Who We Are
Our teaching staff includes full-time faculty and administrators, affiliated faculty, and graduate student instructors. All of our staff have graduate level training in linguistics, TESOL, and/or speech-language pathology. We look forward to working with you.
For more information on how to join our team, please visit our Get Involved page.
English Language Programs Full-Time StaffJulia Moore is the Director of English Language Programs. Her areas of linguistic expertise include second language acquisition and pragmatics. Dr. Moore has served in English Language Programs since 1995, and has extensive experience in curriculum development, program administration, graduate student training, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL). Courses: Linguistics 489, ELP Foundations (TGS 509).Jen Alexander is a Program Associate in The Graduate School and a Lecturer in English Language Programs. Her area of linguistic expertise is articulatory and acoustic phonetics, with a focus on perception and production of North American English and lexical tone (e.g., Chinese). She is the primary instructor for Integrated Academic Skills and also works with students one-on-one in our LING 482 individual instruction services and our LING 483 supported online software training course. Courses: Linguistics 380, Linguistics 482, Linguistics 483, ELP Foundations (TGS 509).Autumn D. Bryant is a Speech-Language Pathologist in English Language Programs. She has a BA in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MA in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MS in Health Communication from Northwestern University. She leads our LING 482 individual instruction program, offers pronunciation bootcamp workshops, and oversees development of our Attune® auditory discrimination software. She is also able to support English language learners who may have an existing or undiagnosed speech disorder. Courses: Linguistics 482, ELP Foundations (TGS 509).Brian Hampson is the Program Coordinator for English Language Programs. Brian oversees admissions, registration, and proficiency testing for English Language Programs, coordinates the English Development through Guided Exploration (EDGE) program, and supports the curriculum management of ELP Foundations. His areas of linguistic expertise include Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Japanese. He is the main point of contact for all inquiries about admissions, registration, courses, program administration, and scheduling.
English Language Programs Affiliated Instructors
Ken's dissertation research explored the effect of language experience on vowel pronunciation in a Mexican-American community in Chicago. His professional interests are in language contact and language change, and he has a wide range of interests outside the field. He has State of Illinois Certification as an ESL instructor and has taught a variety of English classes to graduate students at Northwestern including pronunciation, conversation, and academic writing. He has also taught Linguistics at Northeastern Illinois University and other area institutions. Ken grew up in Chicago and continues to learn about the city and how it became the way it is.Erin Leddon is Associate Professor of Instruction and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Linguistics Department and Cognitive Science Program. After earning her PhD in Linguistics at Northwestern, she studied first language acquisition as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern's Project on Child Development. She then served as Associate Director of English Language Programs from 2011 to 2021, teaching in the Integrated Academic Skills program, ELP Foundations, and Linguistics 480 and overseeing proficiency assessment and the EDGE program. Her research interests focus on language acquisition and learning across the lifespan. Corinne Vargas is an Affiliate Instructor and Speech-Language Pathologist in English Language Programs. She has a BS in Actuarial Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a BS in Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education from the Utah State University, and an MS in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. She is an accomplished entrepreneur in business consulting and has extensive experience working with international business professionals on the development of effective English communication skills. Her other qualifications include supporting English language learners who may have an existing or undiagnosed speech disorder in addition to learning English as another language.
Tami Wysocki-Niimi is an Affiliate Instructor in ELP, and is the English Language Consultant at the Kellogg School of Management. She is the primary instructor for Kellogg's American Culture and English (ACE) program for international MBA students. She has a BA in English from Illinois Wesleyan University and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. Tami has been teaching group classes and providing individual instruction in English for speakers of other languages for over 13 years.
English Language Programs Graduate Student Instructors
Jennifer Dibbern is a fourth year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include multilingualism, second language acquisition, phonology, and sociolinguistic cognition. Jennifer has familiarity both teaching and learning a second language, having studied both Spanish and Korean and having taught the former. She also has experience working as a teaching assistant for undergraduate Linguistics courses at Northwestern. Shawn Foster is a fourth year PhD student in the linguistics program. His interests are in sociolinguistics, phonology, prosody, and language change. Much of his work focuses on how speakers of a language learn and make use of their language's sound system. He has previously served as teaching assistant for classes in phonetics, sociolinguistics, and semantics. He has experience learning Spanish, Arabic, and Russian from his undergraduate studies. This will be his second official year working with the English Language Program.Qile (/shee-luh/) is a third year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include bilingualism, speech perception and production, and psycholinguistics. Qile is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker and she is also a second language speaker of English. She previously served as a teaching assistant for a class in phonetics and phonology. In her spare time, she likes to play badminton and watch Studio Ghibli movies.Chantal is a third-year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include sociolinguistic perception and phonetics. Chantal has been a teaching assistant this past year for undergraduate Linguistics classes in sociolinguistics and phonetics. She was an English conversational partner for three years during her undergraduate studies and has experience learning a second language as she has studied French and Korean.Maria is a fifth year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include bilingual speech perception and production, language control mechanisms, Spanish in the U.S., and heritage speakers’ language use. Maria is a native speaker of both English and Spanish, and is familiar with teaching a second language, having taught intermediate Spanish and done tutoring with ELP. She also has experience working as a teaching assistant for classes in phonetics, psycholinguistics, and introductory linguistics.Wes is a 5th year PhD student in the Linguistics department. His research investigates the formal and real-time properties of scope resolution, polarity, and gapping structures. Wes worked as a peer career advisor during his undergraduate study at the University of Rochester where he primarily focused on interview preparation and resume writing. Outside of linguistics, he enjoys playing the saxophone, juggling and discussing movies and TV.Anna is a third-year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include rhythm and intonation in speech perception and production as well as interactions between language and music. While working towards her bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon she completed the Second Language Acquisition Teaching (SLAT) certification and was a tutor and conversation partner for two years at the University’s American English Institute. Outside of linguistics, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and rock climbing, playing piano, and acquiring as many plants as possible.Kate is a third-year PhD student in the Linguistics department. Her research interests include intonation, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics. While working towards her bachelor's degree at the College of William and Mary, she served as a TA for Italian 101 language courses, and she has previously served as a teaching assistant at Northwestern University for classes in sociolinguistics and semantics. Outside of linguistics, Kate enjoys running, reading, and exploring the city.Thomas Sostarics is a third-year PhD student in the Linguistics Department. His research interests include prosody, pragmatics, phonetics, and aphasia. He has served as a teaching assistant for undergraduate classes in phonology and programming at Northwestern. Outside of linguistics, Thomas likes data visualization, horror movies, and translating songs and interviews.
Mo is a sixth year PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her main focus of study is the neural development of the central hearing system in the brainstem. This is her 4th year working with ELP at Northwestern; prior to coming to Northwestern, she tutored English and the sciences to students aged 10 to 26. She is a native Japanese speaker and has native-level proficiency in English, with medium proficiency in Latin and working knowledge of French.