Resident Faculty





Marina Dodigovic has taught English, TESOL and applied linguistics in addition to training ESL teachers in Europe, Australia and Asia. Apart from directing MA TESOL, ESL and writing programs, she has conducted research in second language acquisition and teaching. Recently, she was able to establish and lead the Research Centre for Language Technology at XJTLU. She is a member of the editorial boards of two refereed academic journals. In the past, she served the TESOL community as a Ruth Crymes Fellowship Academy Award assessor. Marina is the author of two books on the applications of technology in English language teaching. She has received multiple extramural and intramural research grants and has published a number of articles in refereed academic journals. Her recent research interests have gravitated toward vocabulary teaching, learning and assessment.


LILIANNA EDILYAN, MA, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia

Lilianna Edilyan graduated from the Yerevan State Teacher Training Institute of Russian and Foreign Languages (named after V. Brusov), Department of English and Second/Foreign Languages. She continued her studies in Moscow taking “A Two-year Advanced Professional Degree Training” at Morris Torrez Institute of Foreign Languages. Upon completion she was conferred the title of “Senior Lecturer” and worked at Yerevan State University in the Department of Romance and Germanic Languages. She received her MA in TEFL in 2005. She has presented at international conferences and published in professional journals.
She has been working at AUA since 1994. She is the author of an ESP book for students of theology and co-author and editor of the manual “A Practical Course in Written English” (a textbook on the writing course for the students of Romance and Germanic Languages).



IRENA GALIKYAN, Ph.D. candidate, Leiden University
Research Associate, Center for Research in Applied Linguistics

Irena Galikyan is a Ph.D. candidate at Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching. Her research focuses on feedback for enhancing cognitive engagement in virtual learning environments. She received her MA in Teaching as a Foreign Language from the American University of Armenia in 2006. Irena currently serves as a Research Associate at the Center for Research in Applied Linguistics in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, AUA. Her research interests lie in the areas of instructional design, e-learning, and teacher education.


RUBINA GASPARYAN, MA, American University of Armenia
Director of the Experimental English Classes (EEC)

Rubina Gasparyan graduated from the Yerevan State Teacher Training Institute of Russian and Foreign Languages (named after V. Brusov), Department of English and a Second/Foreign Language. She completed her graduate studies towards an MA TEFL at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and received her MA in TEFL in 2001 from AUA.She has been working at AUA since 1992. Her major interest is language assessment. She participated in a number of research and assessment projects and was a team member and report writer of the Armenian Baseline ELT Study Project (2001-2005) under the auspices of the British Council and the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia. In 2007, by the request of the Centre of Testing and Assessment, she directed the work of the committee which was entrusted with the task of developing the Guidelines for the Nationwide School Leaving and University Entrance Unified Tests of English.
She has presented papers on issues related to language testing and assessment at professional conferences such as AELTA, TESOL Arabia, ALTE. She is also co-author of reports, manuals, and articles in the area of language assessment.



TALIN GRIGORIAN, MA, California State University

Talin Grigorian received her BA in Art History and English Literature from the University of Toronto and her MA in Linguistics (ESL) from California State University, Fresno.She worked at AUA in the Department of English Programs from 2001-2006. She returned to Armenia in 2014 and currently teaches in the MATEFL and BA in English & Communications programs.She was involved in establishing AUA’s Experimental English classes for children (EEC), a project with which she is particularly proud to be associated.


IRSHAT MADYAROV, Ph.D., University of South Florida, USA
Assistant Professor
MA TEFL Program Chair
Director of Center for Research in Applied Linguistics

Irshat Madyarov received his MA in TESOL at West Virginia University, WV and his Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology at University of South Florida (USF), FL. He has taught English as a second and foreign language, and applied linguistics courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the US. He has been a coordinator of Computer-assisted Language Learning and Academic English Curriculum at the English Language Institute, USF, as well as a number of distance courses and projects at the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education, Iran. He has presented and published internationally. His interests include digital technologies in TESOL, language assessment, teacher education, bilingual preschool education, and brain studies. His blog can be found at: http://irshat.edublogs.org.




Visiting Faculty

Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from the UCLA page:

Professor Bachman’s interests in language assessment, language acquisition, ESL/EFL and international programs stem from his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching high school English in the Philippines. His other international experience includes years of consulting, teaching, coordination, and research in Thailand, Iran, Hong Kong, and the UK. Professor Bachman is a Past President of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and of the International Language Testing Association. He holds a number of world recognized awards from the TESOL/Newbury House, the Modern Language Association, ESL Magazine, the International Language Testing Association. He has an extensive list of publications including books and articles and is frequently invited as a plenary speaker at international conferences.



