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Theresa Catalano 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 language teacher education and migration (including intercultural education and arts integration), and the connection of language and visual communication to ideology, power and social inequality. 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. Her recent book with Linda Waugh Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Studies and Beyond (Springer, 2020) introduces CDA/CDS, its important foundational concepts and theories, and traces its development from its early years until it became established. After the relationship between CDA and CDS is discussed, seven commonly cited approaches to CDA/CDS are outlined followed by an overview of critique of CDA/CDS and salient connections to other interdisciplinary areas of scholarship. The final chapter describes how scholars use their knowledge of CDA/CDS to make a difference in the world.

Dr. Catalano currently serves as point-person for the M3 initiative ( and as faculty advisor for the TLTE graduate student association. She also co-coordinates the MA plus certification in world language program and 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)
  • Spanish in the Content Areas (TEAC 815J)


Select publications:

Dr. Catalano’s publications can be accessed through UNL Digital Commons with the search term “Theresa Catalano”.


Catalano, T. & L. R. Waugh. (2020). Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Studies and Beyond. In series: Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy & Psychology. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. 


 Catalano, T., Kiramba, L.K. & Viesca, K. (2020). Transformative interviewing and the experiences of multilingual learners not labeled “ELL” in US schools. Bilingual Research Journal, 43(2), 178-195.


Catalano, T. (2020). The visual representation of dual language education. Visual Communication. 0 (0), 1-23.


 Sierk, J. & Catalano, T. (2020). The downfall: Listening to non-urban communities and their language ideologies. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies. 17 (2), 121-142.


Catalano, T., Traore Moundiba, H.C. & Pir, H. (2019). “I felt valued”: Multilingual microteachings and the development of teacher agency in a teacher education classroom. Critical Multilingualism Studies, 7 (2), 55-76.


Catalano, T.  & Musolff, A. (2019). ‘Taking the Shackles off’: Metaphor and metonymy of migrant children and border officials in the U.S. 29, 11-46.


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. (2016). Talking about global migration: Implications for language teaching. In series: New Perspectives in Language and Education. Bristol, U.K.: Multilingual Matters.


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