Current Students: PhD Applied Linguistics
Benjamin Brown is a first-year PhD Student in the Applied Linguistics program. He focuses his research on phonetics and phonology, particularly in the context of teaching and learning foreign languages. Before starting the PhD program in the Fall of 2019, he taught Spanish courses while completing a Master’s degree at NAU. His teaching experience also includes working as an instructor of EFL in China. In his future career he hopes to contribute to the field of Second Language Acquisition via his research in his aforementioned interests.
Daniel Dixon started the PhD program in Fall 2018. Before coming to NAU, he spent four years teaching at the University of Utah Asia Campus that opened in 2014 in Songdo, South Korea. Before moving to South Korea, he spent most of 2014 teaching in Cuiabá in the State of Mato Grosso in Brazil for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. Now at NAU, his research focus is on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and in particular Digital Game-based Language Learning (DGBLL).
Tülay Dixon is currently a second-year PhD student in the Applied Linguistics program. She has over 7 years of experience teaching ESL and EFL courses in addition to first-year composition and stylistics courses. Prior to joining the PhD program in Applied Linguistics, Tülay worked at the then-newly founded University of Utah Asia Campus in South Korea. Her experience at the Asia Campus motivated her to return to graduate school and study corpus linguistics to systematize the teaching of lexicogrammatical features in the advanced L2 grammar and writing classes—specifically the features that relate to stylistics.
Marianna Gracheva is a first-year Applied Linguistics PhD student at NAU. Marianna holds a Specialist degree in English and German Linguistics and Methods of Teaching from Moscow State Pedagogical University and a CELTA qualification (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults). Prior to joining the program, Marianna taught English at a university (Russian Foreign Trade Academy) and an International House (Ih) language school in Moscow, Russia and in a private boarding school in NY State, USA for a total of 9 years. She is now teaching international students at the Program in Intensive English at NAU. Marianna’s linguistic interests include pragmatics, discourse analysis, stylistics, and sociolinguistics.
Kevin Hirschi joined NAU’s PhD program in Applied Linguistics in the Fall 2019 semester. He is a native of Arizona and has taught English language skill courses, French as a foreign language, and language teacher preparation at three higher education institutions in Arizona, Europe, and Asia. In addition to studying phenomena related to teaching and learning second and foreign languages, he is particularly interested in describing phonological features found amongst users of English and French in global contexts to better inform instruction. Using computer-based quantitative analyses, he plans on using large datasets of natural speech to drive empirically-based discussions on the variation in pronunciation that exists as well as the impact of variation on the ability of other speakers to understand learner speech.
Tyler True is a PhD candidate, Presidential Fellow, EFL and ESL instructor, and graduate of Vanderbilt University (BMus composition/theory and Italian studies) and Georgetown University (MAT-English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education). At NAU, he has added register studies and corpus linguistics to previous research interests in tasks and Task-Based Language Teaching, pragmatics, and Cognitive Linguistics. Through his dissertation work on police-citizen interactions as a register, he is also interested in forensic linguistics. Tyler is a member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, American Association for Applied Linguistics, and Arizona TESOL and a past member of the International Association for Task-Based Language Teaching and International Civil Aviation English Association. He was involved in founding Grad-Pride, an LGBTQ+ graduate student organization, at NAU, and he appreciates the vibrant academic culture in the Graduate College and English Department.
Holly Wheeler is a 2nd year PhD student in Applied Linguistics. Her research interests are language learning, intercultural competence, and pragmatics in study abroad contexts. She is also an Education Abroad Advisor for the NAU Center for International Education where she advises for the Asia Pacific region. She completed a BA Anthropology & Psychology from the University of Wyoming (2012) and an MA International Studies from the Josef Korbel School at the University of Denver (2016). After completing her MA, she was a Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Assistant to New Delhi, India (2016-2017).
Katherine (Kate) Yaw is a third-year student in the PhD in Applied Linguistics program at NAU. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, she has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer, and program administrator at schools and universities in the US and the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq since 2007. She is also trained as a CEA site reviewer. She holds an MA in TESOL from the American University in Washington, DC, as well as a BA in anthropology and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include language attitudes, speech perception, and cognitive processing in listeners.