Second Language Studies/ESL Faculty

Margie Berns

April Ginther

Tony Silva

Second Language Studies/ESL PhD Students

Mariam Alamyar
Mariam Alamyar is a graduate student and TA in English department, ESL program at Purdue University. Her secondary areas are English writing and leadership in Education. Her research interests are English language writing, writing in digital space, writing assessment sociolinguistics, language controversies, curriculum design, and administration in Education. She loves cooking, listening to music, and meeting friends in her free time.

Nawwaf Alhazmi
Nawwaf Alhazmi is a fifth-year PhD student in the Second Language Studies Program in the English Department. His research interests include second language writing and learning transfer, writing assessment, writing program administration and the role errors correction in second language writing acquisition. He teaches introductory writing course for international students as well as business and technical writing courses at 400-level.

Ji-young Shin
Ji-young Shin is a PhD student in the Second Language Studies/ESL program in the English department at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, Ji-young was involved in various professional experiences in the field of English education in South Korea, working as a high school English teacher, textbook writer, national exam writer, national online English writing curriculum developer, etc. Based on her unique professional diversity, Ji-young researches issues in language testing/assessment, corpus linguistics, and their interface within the field of second language acquisition and writing.

Qiusi Zhang
Qiusi Zhang is a first-year Ph.D. student in the SLS program. Her current research interests include language assessment, testing, and L2 writing. Qiusi received both her B.A. in English and M.A. in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Qingdao University, China, with exchange study experiences in the U.S. (University of Central Arkansas and Missouri State University) for a year and a half. With a concentration in translation in graduate school, she collaborated with her advisor and other faculty members and published six translated books.

Before coming to Purdue, Qiusi taught TOEFL test preparation in a private language school in China for around four years, one of the most rewarding experiences in her life. She loves to travel, especially to countries out of China. Visiting one foreign country a year was her dream when she started working, and she made it come true by spending her four annual vacations in Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Korea. As a real foodie, there is literally not one type of food she does not like to eat. Often times she would take the train or even fly to a place merely for the local cuisines. In addition, she has been a fan of music since childhood. She performed at Qingdao University Theater several times, and she always misses the days when working as a theater stagehand at UCA and MSU, which allowed her to observe and enjoy performing arts in a unique and interesting way. Her big vision for the next five years is to study hard, listen to more music, travel more widely, eat a larger diversity of food, and, keep fit.

Kyle Lucas
My name is Kyle Lucas. I am a first year Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies program. I am originally from LeRoy, Michigan. I graduated from Ferris State University with a B.A. in history, Western Michigan University with an M.A. in philosophy, and Northern Arizona University with an M.A. in TESL. Before coming to Purdue, I taught freshman composition at Northern Arizona University. I’ve also taught critical thinking and biomedical ethics courses, and I’ve worked at multiple writing centers in university contexts. My research interests are focused on second language writing. In particular, I am interested in using corpus linguistics to inform the development of pedagogical materials for second language writing in EAP contexts as well as using data-driven learning approaches for second language writing. I am also interested in the relationship between critical thinking and academic writing. Outside of my academic studies, my wife, Sarah, and I love to be with friends and family. We enjoy cooking and good conversation. I also enjoy playing hockey and wood working.

Shyam Pandey
Shyam is a doctoral student in the Second Language Studies Program at Department of English. He graduated from the Minnesota State University, Mankato with an M.A. in TESL and Kathmandu University, Nepal with M.Ed. in ELT. He has taught EFL, EAP, and Introductory Composition to the domestic as well as international students. He has also worked as a writing tutor and ESL Lesion of the Writing Center. Additionally, Shyam has managed a U.S. government sponsored an educational program in Nepal for four and half years. His current research interests lie in writing studies, second language writing, and multimodal pedagogies, World Englishes, and TESOL methods. His hobbies include biking, watching Jimmy Fallon shows, and playing ping pong.

Kenny Tanemura
Kenny Tanemura is a 4th year Doctoral Candidate in Second Language Studies/ESL. He is quite originally from--that is to say, born and raised there--the San Francisco Bay Area, which makes him, to be exact, a 2.5 generation Japanese American. His mother is originally from Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include (God help him), Intercultural Rhetoric, Asian American Rhetoric and--oh saving grace--Second Language Writing. He owns the singular distinction of not having an MA TESOL, for the muses got their proverbial hooks in him too early. However, he is, if not staunchly, and without one iota of misgiving, a dyed-in-the-wool Applied Linguist in the making.

Hadi Banat
Hadi Banat is a Ph.D. student in Second Language Studies at Purdue University. He has taught in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and the US. His research interests are in the intersections between second language writing and composition studies, writing assessment, cross-cultural composition, WAC/WID, and writing center studies. He joined Crow team in 2015 when the project started and is involved in prototyping and development, grant writing, conference planning, and writing research. Working with an active team of graduate students and faculty in both applied linguistics and composition studies has developed his collaboration and leadership skills. He enjoys going to the beach and travelling because the world exists to get explored. His peers in the SLS program has introduced him to Badminton, and he is keen on becoming better at this sport.

Kamal Belmihoub
Kamal is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Second Language Studies/ESL. He is working on a project describing the presence of English in the Maghreb, including surveying attitudes toward the language and examining language bias in a corpus of newspapers written in English. In addition, he teaches two writing classes. His hobbies include cooking, yoga, swimming, and biking.

