Mashael Algana

My name is Mashael Algana. I am from Saudi Arabia. Currently, I am enrolled in the Second Language Studies Ph.D. program at Michigan State University. I received my BA in English from King Khalid University (KKU) in 2009 and after graduating I worked at KKU as a teaching assistant in the English department. My teaching experience as an English instructor motivated me to explore my academic inquiry about second language acquisition (SLA). My interest in SLA led me to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics at Texas Tech University in 2014. At Texas Tech, I had the great opportunity to work, under the guidance of Dr. Kimi Nakatsukasa, on a class project that focused on gestures and language development.  My interest in learning more about the effects of nonverbal cues on language learning, especially L2 speech perception and production motivated me to join the SLS program at Michigan State University in 2017.

During my time in the SLS program, I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of Dr. Debra Hardison on different projects related to L2 speech perception and production. I also had the chance to take both eye-tracking and psycholinguistic classes with Dr. Aline Godfroid. Both classes have prompted me to explore L2 speech perception and production from a psycholinguistic perspective. The SLS program has also allowed me to gain experience in corpus linguistics and currently I am working on a corpus project with Dr. Sandra Deshors. Also, during my time in the program, I had the chance to help work as the Co-editor for 2018-2019 MSU Working Papers in Second Language Studies and a facilitator for the Fulbright foreign language teaching assistants (FLTA) 2018 summer micro-teaching sessions.

I recently defended my dissertation titled “L2 English Listeners’ Comprehension: An Examination of the Effects of Visual Cues and Nonnative Accented Speech”. Under the guidance of my chair advisor Dr. Debra Hardison, I was able to explore how seeing the speaker’s gestures and/or face versus audio only affects second language learners’ listening comprehension of native and nonnative L2 speech. If you are interested in contacting me or learning more about my work, please visit my website.