Sara A. Smith received her Doctorate in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, followed by postdoctoral research in the Brain.Experience.Education Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017, she joined the University of South Florida as an Assistant Professor in ESOL and Foreign Language Education and Faculty in the Technology in Education and Second Language Acquisition (TESLA) doctoral program.
The broad aim of her research program is to gain a better understanding of linguistic experience and how it affects language, cognition, speech, and literacy and academic achievement. The goals of her research are to 1) generate predictive theories of language acquisition that incorporate endogenous and exogenous differences; and 2) develop scalable technology-enhanced solutions for enabling language learning, informed by the first goal. She focuses on emerging technologies for teaching and learning, including digital environments and immersive virtual environments.
Dr. Smith is the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and has received over $3.5M in grant funding, including from the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Education. She partners with industry, foundations, and government agencies to solve challenges and build innovative learning solutions.