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Theresa Catalano

Associate Professor

Ph.D. (2011) Second Language Acquisition and Teaching, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
M.A. (1998) English Language/Linguistics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
B.S. (1990). Elementary Education. University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Dr. Catalano’s research focuses on global citizenship education (and the arts), education and migration, and critical language studies. Dr. Catalano’s book, “Talking about global migration: Implications for language teaching” (Multilingual Matters, 2016), features the stories of migrants from around the world and takes an in-depth look at the metaphors used when migrants talk about their experiences. 

Dr. Catalano also serves as faculty advisor for the TLTE graduate student association and is co-leader of TLTE’s Master of Arts with emphasis in language teaching and acquisition/ELL (MAlta) program and coordinator of the dual language endorsement program.

She teaches courses related to language education including:

  • Secondary World Language Methods (TEAC 451, 452R, 894R)
  • Linguistics for Language Teachers (TEAC 813K – online)
  • Intercultural Communication (TEAC 813J)
  • Teaching Multilingual Learners in the Elementary/Secondary Classroom (TEAC 317, TEAC 413M)
  • Introduction to Multimodal Textual Analysis (TEAC 930M)
  • Foundations of Dual Language Education (TEAC 815A)


Select Publications:

Catalano, T. & Mitchell-McCollough, J. (2019). Representation of unaccompanied or separated children

from Central America in the United States: Media vs. migrant perspectives. In A. Musolff & L.

Viola (Eds.) Migration and Media: Discourses about Identities in Crisis. (pp. 239-262). London:

John Benjamins.

Catalano, T., Reeves, J. & Wessels, S. (2018). "The soccer field, it has dirt”: A critical analysis of teacher

 learners in contact with emergent multilingual students". Critical Inquiry in Language Studies.

15(1), 1-20.

Catalano, T.  & Fielder, G.E. (2018). European Spaces and the Roma: Denaturalizing the naturalized in

online reader comments. Discourse & Communication. 12(3), 240–257.

Catalano, T.  (2017). When children are water: Representation of Central American migrant children in

public discourse and implications for educators. Journal of Latinos and Education. 16 (2), 124-

142. DOI: 10.1080/15348431.2016.1205988

Catalano, T.  & Gatti, L. (2017). Representing teachers as criminals in the news: a multimodal critical

discourse analysis of the Atlanta schools’ “Cheating Scandal”. Social Semiotics, 27(1), 59-80.

Catalano, T. and Hamann, E. T. (2016). Multilingual pedagogies and pre-service teachers: Implementing

‘language as a resource’ orientations in teacher education programs. Bilingual Research Journal,

39 (3-4), 263-278.

Catalano, T.  & Leonard, A. (2016). Moving people and minds: Dance as a vehicle of democratic education.

Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. 1-22. DOI: 10.1177/1746197915626082.


Areas of Expertise:

    Second, Third and Additional Language Acquisition and Teaching
    Critical Discourse Analysis
    World Language Education

Professional Highlights

Honors and Recognition
December 2018: Great Plains Fellow, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. May 2018: Faculty Affiliate, Global Studies Program, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.January 2018: Donald R. & Mary Lee Swanson Award for Teaching Excellence University of Nebraska-Lincoln. October 2017: Nominated for the Susan J. Rosowski Professorship, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. October 2017: Nominated for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Exemplary Research in Teaching and Teacher Education Award. May 2017: Nominated for the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Book Award for Talking about global migration: Implications for language teaching (Multilingual Matters). January 2017: Nominated for the 2017 Qualitative Book Award for the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry for Talking about global migration: Implications for language teaching (Multilingual Matters). April 2016: Emerging Scholar Research and Creative Award, College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. April 2015: Nominated for a “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment Award”, The Women’s Center, Women’s Week Banquet, 340 Nebraska Union, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2014, Finalist for 2014 Founders' Emergent Scholars Award, International Society of Language Studies and the Language Studies Foundation2013, Faculty Affiliate, Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2014, College Distinguished Teaching Award, College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln2011, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, College of Humanities, University of Arizona2008, Excellence in Service Award, Department of French and Italian, University of Arizona2006, Excellence in Teaching Award, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Nebraska at Omaha1995, Nebraska PTA Honorary State Life Award for Excellence in Teaching, Western Hills Elementary School, Omaha, NE