MA TESOL Group Photo Fall 2023

Student Organization of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy

SOSLAP is the Student Organization of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy at Michigan State University. This student-run group organizes social activities and meetings, discussions with professors, and mentor each other through the graduate program. The group maintains a Facebook page. The group also supports the MSU Working Papers in Second Language Studies.

Current M.A. TESOL Students

Mahbub Amin joined TESOL in 2023. His research interests encompass the intersection of technology and language education, with a particular focus on the development of online resources and tools. He completed his first MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. His professional journey as an E-learning industry specialist and curriculum designer with several e-learning companies in the UK and the USA has provided him with invaluable experience in instructional design and online course and curriculum development. 

Praew Bupphachuen joined TESOL in 2022. Praew holds a B.Ed. in Secondary Education with a major in English Language Teaching. She has been a teaching assistant for the ELC, where she was responsible for the ESL094 Content-based Writing course. Praew has also served as a co-chair of the Students Organization of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy (SOSLAP). Her research interests lie primarily in task-based instruction, differentiated instruction, and teacher identity.


Sylvia Dean joined TESOL in 2022. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a degree in Linguistics and TESL, and taught for one year on a Fulbright in Hualien, Taiwan prior to beginning this program. She has worked in the English Language Center as an instructor at MSU, as well as the academic advising office, where she provided advising for undergraduate LiLaC minors.

Blessing Fakayode joined TESOL in 2024. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in English Education from Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. Committed to improving diversity and inclusion in language education, Blessing aims to combat linguistic inequalities by addressing biases related to race and identity. His research interests include raciolinguistics, sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, and English education.

Matt Gordon joined TESOL in 2024. He received a B.A. in English from Michigan State University. Matt worked as a teacher’s assistant at the Refugee Development Center of Lansing. At the RDC, he taught adults from around the world who had no English experience. His research interests include teacher-student relations and psycholinguistics.


Elena Gorshkova joined TESOL in 2022. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Teacher Education from Saratov State University in Russia. She has taught English in Russia, China and the US. She has worked as a research assistant with the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA). Her research interests include language assessment, eye-tracking and nonverbal behaviors.

Madelynne (Maddie) Gregory joined TESOL in 2022. She has a BA in Spanish and Sociology from Central Michigan University. She has been a teaching assistant in the English Language Center at MSU, where she has taught courses in Speaking & Listening and Reading & Writing. Her research interests include second language reading and corpus-based research. 

Alexandra Hafer joined TESOL in 2023. She graduated from the University of San Diego in 2016 with a degree in English and German. After graduating, she spent a year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at a secondary school in Germany. She taught elementary school for 6 years.

Gibril Touray Issa Hamani  joined TESOL in 2024. He did his undergraduate studies in the department of language, literatures, and civilizations in Abdou Moumouni University in Niamey. He has taught English as a foreign language. He is a Fullbright Foreign student from Niger.

Eunmi Kim received her Ph.D. in linguistics from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), South Korea, in 2015. After she received her doctorate, she taught undergraduate courses, Extensive Reading, Advanced English Grammar, and Media English I and II at HUFS. She has worked as an academic research professor at the Language Research Institute at HUFS since 2020. She teaches LLT 306, Methods of Teaching Adults and Community English to Speakers of Other Languages at Michigan State University.

Ivy Ly joined TESOL in 2023. Ivy holds a B.Ed. in Secondary Education with a focus in Mandarin. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant at the English Language Center, where she was responsible for the ESL092 Reading and Writing course.

Gerardo Melgar joined TESOL in 2022. He has been one of the representatives of the Student Organization of Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy (SOSLAP) and he has also represented the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures (LiLaC) at the Council of Graduate Students (COGS). Gerardo holds a B.A. in applied linguistics from El Salvador. Since 2020, Gerardo has run Teachers Up, a professional development initiative in El Salvador which has benefited more than 1,000 in-service and pre-service English teachers.

Aigerim Nurbekova joined TESOL in 2022. She holds her BA and MA in Translation Studies from Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. Her academic background involves studying the intricacies of English, Kazakh, and Russian languages, focusing on translation. Her interests include teacher agency and the influence of high stakes testing on education. 

Serenity Smith joined TESOL in 2023. Serenity holds a B.A in Journalism with a minor in Sports Journalism. She has worked as a graduate research assistant and is interested in teaching English abroad.

Lu Wang joined TESOL in 2022. Before that, she received a M.A. from the program of Design and Technology for Learning Across Culture and Context in School of Education, University of Michigan, and B.A in English Literature at Hubei University of Technology, China. She is interested in using instruction to facilitate second/foreign language acquisition, especially by incorporating technologies, in either formal or informal settings.


Our Alumni Profiles page features selected alumni discussing their experiences during the M.A. program.