Professor, California State University, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from theCal State LA page:

Suchitra Sadanandan teaches classes in first and second language acquisition, phonology and phonetics, grammar, and sociolinguistics. She has taught both undergraduate classes in the linguistics department at California State University, Long Beach, and the University of Southern California and graduate classes in the TESOL Program at California State University, Los Angeles and the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California. Prior to her present position, she worked as an assistant lecturer in the Freshman Writing Program at the University of Southern California, as a lecturer teaching writing and grammar at the Regional Institute of English, Bangalore and as a lecturer teaching English literature in Madapally College, Kerala. She has presented papers on phonology and language assessment at AAL, LSA and SALA (South Asian Language Association) in the US, the UK and India.


SIMEON P. SLOVACEK, Ph.D.Professor, California State University, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from the Cal State LA page:

Professor, Simeon P. Slovacek, Ph.D., joined CSULA in 1981 as Director of Institutional Research and sometime later joined the Charter College of Education as a full-time faculty member teaching in the Division of Applied & Advanced Studies. His current duties include teaching, research, scholarship, advisement, research and evaluation project grants and contracts administration, and charter schools governance work. Prior to joining CSULA, he served as Director of Analytical Studies at Cornell University where he earned his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in the field of educational research and evaluation methodology. Dr. Slovacek has conducted numerous evaluations and research grants/contracts over the years, including projects with the California Arts Council, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Maxine Waters Saturday Academy program (a NASA funded project) among others. Since 1994, he has served as a founding board of trustee member for nineteen start-up charter schools (serving over 6,000 children) launched by 3 non-profits.


Founders of the MA TEFL Program



Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics & TESL, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from the UCLA website:

Professor Russ Campbell was Founding Dean of the AUA’s Department of English Programs and was actively engaged in assisting the growth and development of AUA, holding the position of Dean until he passed away in 2003. In 1991, on his trip to Armenia, he became involved in testing the first group of applicants to AUA. He understood Armenia’s needs to train English language teachers, and consequently developed AUA’s Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Finally, he brought into existence the Master’s Program in Teaching English as a Foreign Language in 2002.

Professor Campbell was a leader in the field. He served as president of TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of other Languages) from 1971 to 1972 and developed the concept of the TESOL Summer Institute, organizing the first one at UCLA in the summer of 1979. His most recent contribution to TESOL was the establishment of the TESOL Research Fund. His lifelong commitment to language education was realized in a variety of capacities in many countries all over the world: Director of the English Language Institute, American University of Cairo, Coordinator of Peace Corps Training Programs in Thailand, Iran, Nigeria and Ethiopia, Consultant for The Ford Foundation in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, and for the United States Information Service in Italy, Tunisia and Jordan, as a Fulbright Grantee in Peru, and as U.S. State Department Representative to TESL Seminars in Rumania, Poland, and Yugoslavia.



Professor Emerita, Department of Applied Linguistics and TESL, UCLA, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from the University of California website:

Marianne Celce-Murcia, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Applied Linguistics & TESL at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she taught and mentored graduate students for thirty years. Professor Celce-Murcia has published widely in the areas of language teaching methodology (including discourse-based approaches), the teaching of pronunciation, and pedagogical grammar. Both at UCLA and at AUA she has worked with professionals who are non-native speakers of English in need of improving their spoken and written English to progress professionally.

Professor Celce-Murcia served as Dean of the AUA’s Department of English Programs from 2003 through 2007.


ANTONY JOHN KUNNAN, Ph.D.Professor, California State University, Los Angeles

The following bio has been adapted from the Cal State LA page:

Antony John Kunnan areas of expertise lie in language testing, language planning and policy and ethics and educational research. He is the author of Test Taker Characteristics and Test Performance: A Structural Modeling Approach (Cambridge, 1995, editor of Validation in Language Assessment (Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998), editor of Fairness and Validation in Language Assessment (Cambridge, 1999), and co-author (with Lyle Bachman) of Workbook and CD for Statistical analyses for language assessment (2005).

He is a frequent keynote speaker in Asia and Europe; in 2010, he gave talks at Shanghai Jiatong University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Language Testing and Training Center, Taipei, the American University of Armenia, and the Association of Language Testers of Europe Conference in Prague. In 2004, he was also the President of the International Language Testing Association and currently he is the editor of Language Assessment Quarterly. He is now working on many research and publication projects: one of them is an edited 4-volume 150-chapter Companion to Language Assessment (print and on-line version) to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2013.

Professor Antony John Kunnan served as Dean of the AUA’s Department of English Programs from 2007 through 2011.