerous professional development resources, research lectures, and a network of alumni.  Our program diversity allows students to create a meaningful, individual pathway to their chosen future careers. 

Our students graduate with the expertise that will allow them to make invaluable contributions to students and research in Applied Linguistics.   Since our start in 1990, the SLAT program has graduated almost 600 students who have gone on to become leaders in their discipline, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Graduates regularly place into tenure-track academic careers and teaching positions as well as into innovative careers in non-profit development work, governmental positions, publishing work, and even corporate cutting-edge educational technological careers. 

I invite you to explore this website.  For a quick reference, you may download our SLAT PhD Program brochure. I encourage you to reach out to us by emailing your questions and ideas to SLAT’s program coordinators, Dr. Kelley Merriam-Castro and Debbie Shon or to me.

Suzanne Panferov Reese, Ph.D.

Chair, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Associate Specialist Professor, Public and Applied Humanities


SLAT Newsletters

Access current and past newsletters here

New SLAT Students

The Fall 2020 Incoming SLAT Cohort

SLAT Colloquium Speaker Series

SLAT Colloquium Speaker Series 2020-2021.

SLAT Webinars and Workshops

2020-2021 SLAT Webinar and Workshop schedule

  • Dr. Kate Paesani - SLAT Colloquium Speaker Series

    April 16, 2021 4:00 pm-5:00 pm at Zoom

    Title of talk: Multiliteracies Curriculum Design: Challenges and Opportunities

    Dr. Paesani is (Ph.D., Indiana University) is Director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on literacy-based curriculum and instruction and foreign language teacher development, couched within the frameworks of multiliteracies pedagogy and sociocultural theory.

    To register for the colloquium, please email

  • SLAT Writing Efficiency Session (WES)

    April 19, 2021 9:30 am-11:30 am at Zoom

    Would you like to be a more productive writer? If you areworking on an intensive writing project like a dissertation, journal article,or grant proposal, and you would like to increase your writing productivity,consider joining one of SLAT’s upcoming Writing Efficiency Sessions (WES) for current University of Arizona SLAT students and SLAT minors.

     SLAT’s WES will be held on Zoom starting Monday, March15th from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. There will be a WES each Monday morningthrough the rest of the Spring 2021 semester, with the last WES happening onMay 17th. UA SLAT students and minors are welcome to attend each week, or every other week, or even oncea month depending on your schedule. You can attend an entire session or part ofa session, as well, depending on your schedule. The goal is to give you anaccountability group that creates a safe and regularly scheduled session towrite on a project of your own choosing.

     The first part of the session is set up to have timedwriting blocks with short breaks, followed by a short discussion aimed athelping you improve your writing productivity. The last part of the session isunstructured writing. Two UA SLAT students, Rachel Floyd and Sophie Park, will beco-facilitators for the sessions (in addition to working on their own writing).

    UA SLAT Students and Minors, if you're interested in joining, please make sure to register ahead of time here: Zoom link will be sent to you in a confirmation email after you register.

    And remember thatthe Graduate Center holds WES throughout the semester as well. You can findsessions through their website:

     If you have any questions about the SLAT WES, please email 

  • SLAT Webinar Series: Maximizing Mentoring

    April 22, 2021 4:30 pm-5:30 pm at Zoom

    Panelists: Dr. Sonja Lanehart (UA faculty), Dr. Autumn Witt (SLAT Alum), Natalie Amgott (Current SLAT Student), Amable Custodio Ribeiro (Current SLAT Student)

    Moderator: Onur Ural (1st-year SLAT student)

    Panelist Bios
    Dr. Sonja Laneheart is a Professor of Linguistics and Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. Her scholarship focuses on language use in African American communities; language and identity; and sociolinguistics from Black Feminisms and CRT perspectives.

    Dr. Autumn Witt is a 2010 SLAT alum and Assistant Dean of the College of Education and Director of Field Placements at Northwest University. Dr. Witt previously served as the founding director of the Center for English Language Education at Northwest University. 

    Natalie Amgott is a 4th-year PhD candidate in SLAT and teaches French and ESL. Her dissertation focuses on the implementation and evaluation of French curricula.

    Amable Custodio Ribeiro is a 2nd-year PhD student in SLAT and a graduate teaching associate at the University of Arizona. As part of SLAT, she is a member of the SLAT Student Association and works as a mentor for the SLAT-CESL Visiting Scholars Program. Her research interests involve teacher education, mentoring, and identity in second language teaching/learning.

    Please email for the Zoom information.

CONTACT OUR OFFICE : 520-621-7391

1103 E. 2nd Street Harvill 241 Tucson, AZ 85721-0076

Suzanne Panferov Reese

Suzanne Panferov Reese

SLAT Chair

Kelley Merriam Castro

Kelley Merriam Castro

Program Coordinator, Sr.

Debbie Shon

Debbie Shon

Program Coordinator




Doctoral Students