2021-2022 GSC Newsletter Sub-Committee

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Mariana Lima Becker

Mariana Lima Becker is a Ph.D. student in Curriculum & Instruction (C&I) at Boston College (BC). She has taught graduate courses on immigration and education, and bilingualism and second language acquisition at BC as well as undergraduate courses on English for Specific Purposes at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. Her research interests involve the educational experiences and trajectories of Brazilian immigrant children in the United States, bilingual education, transnational family literacies, and immigrant children’s language and literacy development from a sociocultural perspective. In a recent project, she studied how young Brazilian immigrant children (5 to 7 years old) constructed and negotiated belonging in Portuguese-English bilingual classrooms in a public elementary school in the U.S. She has published journal articles in venues such as TESOL Quarterly and Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education. She has also co-authored book chapters in volumes such as Comparative Perspectives on Refugee Youth Education and the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Critical Perspectives on Mental Health (accepted). Mariana has served as a journal reviewer for the journal Anthropology & Education Quarterly, a proposal reviewer for AAAL, and a supplemental book evaluator in the National Program of the Public School Library (PNBE) sponsored by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC).


Katherine Kerschen

Katherine Kerschen is a Ph.D. candidate in German Linguistics and Applied Linguistics with a dual-title in Language Science at the Pennsylvania State University. She teaches German language courses at all levels as well as general education literature and culture courses. Her research interests include second language acquisition, with a particular focus on vocabulary acquisition, the bilingual mental lexicon, L2 lexical processing, and language pedagogy, particularly project-based learning.  She is currently working on a dissertation project that pulls together research from psycholinguistics, cognitive psychology, and communication disorders in order to investigate the effectiveness of different vocabulary training methods for improving intermediate L2 learners’ productive vocabulary knowledge. She has published articles in Applied Psycholinguistics, Die Unterrichtspraxis, and Monatshefte. Katherine holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany. Her previous professional experience includes working as a research associate and lecturer in English Language Pedagogy and teaching English as a Foreign Language courses at various levels, from middle school to continuing adult education. During her grad school career she has served as the president of the German Graduate Student Association (GGSA) at Penn State and been part of the organizing committee for multiple outreach events, including German Day, Language and Linguistics Day, and Poetry without Borders.


Sooyoung Kang

Sooyoung is a MA student in Applied Linguistics at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her concentration is Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE). Her professional and research interests include language acquisition and sociocultural theory, language and identity, curriculum development and technology, language teacher training, and adult literacy and multiculturalism. Since she earned a Ph.D. in English, Sooyoung taught at both private and public sectors in the field of education, and developed her career as a bilingual translator and writer. Presently as a staff teacher at Literacy Council of Alaska, she teaches various ELL subjects to adult immigrants, develops curriculum, and provides training workshops to volunteer tutors. She also teaches Foreign language credit courses as a Korean Language instructor at an accredited online language school. Decades-long teaching experience inspired her to pursue for a higher education degree in language education. She aspires to produce research works intersecting theory and practice in language learning, teaching and multiculturalism.

Member Testimonials

During the 2019-2020 academic year, I had the opportunity to serve on the GSC steering committee and as one of the co-editors for the GSC Newsletter. Working on the newsletter allowed me to be a part of the community of emerging scholars in applied linguistics. I was able to read the work of our peers and think about next directions for research. I appreciated learning about the perspectives of fellow graduate students, and I enjoyed working with authors to share their voices. This position also focused on communicating the work of other GSC sub-committees, including webinars and events embracing diversity in AAAL. I’m proud of the work we do as a community of scholars, teachers, and advocates! 

-Nicole King

2020-2021 Newsletter Sub-Committee

Zhenjie Weng, Ohio State University

Mariana Lima Becker, Boston College

2019-2020 Newsletter Sub-Committee

Nathan Thomas, UCL Institute of Education

2018-2019 Newsletter Sub-Committee

Amanda Giles, University of Alabama