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Chatwara Suwannamai Duran

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Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics

Chatwara Suwannamai Duran, also known as Oui Duran, specializes in language and literacy and the relationship between migration and multilingualism. She is interested in exploring movement of people, languages, cultures, ideas and goods across national boundaries and their resulting linguistic diversity and literacies. Her work aims to advocate the voice of the minoritized, especially immigrant and refugee families. 

As a qualitative researcher, she utilizes multiple ethnographic methods to approach social, cultural and historical constructs of migration and multilingualism. Drawing on theoretical insights of applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, literacy studies and educational anthropology, she explores how the contradictory ideologies of language between the sending and the receiving countries complicate the lived experiences, language and literacy development and learning trajectories of immigrant and refugee families. Recently, her research interest and commitment have culminated into "Language and Literacy in Refugee Families" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). The book examines how the Karenni refugee families’ (originally from Burma/Myanmar) language and literacy practices are shaped by their multiple migrations, contested ideologies of language, generational differences, and the current technology advancement.

Her current book projects include an edited volume tentatively titled, "English Language Teaching and Policy in Southeast Asia." Another project is a longitudinal study investigating legal and economic literacies among immigrant women in Houston, Texas.


  • Ph.D., Arizona State University, Curriculum and Instruction/Language and Literacy
  • M.A., The University of Texas at San Antonio, Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, Concentration in Teaching ESL
  • B.A., Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), English

Research Interests

  • Multilingualism
  • Literacy Studies, Literacies
  • Migration, Immigration, Transnationalism
  • Refugee Studies
  • Language Teaching and Learning
  • Ethnography



Duran, C.S. (2017) “Language and Literacy in Refugee Families” London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

Duran, C.S. (2019) "On Issues of Discrimination and Xenophobia: What Can TESOL Practitioners Do to Support and Advocate for Refugee Students?" TESOL Quarterly, 53(3), 818-827.

Duran, C.S. (2019) “I have many things to tell you, but I don’t know English”: Linguistic challenge and language brokering. In M. Bigelow & D. Warriner (eds) “Relationships, Reciprocity and Research with Minoritized Communities: Methodological Meta-reflections on Power and Equity.” Multilingual Matters.

Warriner, D., Fredricks, D. and Duran, C.S. (2019). "Valuing the resources and experiences of refugee-background learners: A principled approach to teaching and learning academic language." Theory intro Practice.

Duran, C.S. (2017) “You not die yet”: Language Socialization in Karenni Children’s Video-gaming Community. Journal of Linguistics and Education, 42, 1-9.

Duran, C.S. (2017) "A home for between-ers." Borderlines Volume III.

Duran, C.S. (2016) “I want to do things with languages”: A male Karenni refugee’s reconstructing multilingual capital. Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 15(4), 216-229.

Duran, C.S. (2014) "Theorizing Agency Among Young Language Learners through the Lens of Multilingual Repertoires: A Socio-cultural Perspective." In Deters, P., Gao, X., Miller, E. R., and Vitanova, G. (eds.) Theorizing and Analyzing Agency in Second Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Approaches, pp. 73-90. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters.

Friedrich, P., Chaudhuri, A., Duran, C.S., et al (2013) "Reading Pennycook critically ten years later: a group’s reflections on and questions about critical applied linguistics." International Multilingual Research Journal, 7, 119-137. 

Matsuda, A. and Duran, C.S. (2013) "Problematizing the construction of Americans as monolingual English speakers." In V. Ramanathan (ed.), Language Policy, Pedagogic Practices: Rights, Access, (Dis)Citizenship, pp. 35-51. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters.

Honors, Awards and Grants Received 

  • Finalist, Teaching Excellence Awards, Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty, University of Houston, 2018
  • Research Progress Grant (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), $6,000
  • Hobby Center for Public Policy (Collaborative Project), $10,000
  • Book/Project Completion Grant, $4,000
  • Faculty Advisor, Honors College and Provost’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  • New Faculty Research Award, Division of Research, University of Houston, 2014-2015, $6,000
  • Provost Travel Award, University of Houston, Summer 2013 ($750), Summer 2014 ($1,000), Summer 2015 ($1,200), Summer 2016 ($1,200), Summer 2019 ($600)
  • Early Career Presidential Fellowship, Council of Anthropology and Education, American Anthropological Association, 2013-2014
  • The Albert Mackwardt Memorial Fund, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2010


Undergraduate Level

  • Introduction to the Studies of Language
  • Teaching English as a Second Language
  • Varieties of English
  • History of English
  • Advanced Community Engagement
  • Sociolinguistics

Graduate Level

  • Language, Literacy and Identity
  • Documenting Community Culture 
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Methods of Teaching English as an Additional Language

Professional Affiliations

  • American Anthropological Association (AAA)
  • American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
  • Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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