AAAL 2023 Award Recipients

Dissertation Award
David Wei Dai | Monash University, Australia

David Wei Dai is Lecturer (equivalent tenure-track Assistant Professor) of Clinical Communication at Monash University in Australia. He is Editor for the journal TESOL in Context, Visiting Scholar at University College London, and Nominating Member of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA). David’s research program focuses on interactional competence, language assessment, psychometrics (Many-Facet Rasch Measurement and Classical Test Theory), discourse analysis (Conversation Analysis and Membership Categorization Analysis) and clinical communication. His work has appeared in journals such as Language Assessment Quarterly, Language Teaching Research and Applied Linguistics Review. He is currently working on two monographs on speaking assessment under contract with Peter Lang and Routledge. David has secured funding from British Council, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Duolingo, ILTA and other organizations to fund his research, totalling AUD 92,439 so far.

Distinguished Public Service Award
Lee Tonouchi

The AAAL Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA) recognizes individuals outside of the field of applied linguistics -- writers, journalists, politicians, lawyers, etc. -- whose work (1) raises public awareness of important social issues connected to language and (2) makes exceptional contributions to promotion of multilingualism, linguistic social and justice, and language-related human rights. This year’s recipient is Lee Tonouchi. Lee is a passionate language advocate in Hawaiʻi, where he is known as “Da Pidgin Guerilla” due to his support for the use of Pidgin, the creole language of Hawaiʻi.

Lee has published five books in Pidgin which not only tell engaging, humorous, and poignant stories, but which also invite readers to deeply reflect on the role of Pidgin and its treatment in society by families, teachers, naysayers, and people in power. His first book, Da Word (2001) was a collection of his short stories, including a story about his own revelation that Pidgin is often not considered a language by many people since its words cannot be found in a (English) dictionary, an oft-cited (and misguided) source of linguistic authority.

Lee is an accomplished writer, public speaker, community activist, and educator. Above all, he is a warrior for Pidgin speakers. In Hawaiʻi, as in many creole contexts, Pidgin has been positioned as a form of “broken English” and as a language of the working class that keeps people from climbing the socioeconomic ladder. Lee has worked to challenge this deficit view of Pidgin head on, through articulating wisdom and wit in Pidgin in his writing and public engagements.

Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award
Aneta Pavlenko | Center for Multilingualism

Dr. Aneta Pavlenko is currently Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan, University of Oslo. She is also Past President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, 2014-2015. She is an expert consultant in forensic linguistics and Co-Chair, with Diana Eades, of the international Communication of Rights Group (CoRG). She was at the heart of the movement to fight for more equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in AAAL when she was president.

Her interests range from gender studies to autobiographies of multilinguals, the experience of immigration, identities in multilingual contexts, language ideologies, bilingualism and cognition, the bilingual lexicon and crosslinguistic influences, emotion and bilingualism, language and education policies in post-Soviet countries and forensic linguistics. She has published highly original papers in all these areas, and guest-edited special issues for international journals and wrote several influential books.

Dr. Aneta Pavlenko is at the heart of a wide international network of scholars and friends from different disciplines and theoretical backgrounds.

Distinguished Service and/or Engaged Research Graduate Student Award in Relation to Diversity Efforts 
Jazmine Exford | University of California, Santa Barbara

Jazmine Exford is a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. Her work surrounds sociocultural linguistic processes in second language learning, and it has direct implications for emergent teaching strategies that better account for identity and sociolinguistic variation.

First Book Award
María Cioè-Peña| University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education


Graduate Student Award | Multilingual Matters
Ann Tai Choe | University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Ann Tai Choe is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research interests include multimodal conversation analysis, membership categorization analysis, and second language assessment. Ann's co-authored work has appeared in journals such as TESOL in Context, Classroom Discourse, and Language Testing. In her free time, Ann enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and learning new things.

 Graduate Student Award
Hector Castrillon-Costa| The University of Texas at San Antonio

Currently, I’m a PhD Candidate in the Culture, Literacy & Language program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I hold Master’s degrees in Bicultural & Bilingual Education from UTSA and Historia y Geografía de América from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico (UIPR). At the moment, I’m conducting an ethnography of educational language policy in the island-nation on St. Lucia sponsored by a Fulbright Open/research study. Framed on postcolonial approaches and decolonial methods, this dissertation explores the ways in which educational practitioners in St. Lucia “disorder” the colonial school by recontextualizing monolingual educational policies into bottom-up policies that employ Kwéyòl to teach and learn St. Lucian’s Creole ontologies. Additionally, the study seeks to unveil ideological negotiations between Eurocentric authoritative discourses displayed in educational language policies and Creolized persuasive discourses driving policy recontextualization.

