Professor Nishi's primary research areas have been verb semantics and the second language acquisition of aspect. She is particularly interested in discovering how learners’ semantic representations of verbs in L1 affect the learning of verb semantics in L2, and how this interacts with the acquisition of aspectual morphology in L2. In most of her projects, she pursues a cross-linguistic approach in order to explore how underlying universal patterns are manifested in the process of language acquisition/development, or in the representation of languages, as well as to identify cross-linguistic variations and their significance. She also investigates how these findings can be applied to language pedagogy, in particular, the teaching of Japanese as a second/foreign language.
Anna Barker has taught courses in the English Department, in Comparative Literature, in Russian Literature, and in the Honors Program. Her areas of interest include 19th-century Russian and European literature, Russian cultural history, 19th century women writers, artist, and composers, and Wonder Woman. In recent years, she has regularly taught the authors course "Tolstoy and Dostoevsky," organizing a campus-community celebration to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy's death in 2010.
Dexin Dai holds an MA degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and is a doctoral student in Second Language Acquisition at the University of Iowa. She taught Intermediate Chinese courses in the Confucius Institute of Mexico City, and Beginning Chinese courses at Binzhou Medical University, China. Currently, she serves as a teaching assistant in the Chinese Program of Asian and Slavic languages and Literatures at the UI and teaches first-year and second-year Chinese courses. Her research interests include second language reading, Chinese pedagogy, and technology in language teaching.
Aniruddha Dutta is an Associate Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. Dutta is interested in the study of contemporary globalizing processes, the political economy of gender and sexuality, transnational discourses and practices of development, and the institutionalization of gender and sexual identity politics, with specific reference to India and South Asia.
Anna Dyer has been working in the Russian program at the University of Iowa since 2007 teaching a variety of language and culture courses. Her areas of expertise are Russian language and culture and technology in second language acquisition.
Meredith Mahy Gall is the academic advisor for the Division of World Literatures, Languages, and Cultures (including all world languages, International Studies, linguistics, and translation) In addition, Meredith advises social work interest students and global health studies students.
Yumiko Guelcher teaches modern Japanese language. She is passionate about teaching Japanese and enjoys working with diverse learners. Her fields of interest are Japanese language pedagogy, Japanese and English linguistics, and second language acquisition.
Prof. Heitzman is currently researching two interconnected projects: He is interested in a group of outward-looking poets who came to prominence in the 1960s, some of whom spent some time at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP), including Yoshimasu Gōzō and Shiraishi Kazuko. He is also researching the history of Japanese writers in the IWP as well as the early days of the IWP in general. He has published translations of work by four recent IWP participants: Nakagami Nori, Shibasaki Tomoka, Fujino Kaori, and Takiguchi Yūshō. He also has longstanding interests in Japanese film and Japanese theater.
Chuanren Ke (柯传仁) is Professor in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Second Language Acquisition PhD Program (aka FLARE, Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education) in the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Iowa. His main area of research is in Chinese second language acquisition, instruction, and assessment.
Irina Kostina demonstrates unique competencies of developing assessments, interactive face-to-face courses and curriculums for Russian language, culture and civilization, intensive Russian courses for students, professionals, and heritage learners that increase student engagement, motivation, achievement, and retention. Dr. Kostina’ s research interests are in the methods of teaching Russian as a foreign language, and the theories of creating communicative textbooks.
Yuan Lu taught Chinese language to foreign/second language learners in China and the state of Kansas before joining the University of Iowa. He is the coordinator of Chinese program at the University of Iowa, supervising curriculum and instruction in the program, and teaches First-year Chinese, Second-year Chinese, Accelerated Second-year Chinese, Fourth-year Chinese, Fifth-year Chinese: Chinese Linguistics and Academic Writing, and Introduction to Chinese Linguistics. His main research interests involve second language acquisition theories and research methods, language assessment and testing, and grammar and discourse learning and teaching in Chinese as a second language.
Xi Ma is a graduate student in the Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education (FLARE) doctoral program. She holds a K-12 licensure for teaching Chinese in Iowa. She has been teaching Chinese as a foreign language for learners at both collegiate and K-12 level since 2008. At the University of Iowa, she regularly coordinates and offers Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Chinese courses for Iowa high school students via distance learning. Her main research interests includes second language acquisition of Mandarin Chinese, language pedagogy, in particular, pedagogical grammar of teaching Chinese as a foreign language.
Margaret H. Mills was a Professor of Russian language and linguistics and the former Chair of the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa. She received her PhD from the University of Michigan (1985) and her MPH from the University of Iowa (2005). She has spent 30 years studying, consulting, and conducting linguistic and public health field work and research in the Soviet Union and Russia.
Helen Shen is the DEO of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. Her main research areas are Chinese L2 literacy development focusing on orthographic knowledge development and cognitive process of Chinese characters, reading education in Chinese, and instructional theories in teaching Chinese as a second language.
Frederick Smith's primary interest lies at the intersection of text and practice, in what gives cultural and religious traditions their dynamism. As a scholar of Sanskrit and South Asia, his work includes studies of texts and performances of Vedic sacrificial ritual from antiquity to the present; studies of religious experience in India, with a primary focus on the history and phenomenology of deity and spirit possession; the writings of Vallabhācārya; and India’s great epic, the Mahābhārata.
Professor Strand specializes in premodern Japanese literature and visual culture, with expertise in travel writing, poetry, calligraphy, and landscape painting. Her research is founded in examining the historical contexts in which works of literature and art were created. Her research interests extend to issues of canon and interpretation in literature and art, as well as the ways in which historical themes surface in contemporary popular culture.
Newell Ann Van Auken teaches Classical Chinese literature, a world literary tradition spanning over thirty centuries. Her research focuses on early China, and she is also a translator. She is fascinated by the gap between original meanings of texts and later interpretations, including those of current students, and she believes that all interpretations (even “misunderstandings”) still give us valuable insight into those who generated them and the lens through which they view the world.
Sang-Seok Yoon, who earned the PhD in Korean Linguistics from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, joined the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures in 2012. The focus of his research is sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and second language acquisition. He specializes in linguistic politeness of the Korean language, and is one of the authors of the Integrated Korean Textbook series by the University of Hawaii Press, the most commonly used Korean textbook in the U.S.
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