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Dr. Sara Katherine Hillman

Dr. Sara Katherine Hillman

Assistant Professor

Office Number: 328E
Office Phone: +974.4423.0659

Sara Hillman is an applied linguist with specialization in second language studies, particularly in the fields of second language acquisition (SLA), applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and discourse analysis. Her research takes a sociological and anthropological approach to understanding how people learn and use other languages as well as their ideologies about languages and the intersection of language learners’ social identities, language ideologies, and language use. Most of her research has been conducted within the context of Arabic second language (L2) and heritage language learners in the United States and bilingual Arabic-English university students in Qatar. Her dissertation focused on humor and identity amongst Arabic heritage language learners in the classroom and she is currently working on projects examining: 

  • social identity and heteroglossia amongst Qatari students in Education City;
  • multilingualism and multiculturalism in private spheres and public spaces in Qatar;
  • Qataris’ language ideologies and perspectives on learning languages other than English and Arabic;
  • university professors’ use of Arabic in English-Medium Instruction (EMI) classrooms;
  • language experiences and attitudes of Filipina domestic workers in Qatar;
  • perspectives on being female and an engineering student in Qatar

Over the past 15 years, Sara has taught courses in ESL/EFL, Arabic as a foreign language, language teaching methods, and discourse analysis. As an Assistant Professor of ESL at TAMUQ, she currently teaches Foundations of English reading, writing, and integrated communication skills courses.


  • Ph.D. in Second Language Studies, Michigan State University, USA, 2011
  • M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Michigan State University, USA, 2006
  • B.A. in International Studies, American University (Washington D.C.), USA, 2002


  • Assistant Professor of ESL, Liberal Arts Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, 2015-present
  • Fixed-term Assistant Professor of Arabic, Department of Linguistics and Languages, Michigan State University, 2012-2015
  • Acting Academic Director of Arabic Flagship Program and Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic, Department of Linguistics and Languages, Michigan State University, 2011-2012
  • Graduate Assistant/Graduate Teaching Assistant/Instructor, Arabic Flagship Program, Second Language Studies Ph.D. Program, and English Language Center, Michigan State University, intermittent 2006-2011


  • Hillman, S. and Salama, G. (forthcoming). Female participation in engineering fields: Successes, challenges, and recommendations in a non-western context. In M. Auer, D. Guralnick, & I. Simonics (Eds.), Teaching and learning in a digital world – Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning. Series in advances in intelligent systems and computing. Sydney, Springer. 
  • Hillman, S., Salama, G., Ocampo Eibenschutz, E., Awadh, S., and El-Said, L. (2017). Being female and an engineering student in Qatar: Successes, challenges, and recommendations. 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings, June 25-28, Columbus, Ohio.
  • Hillman, S. K. (2015). Basic Arabic for health care professionals. In J. Trace, T. Hudson, & J. D. Brown, Developing Courses in Languages for Specific Purposes (pp. 36–48) (NetWork #69) [PDF document]. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i. doi:
  • Hillman, S. K. (2011). “Ma sha Allah”: Creating community through humor practices in a diverse Arabic language flagship program. Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertation and Theses. (UMI No. 3469330).
  • Hillman, S. (2010). [Review of the book Second language learning and identity: Cracking metaphors in ideological and poetic discourse in the third space.] Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(4): 656.
  • Kraemer, A., Ahn, S., Hillman, S., & Fei, F. (2009). Innovative learning modules for language in context: MIMEA. CALICO Journal, 27(1): 187-204.