Professional Development

Introduction and Philosophy

At the Language Center, we are committed to quality language instruction and to the development of our teachers. Central to our mission is a self-sustaining professional development program that focuses on research, as well as on individual and overall staff growth.

Instructors are our most valuable resource. They sustain the professional development program through continual collaboration on research and language teaching. The expertise of more senior instructors, both in research and in the skills acquired through professional development training, directly benefits less experienced instructors and teaching assistants who are just beginning their careers.

We know that language teaching can lead to a variety of other kinds of careers— literary scholarship, publishing, editing, and administration, to name only a few. The structure of our professional development program encourages instructors to pursue individual interests and to become more expert in specialized areas such as oral proficiency assessment, technology, tests and measurements, reading and writing, and content-based instruction.

Highly trained instructors produce better prepared students. Students, of course, are at the heart of our professional development efforts. Demonstrated and proven teaching excellence and exceptional student performance are testaments to our dedication to professional development and exemplary language instruction.

Excellence in Research

The following publications by instructors and staff highlight Language Center projects:


Bernhardt, E., Molitoris, J., Romeo, K., Lin, N., & Valderrama, P. (2015). Designing and Sustaining a Foreign Language Writing Proficiency Assessment Program at the Postsecondary Level. Foreign Language Annals, 48, 3, 329-349.


Bernhardt, E.B. (2010). Understanding advanced second-language reading. London: Routledge.

Bernhardt, E.B., & Tedick, D.L. (2010). Learning a second language in first language environments. In E. Baker, P. Peterson,& B. McGaw, Eds. International Encyclopedia of Education. 3rd Edition. Oxford: Elsevier.

Hubbard, P. (2010). Listening to learn: New opportunities in an online world. In C. Ward (Ed.) The impact of technology on language learning and teaching: What, how and why . Singapore: Regional Language Centre Publications.

Hubbard, P. (2010). Reflections on teaching discourse functions using a science thesis. Journal of Writing and Pedagogy : 1.2: 264-277.

Romeo, K. & Hubbard, P. (2010). Pervasive CALL learner training for improving listening proficiency. In M. Levy, F. Blin, C. Siskin and O. Takeuchi (Eds.), WorldCALL: International perspectives on computer assisted language learning. New York: Routledge.


Bernhardt, Valdes, G., & Miano, A. (2009). A chronicle of standards-based curricular reform in a research university. In Virginia Scott (Ed.) Principles andpractices of the standards in college foreign language education. (pp. 54-85). Boston: Heinle & Heinle.

Bernhardt, E.B. (2009) Systemic and systematic assessment as a keystone for language and literature programs. ADFL Bulletin, 40, 1, 14-19.

Bernhardt, E.B. (2009). Increasing reading opportunities for English language learners. (pp. 190-209). In E. Hiebert, Reading More, Reading Better. New York: Guilford Press.

Healey, D., Hegelheimer, V., Hubbard, P., Ioannou-Georgiou, S., Kessler, G. & Ware, P. (2009). TESOL Technology Standards framework . Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Hubbard, P. (Ed.) (2009). Computer assisted language learning, Volumes 1- 4. Critical Concepts in Linguistics Series. New York: Routledge.

Hubbard, P. (2009). Educating the CALL specialist. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching 3.1: 3-15

Kamil, M. L., & Bernhardt, E.B. (2009). An introduction to the 100th anniversary edition of Edmund Burke Huey's The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading. (pp. vii-xix). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.


Cowles, M., & Wiedemann, L. (2008). The Impact of Target-Country versus Home-Country Immersion Programs on Foreign Language Learners of Portuguese, Connections, SWCOLT 2: 1-15.

Cowles, M., & Wiedemann, L. (2008). Immersion Program Design: Planning for the Future. In Post-Conference Forum, Hispania, 91.1: 220-221.

Hubbard, P. (2008). CALL and the future of language teacher education. CALICO Journal, 25 (2), 175-188.

Hubbard, P. (2008). Twenty-five years of theory in the CALICO Journal. CALICO Journal, 25(3), 387-399.

Romeo, K., Gentile, L., & Bernhardt, E. (2008). Sentence repetition and story retelling as indicators of language proficiency in young bilingual children. 57th Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. Oak Creek, WI: National Reading Conference.


Bernhardt, E.B. (2007). Foreign languages surviving and thriving in conventional university settings: Implications for less commonly taught languages. Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages 4, 17-28.

Fotenos, S., Wiedemann, L., & Kautz, J. (2007). "Vamos Blogar" (Let’s Blog): Integrating Two Worlds through Technology. Digital Stream Pre-Conference Proceedings.

Hubbard, P. (2007). Critical issues: Professional development. In J. Egbert & E. Hanson-Smith eds. CALL Environments: Research, Practice and Critical Issues, Second Edition (pp. 276-291). Alexandria, VA: TESOL Publications.

