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2020 Arabic Instructors
ELEMENTARY ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
Mariam Sabaaalaz has been a language instructor since 2013. She is from Egypt and came to the USA for the first time in 2016 as part of the Fulbright exchange program. Mariam received her master’s degree from UW-Madison, Department of African Culture Studies in 2019. Her focus was on North African media and Education. She loves cooking- especially for friends, watching movies, and exploring new coffee shops (before COVID-19 😒). She is excited for her second round with APTLI.
ELEMENTARY ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
Tarek Ziadna completed his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018, majoring in African Languages and Literature with a minor in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). His research focuses on Arabic (socio)linguistics, Arabic dialectology, language contact/conflict in the Maghreb, Arabic language and culture, SLA, and pedagogy.
Ziadna has over nine years of experience teaching Modern Standard Arabic at beginner through advanced-low levels. He also taught colloquial Algerian Arabic at UW-Madison, which was offered for the first time in the history of his department, and authored an e-textbook manuscript, Introduction to Algerian Arabic, to teach it.
Ziadna received teaching awards including two student-nominated University Housing Honored Instructor awards, consistently excellent teaching evaluations, and positive reports from observers. Ziadna loves writing. He regularly writes journals and diaries, both in English and Arabic, and posts them on his Facebook page. He writes mostly about his hybrid experiences and how he navigates between the various cultures presented by his native Algerian culture(s) and the host culture(s).
INTERMEDIATE ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
May George holds a doctoral degree in teacher education from the University of Arizona with a focus on a bilingual education, curriculum theory design, and language cognition. After receiving her doctorate, she held two prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, an Andrew Mellon Fellowship and a Fredrick Douglas Fellow, to support her continued research on bilingual education. George has teaching experience in higher education nationally and internationally. She has also worked with the United Nation Missions in Kurdistan, Iraq, to educate women. In addition to being a lecturer in Smith college since 2016, she also taught summer courses in APTLI at the University of Wisconsin in 2016, 2017, and 2019 and coordinated and taught Arabic in the Arabic summer program at the University of Chicago in 2018. George’s research interests center on classroom pedagogy, new trends in foreign language teaching in relation to area studies, and communicative approach. She uses different technological tools in teaching. Her research in bilingual education is related to the pedagogy of acquiring a second language, focusing on intentions, culture and cognition.
ADVANCED ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
Salah is an Arabic Lecturer at UW-Madison. He has considerable experience in the field of teaching foreign languages, NGO work, and intercultural exchange programs. He has taught Arabic language and Culture in various universities in the US, Yemen, and Germany. He enjoys working on cultural, educational issues, and his long-term goal is to develop online foreign language programs in high schools and universities in the US.
2020 Persian Instructors
ELEMENTARY PERSIAN INSTRUCTOR
Fatemeh Mirsharifi received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition with an emphasis on Less Commonly Taught Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the past, she has taught Persian at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moreover, she has collaborated on projects with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota as well as the College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT), American Council on Education.
Her research interests include second/foreign language acquisition and pedagogy with emphasis on developing pedagogical materials for the foreign language classroom, motivation in language learning, and the role of learner attitudes in L2 motivation. She also has a passion for educational technology, creating engaging and interactive learning content to ensure a successful instructional experience.
INTERMEDIATE PERSIAN INSTRUCTOR
Reza Falahati is a lecturer of academic language at Leiden University. He has taught a wide range of Persian, English, and (Applied) Linguistics courses in different universities located in Canada, Iran, and the Netherlands. His research interests are mainly L2 speech acquisition, academic writing, and discourse analysis. His research is published by Routledge, Palgrave Macmillan, and in journals such as ESP across Cultures and Journal of the Canadian Acoustical Association. His master’s thesis from the University of Victoria entitled “Contrastive Study of Hedging in English and Farsi Academic Discourse” received the 2005-2006 ISG/SUTA Outstanding Thesis Award by MIT & Sharif University. Reza holds an MA in education (University of Tehran), an MA in (applied) linguistics (University of Victoria), and a PhD in Persian linguistics (University of Ottawa). He also has the experience of working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Italy, SNS, for two years.
ADVANCED PERSIAN INSTRUCTOR
Mohamad Esmaili-Sardari is Academic Coordinator of the Middle Eastern languages program (Arabic and Persian) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Washington, DC). He has taught Persian and Spanish since 1998 at Georgetown University, Middlebury College, Catholic University of America, the Middle East Institute, Diplomatic Language Services, and most recently at the University of Maryland’s Roshan Center for Persian Studies. He has served as Persian linguistics informant at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Catholic University of America in 2005.
2020 Turkish Instructors
ELEMENTARY TURKISH INSTRUCTOR
Yao-Kai Chi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his MA in Translation Studies at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and his BA in Turkish Language and Culture from National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. Prior to his Ph.D. study in Madison, Chi taught Turkish language and culture courses for Taiwanese undergraduate students. He is still currently teaching online Turkish courses for adult learners. Chi is also an amateur translator, publishing his first translated work from Turkish into Mandarin Chinese in 2016. He also collaborated with the faculty of Turkish department in Taiwan to publish a textbook Türkçe Öğreniyoruz II in 2019. Chi believes that learning should connect with personal interests. He emphasizes the creation of a learner-centered environment where students can connect the foreign language learning with their daily lives. His dissertation topic is about learner identity of adult students of Turkish.
INTERMEDIATE TURKISH INSTRUCTOR
Betul Tarhan earned her B.A. in TESOL, M.A. in Turkish as a Second Language, and her initial Ph.D. in foreign language education with a specialization in brain compatible language learning strategies in 2009, and in 2016, she completed her second Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in Educational Policy and Administration with a dissertation entitled, “The Examination of Legal Issues Concerning International and Immigrant Students in the U.S. ”She was awarded the U.S. Institute of International Education Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Georgia in 2007. She is also a graduate of the University of Georgia School Of Law. She has significant and successful experience in research and teaching. She served as an Instructor at Yale University and the University of Georgia.
ADVANCED TURKISH INSTRUCTOR
Soner Sözler (he/his) has been working as a Foreign Language Instructor for Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University School of Foreign Languages since 2006. He holds a BA and MA in Foreign Language Teaching and a PhD in Distance Education from Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey. He has thought English and Turkish in Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University for fifteen years. He has taken part in European projects teaching Turkish to European students. His pedagogical interest lies in Teaching Foreign Languages online, Designing Distance Learning Environments, Flipped Learning and Hybrid Pedagogy.