Plenary Speakers

Brandy Gatlin (UC Irvine)
How do we promote academic achievement among children from disadvantaged backgrounds? In an increasingly competitive society, the need to address this question has, perhaps, never been more apparent. Understanding the needs of children from racially, ethnically, economically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds is a priority in educational research and, as such, is a major focus of Dr. Brandy Gatlin's work. The majority of Dr. Gatlin's research thus far has explored relations among language variation, namely nonmainstream American English or dialect, and literacy achievement among culturally and linguistically diverse students in early developmental stages of reading. As part of her ongoing research, Dr. Gatlin is extending current literature by investigating dialect use in writing and examining relations among dialect use in various contexts and literacy outcomes. Her ongoing research will also explore similarities and differences among bilingual and bidialectal learners in order to determine potential implications for improvement in assessment and instruction among linguistically diverse students.




Lynn (Lina) Hou (UC Santa Barbara)
Lynn (Lina) Hou received her Ph.D in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. Prior to joining the Linguistics Department at University of California, Santa Barbara, she did a UC President’s postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Diego from 2016 to 2018. Her research interests are child language acquisition of sign languages, usage-based, ethnographic, and typological approaches to acquisition, language socialization and ideologies, and documentation and description of sign languages.


Wesley Y. Leonard (UC Riverside)
Wesley Y. Leonard received his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently an assistant professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. His primary research examines and theorizes sociopolitical factors that are intertwined with Native American language endangerment, documentation, and reclamation. A citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, he focuses in particular on the reclamation of his tribal nation’s language, myaamia (Miami), and on building capacity for Native American languages in ways that support tribal sovereignty and survivance. A more recent collaborative project that he co-chairs, Natives4Linguistics, promotes Indigenous needs and intellectual tools as ways of doing linguistic science. His work has appeared in scholarly outlets including the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Gender and Language, Language DocumentationConservation, and Language Documentation and Description.