Past Programs

Each summer the students and staff create a newsletter of writing samples, reflections, and photographs. Click on the links below to download recent issues:


2017 Staff

Applications for 2017 APTLII Instructor positions are now open! Please contact Alicia Wright, APTLII Coordinator, at or (608) 262-5666 with any questions.

Applicants for instructor positions must submit their materials through the UW-Madison job page listing. Please note the information on salary listed on the Employment page is based on a 9-month position. This is a summer appointment, not a 9-month appointment.

2016 Staff

Professor Dustin Cowell

Arabic Immersion Director and Instructor

Dustin C. Cowell is a professor of Arabic Language and Islamic Studies of Malaysia and Indonesia in the Department of African Language and Literature. His research focuses on Arabic instruction in Islamic schools (pesantren) and Arabic-Malay/Indonesian Islamic texts. Cowell was a visiting professor of Arabic at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1994-1996.

Funda Derin

Turkish Instructor

Funda Derin is a lecturer of Turkish in the Department of German, Nordic and Slavic at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her PhD on political sciences at Gazi University in Turkey. Her research covers Muslim identity, women and literature.

Nâlân Erbil

Turkish Instructor

As a Ph.D. candidate in the Languages and Cultures of Asia program, Nâlân’s research areas include world literature theories; Ottoman and Turkish literary modernity; literary violence; language, literature and human rights. Teaching Turkish as a foreign language and developing proficiency-based materials at UW-Madison since 2011, Nâlân is actively engaged in language teaching & learning and mentoring process from a social justice perspective, and is the recipient of the 2015-2016 Campus-Wide TA Award in the category of “Innovation in Teaching.”

May George

Arabic Instructor

Said Hannouchi

Arabic Instructor

Said Hannouchi is a recent PhD from the Department of African Languages and Literature, UW-Madison. He has extensive experience of teaching Arabic as a second language in both academic year and summer intensive and immersion programs. His research interests include intercultural communication and competence, second language acquisition, teaching Arabic as a foreign language (TAFL), and applied linguistics. Said’s approach in teaching Arabic is based on intercultural communicative approach. In addition to teaching the Arabic language, Said has offered workshops on methods of teaching Arabic as a foreign language at the college level.

Parvaneh Hosseini Fahraji

Persian Immersion Director and Instructor

Parvaneh Hosseini Fahraji is an instructor of Persian at the University of Arizona and Executive Secretary of the American Association of Teachers of Persian. She is also a dual degree PhD candidate Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Arizona, with a specialization in linguistics anthropology. She earned her BA and MA in Applied Linguistics, focusing on bringing culture into the second language classroom.

Sara Farsiu

Persian Instructor

Sara Farsiu is a PhD student in Second Language Acquisition Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her M.A. (Magistra Artium) in English Philology, General Linguistics, and Iranian Studies from the University of Cologne, Germany. She is currently working as a lecturer assistant of Persian and German at UW-Madison. Sara has worked as a German language teacher and counselor at Concordia Language Immersion Program in Minnesota and at The German School of Madison. She also taught English at MIEC Language Immersion Camp in Guangzhou, China.

Bilal Humeidan

Arabic Instructor

Bilal Humeidan recently received his PhD from the Department of African Languages and Literature at UW-Madison. He earned his BA and MA in Applied Linguistics at the Jordan University in Science and Technology. He also earned his MA in African Languages and Literature at UW-Madison in 2012. Beginning in August 2016 he will be the coordinator of the Arabic program at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on students' and teachers' perceptions on the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language.

Mehrak Kamali-Sarvestani

Persian Instructor

Mehrak Kamali is lecturer of Persian and coordinator of the Persian Language Program at Ohio State University with a specialization in Persian literature and culture. He received his PhD on Near Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona. His research covers literary modernism, modern Persian literature, and Iranian culture. He has taught different courses including Persian language, sociology of Persian literature, the religion of Islam, and Middle Eastern humanities since 2002 in and outside of Iran.

Fatemeh Mirsharifi

Persian Instructor

Fatemeh Mirshrifi has been teaching Persian/Farsi at UW-Madison since September 2007 and is currently teaching intermediate and advanced Persian. Additionally, she has taught Persian at the Arabic, Persian, Turkish Language Immersion Institute (APTLII) since August 2007. Fatemeh has been widely recognized for her passion, commitment, and noteworthy contributions to the field of language teaching. She was honored with the Early Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010 and the Teaching Fellow Award in 2013.

Aside from teaching, Fatemeh is keen on sharing her insights and expertise with new language instructors and contributes enthusiastically to the mentoring process. She has led sessions in the monthly pedagogy workshops for instructors of Less-Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) as well as for the 2013 TA training workshop offered by the College of Letters and Science for incoming teaching assistants. Moreover, she has collaborated on projects with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota as well as the College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT), American Council on Education.

Her current research interests include second/foreign language acquisition and pedagogy with emphasis on developing pedagogical materials for the foreign language classroom, motivation in language learning, and the role of learner attitudes in L2 motivation.

Mustafa Mustafa

Arabic Instructor

Maryam Shariati

Persian Instructor

Maryam Shariati holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and a Graduate Portfolio Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies from The University of Texas at Austin. She has extensive experience in teaching Persian as a second language at the university level, including teaching at Brown University, UT-Austin, and UW-Madison. Her main research interests include world literature, gender studies, and contemporary Persian literature.

James Delehanty

APTLII Co-Director

James Delehanty is Executive Director of the UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS).

Ellen Sapega

APTLII Co-Director

Ellen Sapega is Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Faculty Director of the UW-Madison Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS)


Contact Information

APTLII Program - Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS)
301 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

phone: (608) 262-5666
fax: (608) 265-2919

© 2016 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System · Last updated 21 November 2016 ·