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: Research Tools and Procedures in Applied Linguistics

    January 28, 2021 4:30 pm-5:30 pm at Zoom

    Panelists: Dr. Janet Nicol (UA faculty), Dr. Blaine Smith (UA faculty), Dr. Borbala Gaspar (SLAT Alum), Lauren Harvey (Current SLAT Student)

    Moderator: Hanyu Jia (2nd-year SLAT student)

    Panelist Bios
    Dr. Janet Nicol is a Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and Psychology, and in the Cognitive Sciences program at the University of Arizona. Earlier in her life, she received a BA in Linguistics and a Masters Degree in Human Communication Disorders (both from McGill University), and a PhD in Brain and Cognitive Sciences (from MIT). She has been conducting experimental research on language production and comprehension for over 30 years. More recently, she has been exploring factors that may optimize word learning in a second or foreign language.

    Dr. Blaine Smith is an Associate Professor of New Literacies and Bi/Multilingual Immigrant Learners in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona.

    Dr. Borbala Gaspar is a SLAT alum and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Arizona. Her main research interests include agency, learners' imagination and FL pedagogy (project-based learning, literacy, social justice).

    Lauren Harvey is a 5th-year PhD candidate in SLAT. Her research focuses on second language writing and curriculum design.

    Please email for the Zoom information.

  • SLATSA Roundtable

    February 6, 2021 8:00 am-5:00 pm at Zoom

    More details to be shared soon...

    Please also look at for additional information and registration.

  • WSIP Workshop: Synthesizing and Integrating Sources

    February 12, 2021 10:00 am-11:00 am at Zoom

    WSIP workshops provide participants with a review of academic standards related to the central topic, exercises to apply tools and strategies in their own writing, and discussion of pressing questions about the writing process. This workshop will focus on balancing the use of quotes with your own voice, evolving your writing from summative to analytical, and bringing multiple sources into the conversation. Target audience: SLAT PhD students from the University of Arizona. Please email if you're interested in attending.

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