Tyler Carter
Tyler Carter is a fifth year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric and Composition, however he has also earned a certificate in Second Language Studies. Along with Suthathip Thirakunkovit, he has recently completed a study comparing written teacher feedback preferences between L1 and L2 writers. His general research interests are Comparative Rhetoric, Second Language Writing, Creative Writing, and Labor.

Sarah E. Fehrman
Sarah Fehrman is a continuing lecturer for Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE) and a Master’s student in Second Language Scquisition/ESL at Purdue University. She has previously taught English at universities in Seoul, South Korea and been an educational consultant in Seoul and Beijing, China. Sarah’s research interests include program and curriculum development, second language writing, world Englishes, and identity in language. She currently resides in Lafayette, Indiana.

Jie Gao
Jie Gao is a third-year PhD student in Second Language Studies. She grew up in a city named Hefei in China. Her research interests lie in language testing and corpus studies. She loves playing the violin and swimming. More about her could be found on her website:

Negin H. Goodrich
Negin is a freelance journalist, a disability rights activist, and a fourth-year PhD student in SLS. Her interests include second language writing, world Englishes, and qualitative research in both SLS and Disability Studies. She is the author of 5 books in her native language, Persian (Farsi), and has also published a number of journalistic and academic articles in English. She teaches English Composition and Oral English Proficiency. Negin was the ESL GO! newsletter editor at Purdue SLS program in 2016-2017 academic year.

Ge Lan
Ge Lan is a third-year doctoral student in Second Language Studies in the department of English at Purdue. He's from Beijing, China, and he speaks Mandarin and English. He's interested in corpus linguistics, natrual language processing, and L2 writing.

Song-Eun Lee
Song is a doctoral candidate in Second Language Studies/ESL Program in English department. She is currently doing research for her doctoral dissertation in Korea while raising her three kids. Her research interests include second language writing, qualitative research approaches, digital/multimodal writing, writing program administration/evaluation, world Englishes, and linguistics. She misses her professors, colleagues, and friends (HEAV, too) in WL very much!

Xiaorui Li
Xiaorui is a Ph.D. Student in Second Language Studies program. Currently, she is also teaching ENGL 620. Her research interests include language testing and second language acquisition. She loves traveling and spending time with her dog..

Yiyang Li
Yiyang Li is a fourth year Ph.D student in Second Language Studies program. He has been an English instructor in China for 6 years before he came to Purdue. He is an instructor of Introductory Composition and Classroom Communication for International Graduate Students at Oral English Proficiency Program. His research interests are World Englishes, sociolinguistics and second language writing. He enjoys Aaron Sorkin's TV shows and DC comics.

David O'Neil
David is a doctoral candidate in English Language and Linguistics, with a secondary area in SLS/ESL. His dissertation research focuses on the history of English language verse, and he has also conducted research on Greek and Latin metrics, semantic change in early English, second language pedagogy, and the role of English as lingua franca in academic publishing. At Purdue, he has taught courses in English composition, Latin, and Ancient Greek. Currently he is working as a tutor for the Oral English Proficiency Program while he completes his dissertation.

Aleksandra "Ola" Swatek
Ola is a fourth-year PhD student in Second Language Studies program in the English Department. She graduated from the University of Maine with an M.A. English and from Maria Curie Sklodowska University in Lublin, Poland with M.A. in English/American Studies. Her interests lie in writing studies, second language writing, composition, writing assessment, digital humanities, and broadly understood quantitative research. She usually teaches introductory composition courses for domestic and international students. You can contact her at with questions about the program, organization, or general inquires.

Rodrigo Rodriguez-Fuentes
Rodrigo Rodríguez-Fuentes is a fifth year PhD student in ESL/Second Language Studies program. He has taught EFL at all academic levels and has supervised English teachers of public schools in Colombia. He has developed on-line materials for the Purdue OWL and has published articles about the relationship between technology and literacy. His current research interests include validation in assessment and testing procedures applied to EFL, and corpus linguistics.

Yachao Sun
I'm a second year PhD student in SLS program. My hometown is a beautiful city in the northeastern China called Harbin. Mandarin is my first language, English is my second language. Second language writing, especially in Chinese settings, is my main research interest. I like playing Chinese chess, basketball, badminton, and watching movies.

Terrence Zhaozhe Wang
Terrence Wang third-year Ph.D. student; Second Language Studies Program, Department of English; Studies second language writing and rhetoric and composition studies; Teaches first-year composition; Is often spotted in Heavilon Hall, Rec Center, Wabash Landing 9 Movie Theater, South Street Smokehouse (not sponsored), kitchen, behind a book/laptop, around friends, by himself (more often), with a coffee tumbler, with a travel suitcase; Has always been willing and ready to connect; Will always be willing and ready to connect.

Kai Yang
Kai Yang is a fourth year PhD student in Second Language Studies Program at Department of English. Currently, he teaches First Year Composition for International Students (ENGL 106i), and is a recipient of English Department Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award (2014-2015). He has worked as First Year Liaison in Graduate Student Organization in SLS Program, where he also co-founded the Graduate Student Mentoring Program to help first year SLS graduate students. His research interests include the writing processes of second language (L2) learners, theoretical development of L2 writing research, professional development of L2 writing teachers, and second language pedagogies. He likes soccer and is a huge fan of Liverpool Football Club.

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