Aside from academic-related stuff, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, running, yogaing, visiting my home state of Cali, exploring Big Sky country, and traveling.
'How did you become interested in your areas of research?' 'Why do you speak Spanish?' These are questions that I am frequently asked and that I have spent a lot of time trying to explain to others. I grew up in San Francisco Bay Area, a very multilingual and multicultural part of the world. I grew up speaking Cantonese and hearing Spanish, two of the most popular languages spoken in the area. My parents are from China and Hong Kong, but they had spent a significant part of their life living in El Salvador. For most of my life, I have believed that my Cantonese isn't good enough, that it's embarrassing to speak Cantonese in public, that Spanish isn't a language for me because I'm Asian American, that where I'm really from isn't California and the U.S. It wasn't until graduate school, when I took courses in language variation and Spanish as a heritage language, among others, that I finally found the terminology and the conceptual understanding to articulate and reconcile my intersecting, contradicting, and complex identities and lived experiences. I chose my areas of research because I wanted to document what multilingual users struggle with linguistically and socially, how language users position themselves and how they are positioned by others, and why language learning is not always an equitable opportunity for all languages and speakers. My hope is to empower everyone to be proud of their backgrounds and the languages they speak, regardless of whether or not it is deemed 'ideal, standard, prestigious, native, target.' My hope is that my teaching and research will contest policies, structures, and ideologies that perpetuate inequities and discrimination.