Petig, William E., trans. (2007). Xaver Scharwenka: Sounds from My Life: Reminiscences of a Musician. Intro. Robert S. Feigelson. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Wiedemann, L., & Cowles, M. (2007). Programas de Português: importância da avaliação lingüística, Portuguese Newsletter, AATSP, Nov.: 4-5.


Bernhardt, E.B., & Kamil M. (2006). The state of second-language reading research. In K. Brown (Ed.)., Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics. 2nd Edition. (pp. 88-95). Oxford: Elsevier.

Bernhardt, Elizabeth B. (2006). Student learning outcomes as professional development and public relations. Modern Language Journal 90, 2, 588-590.

Cowles, M., Oliveira, S.M., & Wiedemann, L. (2006). Perspectives on the Evaluation of Portuguese as a Foreign Language (United States, Brazil, and Europe), Hispania, 89 (1): 123-132.

Hubbard, P., & Levy, M. (2006). The scope of CALL education. In P. Hubbard & M. Levy (Eds.), Teacher Education in CALL (pp. 3-20). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hubbard, P. (2006). Evaluating CALL software. In Lara Ducate and Nike Arnold, eds. Calling on CALL: From Theory and Research to New Directions in Foreign Language Teaching. (pp. 313-338). San Marcos, TX: CALICO.

Hubbard, P., & Levy, M., eds. (2006). Teacher Education in CALL. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kolaitis, M., Mahoney, M. A., Pomann, H., & Hubbard, P. (2006). Training ourselves to train our students for CALL. In P. Hubbard & M. Levy (Eds.), Teacher Education in CALL (pp. 317-332). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.


Bernhardt, E.B. (2005). Progress and procrastination in second-language reading. In Mary McGroarty (Ed). Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. (pp. 133-150). Cambridge: CUP.

Bernhardt, E.B. (2005). Real and imagined roles for technology in acquiring second-language literacy. In M. McKenna, L. Labbo, R. Kieffer, & D. Reinking (Eds.), Handbook of Literacy and Technology (pp. 355-362). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hubbard, P. (2005). A Review of Subject Characteristics in CALL Research. Computer Assisted Language Learning 18 (5), 351-368.

Simões, A., Carvalho, A., & Wiedemann, L., eds. (2005). Português para Falantes de Espanhol/Portuguese for Spanish Speakers. Selected Articles in Portuguese and English. São Paulo, Brazil: Pontes.

Zhang, Y. (2005). Reading and Writing Chinese Characters On-line for Web Course Tool (WebCT) Discussion Activities. In T. Jen and P. Xu (Eds.), Chinese Character Instruction and Computer Technology. (pp. 241-258). Taiwan: Linking Publishing House.


Bernhardt, E.B., Rivera, R.J., & Kamil, M.L. (2004). The practicality and efficiency of web-based placement testing for college-level programs. Foreign Language Annals, Fall, 37(3), 356-366.

Bernhardt, E.B. (2004). Can language and literature programs teach students to speak intellectual complexity? ADE Bulletin 136, 44-49.

Kamil, M., & Bernhardt, E. (2004). The science of reading and the reading of science: Success, failures and promises in the search for prerequisite reading skills for science. In E. W. Saul, ed. Crossing Borders in Literacy and Science Instruction: Perspectives on Theory and Practice. (pp. 123-139). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Miano, A.A. (2004). Voices in Dialogue: Hibridity as literacy, literacy as hybridity: Dialogic Responses to a heteroglossic world. In Ball, A., & Freedman, S.W. (Eds.), Bakhtinian perspectives on language, literacy, and learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Excellence in Service

Vivian Brates, Lecturer in Spanish, was presented with a Stanford Community Partnership Award in May 2016. Conferred by the University Office of Public Affairs, these awards recognize “outstanding initiative, leadership and involvement in efforts that embody the spirit of genuine partnership and benefit the overall community and have resulted in collaboration between Stanford and its neighbors.” Vivian developed a partnership between the Stanford Language Center and the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA), a local non-profit dedicated to immigration services. More than 100 students and over 50 local adults have participated in the program since its inception in 2011. The collaboration has become a touchstone for community-engaged learning in foreign languages, and an integral part of the second-year Spanish sequence.

Elizabeth Bernhardt, Director of the Language Center and Professor of German Studies, was named the Warren Shelden University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, part of the Bass program. Bass University Fellows are chosen based on their commitment to undergraduate education. Faculty from all seven schools, as well as senior fellows in centers and institutes, are eligible. The Bass Program sponsors an annual event for University Fellows and donors. Appointments are for five-year terms and are made by the provost on the recommendation of the vice provost for undergraduate education.  At the 2014 Annual Convention of the Modern Language Association (MLA), Dr. Bernhardt was presented with the 2014 Distinguished Service to the Profession Award, from the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL). In 2015 she was elected Honorary Member of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).

