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2021 Arabic Instructors
ELEMENTARY ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
Following his PhD in Comparative Literature at Damascus University, Haidar Khezri has taught Kurdish/Sorani, Persian/Farsi, and Arabic at universities in Iran, Syria, Turkey, and the US. In 2019, he became the University of Central Florida’s first Assistant Professor of Arabic, a key role for building the university’s capacity to teach Middle Eastern languages and cultures.
INTERMEDIATE ARABIC INSTRUCTOR
May George holds a doctoral degree in teacher education from the University of Arizona with a focus on 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.
2021 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
Kaveh Niazi holds graduate degrees in applied physics and history of science. He is an instructor of mathematics, physics, and Arabic at Stanford Online High School in Redwood City, California. His research interests include pre-modern scientific texts in Persian and Arabic. He taught at the APTLII program in 2014, 2015, and 2017.
ADVANCED PERSIAN INSTRUCTOR
Mohamad Esmaili-Sardari is Academic Coordinator of the Middle Eastern Languages Program (Arabic and Persian) at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Washington, DC). Since 1998, he has taught Persian and Spanish at Georgetown University, Middlebury College, the Catholic University of America, the Middle East Institute, Diplomatic Language Services, and most recently the University of Maryland’s Roshan Center for Persian Studies. In 2005, he received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Catholic University of America. He is the author of several articles and book chapters on current perspectives and future directions of the teaching of Persian as a foreign language. His textbook “Persian in International Relations and Foreign Policy: A Content-Based Approach” is forthcoming.
2021 Turkish Instructors
ELEMENTARY TURKISH INSTRUCTOR
Yao-Kai Chi earned his Ph.D. degree 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 the 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
Tuğba Yıldırım works as a Lecturer in Turkish in APTLI. She holds her BA in English Language Teaching, and her MA in Turkish Language Education. She is pursuing her doctoral studies in Educational Sciences PhD Program at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. She is a scholar of “Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program (University of North Dakota, 2012), Grundtvig Program: The Creative Classroom (Europass Teacher Academy, Florence, Italy, 2014) and Fulbright FLTA Program (Brown University, 2015-2016)”. Prior to the University of Wisconsin- Madison, she worked for Brown University, TED Istanbul College and American Culture Language Schools. She is currently teaching English in the Preparatory Program, and Turkish as a foreign language in the Modern Languages Program in a private university in İstanbul. In addition to teaching languages, she is leading professional development sessions on the topics of “Educational Technology” and “Art Integration” for language instructors. Her academic interests and studies include “Art Integration in Foreign Language Teaching, Educational Technology, and Global Learning”.
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.