Graduate Student Award | Duolingo Award
Hitoshi Nishizawa| University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Hitoshi Nishizawa is a PhD candidate in the Department of Second Language Studies at UH Manoa. His research interests include foreign accents, language assessment, and psycholinguistics.

Graduate Student Award | Multilingual Matters Award
Jazmine Exford| University of California, Santa Barbara

Jazmine Exford is a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. Her work surrounds sociocultural linguistic processes in second language learning, and it has direct implications for emergent teaching strategies that better account for identity and sociolinguistic variation.

Graduate Student Award | Duolingo Award
Dylan Burton| Michigan State University

Dylan Burton is a PhD candidate in the Second Language Studies program at Michigan State University. He holds an MA in Language Testing at Lancaster University and previously worked as an Assessment Solutions Consultant for the British Council in Beijing, China. Dylan’s research interests are in applied linguistics and language assessment, particularly in speaking assessment, rater cognition, and non-verbal behavior. His research has been published in Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, and System. Dylan has served as a consultant for the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, as chair of Michigan State University’s Language Testing Group, and as member of the ILTA Graduate Student Assembly. He is currently the editorial assistant for Language Testing journal, co-editor of the ILTA Bibliography of Articles and Dissertations, and co-editor of book reviews for TESL-EJ.

Graduate Student Award | GSA-DEIA Award
Liang Cao | Simon Fraser University

Liang Cao (he/him) is a queer Chinese settler living and studying on the unceded territories of the Səlil̓wətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, also known as the province of British Colombia in Canada. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Simon Fraser University. His doctoral research draws on interdisciplinary scholarship in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, queer studies, and migration studies to explore four racialized queer immigrants' English learning experiences in the Greater Vancouver Area in Western Canada. His work appers in Journal of Homosexuality, among other places. He has also presented his scholarship at conferences around the world, including AERA (American Educational Research Association), Sociolinguistic Symposium, and TESOL Convention, in addition to AAAL. Aside from being a junior academic, he also serves at local immigrant and refugee settlement agencies as an active queer community member.

Graduate Student Award | NFMLTA/MLJ Award
Mina Hernandez Garcia | University of Michigan

Mina Hernandez Garcia is earning her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Michigan. Mina is committed to supporting bi/multilingual and immigrant students who are new to English in U.S. subject-matter classrooms. She has taught English as a foreign/second language in a variety of educational contexts, and has also worked as a teacher educator, training new teachers who work with emergent bilingual students.

Mina’s research studies translanguaging in middle school inquiry-oriented social studies classrooms. Her work offers important insights into the ways teachers can support emergent bilingual students to expand their bilingual repertoires as they develop disciplinary literacy and language. After finishing her PhD, Mina plans to become a professor, and to continue training teachers to discover their enthusiasm for teaching and to support emergent bilingual learners and other minoritized students. She hopes her work will help more students experience education as just and equitable, and help teachers create inclusive and welcoming classroom environments for all. She believes that supporting bilingual children recognizes and respects their identities and futures as multilingual citizens.

 Graduate Student Award | Wilga Rivers Award
Negar Siyari | Georgetown University

Negar Siyari is a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University. With the help of her mother tongue in Farsi as well as her second language teaching experience, she specializes in language education for Afghan newcomers in the United States. Her doctoral dissertation investigates an action research study of a task-based curriculum of English for Afghan newcomers. In addition to being a research assistant at Georgetown, she is currently a part-time teacher of English to refugees from various backgrounds including Afghanistan, Ukraine, Haiti and Somalia.

Graduate Student Award | ETS Award
Rachel Floyd | University of Arizona

Rachel Floyd is a doctoral candidate in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Program at the University of Arizona. She earned her Master's in French and Bachelor of Arts in French and Psychology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK). Her research interests include the adoption of multiliteracies and critical pedagogies, multilingual identities and practices, language play, and technology use in the L2 classroom. She has publications in Multifaceted Strategies for Social-Emotional Learning and Whole Learner Education and English Teaching: Practice & Critique, with one forthcoming with the FLLITE project.

Graduate Student Award
Tianfang Wang | The Pennsylvania State University

Tianfang (Sally) Wang is a sixth-year doctoral candidate in Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research interests include the integration of sociocultural theory and cognitive linguistics for second language pedagogy, cross-linguistic conceptual metaphors in Mandarin and English, and classroom interaction within the field of conversation analysis.


Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Carolina Poblete | Universidad de Santiago de Chile


Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Jaime Mejia Mayorga | University of Arizona

Jaime F. Mejia Mayorga is an educator and English language teacher from Honduras. He is currently finishing a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona. His academic work privileges Indigenous ways and promotes social justice and transformation. He is also interested in community empowerment, Global Englishes, L2 writing, and teacher support and education.


Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Kelly Baur | Arizona State University

Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Magdalena Madany-Saa | The Pennsylvania State University

Magdalena holds a BA degree in Spanish Philology from Warsaw University, Poland; MA degree in Latin American Studies from Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Ecuador; and currently is a PhD candidate in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University, US.
Magdalena has been an English teacher educator for over 25 years. She worked in Ecuador between 2004 and 2016 developing professional development trainings for in-service English teachers and providing educational services to public entities.
Magdalena’s PhD research intersects teacher education, language policy, and decoloniality in Latin America. She is a co-organizer and a co-editor of the series of decolonial conversations at the Global Virtual Forum ( Additionally, Magdalena works as a TESL instructor in immersion study abroad programs in Ecuador where she engages with her undergraduate students from the Pennsylvania State University in decolonizing English language teaching in postcolonial contexts.
Magdalena is a Polish citizen, and a resident in both Ecuador and the US. She translanguages between Polish, Spanish, Kichwa, and English.

Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Marco Espinoza| University of Chile

Marco Espinoza is Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Universidad de Chile. He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Melbourne and a Master in Linguistics from the University of Chile. His research interests include critical applied linguistics, bilingualism, language ideologies, the politics of language and language policies, Indigenous family language policies, and the sociolinguistics of Indigenous languages in Chile. His most current research is supported by the Chilean National Agency for Research and Development (ANID) and it deals with the ethnographic study of processes of Indigenous language (non)transmission in Pewenche families in south Chile. He is also exploring the constitutional moment in Chile from a critical sociolinguistic perspective.


Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Prem Phyak | The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Silvia Calfuqueo

Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Sovicheth Boun | Salem State University

Sovicheth Boun, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of ESL & Literacy in the Department of Secondary and Higher Education, McKeown School of Education, Salem State University. He teaches a variety of teacher education courses such as Foundations for Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), Sheltering Content for English Language Learners, Linguistics for ESL Educators, Context and Culture in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Seminar in TESOL, and Culturally Responsive Teaching. His research interests include second/foreign language education, bi-/multilingual education, the global spread of English, language ideologies, language teacher identities, language/educational experiences of Southeast Asian American students, and critical discourse analysis. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Language, Identity and Education. He is also on the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, the International Journal of TESOL Studies, and the TESOL Communications. He is a co-editor (with Wayne E. Wright and Ofelia Garcia) of the Handbook of Bilingual and Multilingual Education.

Indigenous Language Scholarship Support Fund
Yetunde S. Alabede | Michigan State University

Yétúndé S. Alábẹdé, a native Yorùbá speaker, is originally from state of Ogun in Nigeria, but grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She is a second-year Doctoral Student in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education (CITE) at Michigan State University (MSU). Her research interests include family language ideology and practice, multilingualism, curriculum deliberation, and implementation. She examines language policy and practices among transnational African families. Additionally, she researches how teachers work closely with bi/multilingual children in an asset-based approach while fostering homeschool educational collaboration. Before coming to MSU, she taught Yorùbá language, English, and Chinese Mandarin to K-12 students for more than ten years in Lagos, Nigeria. Afterward, she taught Yorùbá language as a Fulbright fellow at Fayetteville State University, North Carolina, for nine months before moving to complete her master’s degree in Crosscultural and International Education (MACIE) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio. Yetunde’s work currently explores language practices among bi-ethnic marriages in Nigeria and language practices of African immigrant families in the midwestern part of the US. She also teaches pre-service elementary and secondary education teachers at MSU. Aside from graduate “studenting,” Yetunde mentors and teaches Yoruba as a volunteer virtually to Yoruba heritage kids (3 years up). She also enjoys having fun cooking, baking, and music class time with her daughter.
I am grateful to AAAL for supporting Indigenous language scholars and appreciate the opportunity to present my work on the language practices of the Yoruba-Igala family in Lagos, Nigeria, at the annual conference in Portland, 2023!

Research Article Award

Mel M. Engman | Queen's University Belfast

Mel Engman is a Lecturer of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast and author of the article Land as Interlocutor: A Study of Ojibwe Learner Language in Interaction on and With Naturally Occurring “Materials.”.

Research Article Award

Mary Hermes | University of Minnesota

Mary Hermes is the Director of Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia and author of the article Land as Interlocutor: A Study of Ojibwe Learner Language in Interaction on and With Naturally Occurring “Materials.”.

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