Monica Brillantes, Program Manager of the Language Center, received the Dean's Award of Merit from the School of Humanities and Sciences in Spring 2014. Monica has been the manager of the Language Center since 2006. She handles everything from budget management and human resources for more than 60 instructors, to compiling the Annual Report of the Language Center. She also serves as the primary liaison with the H&S Dean's Office, Accounts Payable, University Procurement and other university offices. Her capacity for diplomacy, ability to maintain composure regardless of the circumstances, efficiency, dedication, and unwavering cheer are recognized and appreciated by all who work with her.

Excellence in Teaching

All teaching evaluations are collected and analyzed by the Language Center before being forwarded to the Registrar's office for university evaluation. This procedure enables an internal evaluation of all language teaching at Stanford, not generically, but against the backdrop of language teaching. On the first day of each quarter, language department chairs receive an aggregated report on the language teaching in their departments, course by course. This report includes the quantitative data generated, an assessment of students' qualitative comments, and recommendations from the Language Center Director for programmatic directions and instructional improvement.

All of the data are also consolidated across departments in order to analyze the general performance of language instruction at Stanford. Data are reported against the backdrop of previous quarters so that the Language Center can trace strengths and weaknesses over time.

A number of Language Center lecturers have received prestigious university teaching awards. Ali Miano, coordinator of Spanish, received the Gores Award in 1997. The Gores is the university’s highest teaching award. Ramzi Salti has received a Knight Fellow award for his teaching of Arabic. Rima Greenhill (1995), Hisayo Lipton (1998), Hong Zeng (2002), Momoyo Lowdermilk (2003), and Ramzi Salti (2004 and 2005) have all received the Humanities and Sciences Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Staff Certifications

The following instructors are ACTFL-OPI certified testers:

  • Spanish: Ali Miano, Vivian Brates, Maria Cristina Urruela, Hae-Joon Won, Kara Sánchez, Citlalli del Carpio, Carimer Ortiz Cuevas, Ana Vivancos
  • Portuguese: Agripino Silveira, Lyris Wiedemann
  • French: Maria Comsa, Heather Howard, Marie Lasnier, Vera Shapirshteyn, Alix Mazuet
  • Italian: Marta Baldocchi, Alessandra McCarty, Giovanni Tempesta
  • German: Paul Nissler
  • Hebrew: Vered Shemtov
  • English for Foreign Students: Kristopher Geda
  • Korean: Hee-Sun Kim, Hannah Yoon
  • Japanese: Momoyo Kubo Lowdermilk, Emi Mukai, Emiko Yasumoto Magnani, Momoe Saito Fu, Yoshiko Tomiyama
  • Chinese: Marina Chung, Michelle DiBello, Nina Yuhsun Lin, Le Tang, Huazhi Wang, Youping Zhang, Hong Zeng
  • Russian: Rima Greenhill, Eugenia Khassina
  • Arabic: Salem Aweiss (DLI), Khalil Barhoum, Thoraya Boumehdi, Khalid Obeid, Ramzi Salti
  • ILR-Chinese: Xiaofang Zhou
  • Swahili: Samuel Mukoma
  • Hindi: Sonia Sharma (previously Taneja)
  • Turkish: Ebru Ergul
  • Persian: Shervin Emami

In addition, other lecturers are currently pursuing certification in Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Portuguese.

Our ACTFL-certified raters in Writing Proficiency are:

  • Spanish: Ali Miano, Vivian Brates, Citlalli del Carpio, Carimer Ortiz Cuevas, Kara Sánchez, Maria Cristina Urruela, Ana Vivancos, Hae-Joon Won
  • Portuguese: Agripino Silveira, Lyris Wiedemann
  • French: Maria Comsa, Heather Howard, Marie Lasnier, Vera Shapirshteyn, Alix Mazuet
  • German: Paul Nissler
  • English for Foreign Students: Kristopher Geda
  • Italian: Marta Baldocchi, Alessandra McCarty
  • Korean: Hee-Sun Kim
  • Japanese: Momoyo Kubo Lowdermilk, Emi Mukai, Emiko Yasumoto Magnani, Yoshiko Tomiyama
  • Chinese: Marina Chung, Michelle DiBello, Nina Yuhsun Lin, Le Tang, Huazhi Wang, Hong Zeng, Youping Zhang, Xiaofang Zhou
  • Arabic: Khalil Barhoum, Thoraya Boumehdi, Khalid Obeid, Ramzi Salti
  • Russian: Rima Greenhill, Eugenia Khassina

A number of the current OPI testers are pursuing additional certification as Writing Proficiency raters in their respective language.

The following instructors are certified OPI Tester Trainers:

  • Spanish: Ali Miano
  • Korean: Hee-Sun Kim
  • Chinese: Nina Yushun Lin