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

  • SLAT Webinar Series: Alternative Academic Careers

    October 22, 2020 4:30 pm-5:30 pm at Zoom

    Panelists: Dr. Joel Muraco, Dr. Angel Steadman (SLAT Alum), Dr. Kara McBride (SLAT Alum), Stefan Vogel (6th-year SLAT Student)

    Moderator: Mariana Centanin Bertho (SLATSA Officer)

    Zoom link TBA

    Panelist Bios
    Dr. Joel Muraco is a Ph.D. Career Counselor at the University of Arizona Graduate Center, and he is here to answer questions about and provide support for your non-academic job search.

    Dr. Angel Steadman is a recent SLAT alum, graduating from the SLAT program in Spring 2020. In addition to academic work, Angel is a Pedagogical Content Editor with Duolingo. Previously, she applied academic skills to positions in communications and corporate training.   

    Dr. Kara McBride graduated from SLAT in 2007. She was an Associate Professor of Spanish at St. Louis University, and since 2016 she has been working with the NGO World Learning on educational development projects.

    Stefan Vogel is a 6th year student in SLAT, specializing in administration, leadership, and teacher professionalization in L2 writing context. He has held various service, admin, and leadership positions, including in SLATSA, the University of Arizona Writing Program, and AAAL’s Graduate Student Council. 

  • Dissertation Proposal Workshop

    November 7, 2020 9:00 am-11:00 am at Zoom

    Information Session on how to write your Dissertation Proposal. Target audience is 2nd and 3rd Year SLAT Students, but students at all levels are welcome!

    Presenter: Dr. Julieta Fernandez

    Email to get the Zoom link.

  • SLAT Webinar Series: State of Online Teaching in Applied Linguistics

    November 12, 2020 4:30 pm-5:30 pm at Zoom

    Panelists: Dr. Betul C. Czerkawski, Dr. Migdalia E. Rodriguez-Rosales (SLAT Alum), Dr. Nicole Schmidt (SLAT Alum), Veronica Oguilve (Current SLAT Student)

    Moderator: Rachel Floyd (SLATSA Officer)

    Panelist Bios
    Dr. Betul C. Czerkawski is a Professor of Instructional Design and Technology at the College of Applied Science & Technology at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include learning design, emerging technologies and EFL.

    Dr. Migdalia E. Rodriguez-Rosales graduated from SLAT in 2016. She is a full-time professor of the BA in ELT at Universidad de Sonora in Mexico. Her main interests are online learning, internationalization in higher education and materials design. 

    Dr. Nicole Schmidt is a recent SLAT alum, graduating in Spring 2020. She currently works as an Instructional Designer in the Office of Digital Learning at the University of Arizona.

    Veronica Oguilve is a 3rd year student in SLAT. Her research interests revolve around the integration of technology into the classroom, new approaches to learning that include digital literacy, equity and makerspace education.

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