Mahmoud Azaz

About Mahmoud Azaz

Mahmoud is Assistant Professor of Arabic Language, Linguistics, and Pedagogy in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. Also, he is the University of Arizona Distinguished Fellow (Center for University Education Scholarship). Mahmoud is also an affiliate at the Doctorate Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching and holds a courtesy appointment at the Department of Linguistics.  

Mahmoud holds a Ph.D. with Distinction in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona. He taught Arabic at the University of Arizona and California State University in Chico, and linguistics at Ain Shams University in Cairo. His research interests include linguistic approaches to Arabic second language acquisition, Arabic pedagogy and program adminstration, and Arabic sociolinguistics. Articles by Dr. Azaz were published in journals such as Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism (LAB, John Benjamins), the International Journal of Applied Linguistics (IJAL, Wiley & Sons), the Foreign Language Annals (FLAN, Wiley & Sons), Al-ʿArabiyya (Georgetown University Press), and Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL).  

Mahmoud was awarded the 2017 SBS Dean's Award for Excellence in Lower Division Teaching and the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the University of Arizona; the Top Research Proposal Award by the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF); and Distinguished Lecturer Award in Linguistics from Ain Shams University in Egypt. Mahmoud is also a professional bidirectional translator (Arabic-English); he translated Anthony Gorman’s Historians, State, and Politics in Twentieth Century Egypt (Routledge) into Arabic and he is currently translating into Arabic Yasir Suleiman’s The Arabic Language and National Identity. Dr. Azaz gave a number of conference presentations in the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL), the Second Language Acquisition Forum (SLRF), and Arabic Linguistics Society (ALS). Mahmoud was pleased to receive multiple research grants from the University of Arizona that support his current research program in Arabic SLA and sociolinguistics. These include the Faculty Seed Grant (from the Office for Research & Discovery); the Confluence Grant (from the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry); and Research Professorship Grant (from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute); and most recently Distinguished Fellowship (the Center for University Education Scholarship).

Selected publications

Azaz, M. (2017). Metalinguistic knowledge of salient versus unsalient features: Evidence from the Arabic construct state. Foreign Language Annals, 50(1), 214-236. (Wiley & Sons)

Azaz, M., & Frank, J., (2017). The role of perceptual salience in the L2 acquisition sequence of the Arabic construct state. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 27(3), 621–635. (Wiley & Sons) DOI:10.1111/ijal.12165 URL: 

Azaz, M., & Frank, J., (2017). Bidirectional cross-linguistic influence in late bilingualism: Evidence from the container-content relation. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism (Forthcoming). (John Benjamins)
DOI: 10.1075/lab.15012.aza

Azaz, M. (2016). Crosslinguistic effects in L2 acquisition: The case of Arabic determiner phrase. Al-ʿArabiyya: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Arabic, 49,1-24.

Azaz, M. (2016). Integrating the genre-based approach into teaching writing in Arabic as a foreign language. Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, 19, 31-60.

Azaz, M. (2014). Transition from Coptic to Arabic in early Muslim Egypt: Resolving a sociolinguistic puzzle. Zaytoon, 6, 4-19. Appeared in A. El-Gibali (Ed.) Dirasaat ‘arabiyya wa-Islaamiyya: In honor of Dr. Adel Gamal. Makatabat al-Adaab, Cairo, Egypt. 

Mahmoud Azaz's picture

Contact Information

Mahmoud Azaz
Assistant Professor of Arabic Language, Linguistics, & Pedagogy and University of Arizona Distinguished Fellow
Office: Marshall 448
Office Hours: Monday & Thursday 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM and by appointment


Ph.D. with Distinction in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching (University of Arizona, 2014)

M.A. in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching (University of Arizona, 2014)

M.A. with Distinction in Applied Linguistics (Ain Shams University, Egypt, 2009)

Graduate College Diploma in Foreign Language Teaching (Cairo University, Egypt, 2003)

TESOL Certificate Program (California State University in Chico, 2010)

Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Education ( Cairo University, Egypt, 2001)

Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in English Language and Linguistics (Ain Shams University, Egypt, 2005)