Susan Plann

Professor of Chicana/o Studies, Applied Linguistics, Spanish & Portuguese, and Islamic Studies

Susan Plann 7373 Bunche
(310) 206-3114


Ph.D., Romance Linguistics and Literature, University of California at Los Angeles, 1975.

Research Interests

Migration, and unaccompanied child migration in particular; Moroccan immigrants in Spain; Oral narratives; Literacy; Service learning; Second language acquisition; Spanish linguistics and Applied linguistics; the interface between second language acquisition and language pedagogy.

Biography and Interests  

Professor Susan Plann’s current research focuses on the experiences of Moroccan youth who migrate to Spain as unaccompanied minors. Her research, conducted in Spain and Morocco, examines themes such as adaptation, identity formation, acculturation, and assimilation. This unique collection of oral narratives constitutes an important contribution to our understanding of transnational migration in general and child migration in particular.

Plann’s research on undocumented Moroccan migrants living in Spain dovetails with her involvement with the Los Angeles Latino community and her teaching interests. All of her undergraduate classes include community service at a variety of sites in the Latino community; the populations served include Latino new immigrant youth, unaccompanied migrant and refugee minors, and Latino adult new readers. At the graduate level Plann’s seminar, "Service Learning: Theory and Praxis," has spawned a variety of service learning classes across the UCLA campus and beyond. At the lower division level, she teaches a Fiat Lux Seminar on "The Undocumented Student Experience," with the collaboration of students from IDEAS at UCLA, an undocumented student organization.

BC SpanishNativeDeafSchoolInitially training in theoretical linguistics, over the course of her career, Plann has also explored areas such as Spanish linguistics, applied linguistics, second language acquisition, and the interface between second language acquisition and language pedagogy. Her training in linguistics led to an interest in minority language communities and publications on the Spanish deaf community, which she views as a cultural and linguistic minority, and Spain’s Arabic speaking community.

In addition to Chicana/o Studies, Plann is also a member of the Department of Applied Linguistics, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Interdepartmental Program in Islamic Studies.

Honors and Awards

Plann won the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009 and was honored for her contributions to service and community-based learning when she received the UCLA Fair and Open Campus Environment Award in 2007. In 2005, she was awarded a grant from the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships to create a Spanish language after-school program for African American elementary school children in Leimert Park. In 2002, she was Principal Investigator on a Ford Foundation Faculty Affinity Group Grant for developing courses with service learning. Her research on Spanish Deaf history was supported by a grant from the Fulbright International Exchange of Scholars; she also held the Powerie Doctor Chair for Research on Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

BC ASilentMinorityBooks

The Spanish National Deaf School: Portraits from the 19th Century. Gallaudet University Press, 2007.

A Silent Minority: Deaf Education in Spain, 1550-1835. University of California Press, 1997.

Relative Clauses in Spanish Without Overt Antecedents. University of California Press, 1980.


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