Dr. Sarah Hercula


photograph of Dr. Sarah Hercula

Research Interests: language variation, language ideologies, English grammar, translingualism, linguistics pedagogy, English as a second language, second language writing

Dr. Sarah Hercula earned her B.A. in secondary education (English and mathematics) and M.A. in English with an emphasis on teaching from Western Michigan University. She received her Graduate Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Ph.D. in English studies with an emphasis on linguistics from Illinois State University.

Dr. Hercula’s research (and often teaching) centers on linguistic variation in English—the different ways people speak English across the country and across the world. As an applied linguist, Dr. Hercula is especially interested in issues of identity, perception, prestige, and stigmatization as well as the attitudes and ideologies that surround linguistic variation. Her dissertation, “Teaching Stigmatized Englishes: Counteracting Linguistic Prejudice Using a Critical Pedagogical Approach to the Introductory Linguistics Course,” explores the curriculum she developed for teaching linguistics that centers on the study of stigmatized varieties of English—like African American English and Chicano English, for example. Dr. Hercula also teaches and researches in the areas of speaking and writing English as a second language and enjoys working with multilingual students.

Dr. Hercula has taught English 1120 (Exposition and Argumentation)—a section specifically designed for nonnative speakers of English—and English 3301 (A Linguistic Study of Modern English). She is looking forward to piloting English 3001 (The Grammatical Structure of English) in the spring.

Dr. Hercula is originally from Michigan and was raised in a large family. In addition to reading, writing, and studying language, she enjoys listening to and making music, walking her beautiful three-year-old Shar Pei-Rottweiler named Mohinder, and binge-watching good shows on Netflix with her husband.