Mahmoud Azaz

Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies
University of Arizona Distinguished Fellow
Associate Professor, Arabic Language, Linguistics, & Pedagogy

Mahmoud is a tenured Associate Professor of Arabic Language, Linguistics, and Pedagogy in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies and a core faculty member at the Doctorate Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching where he serves as the Chair of the Instructional Dimensions. Also, he is the University of Arizona Distinguished Fellow (Center for University Education Scholarship) and holds a courtesy appointment at the Department of Linguistics.  

Mahmoud holds a PhD 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 and sociocultural approaches to Arabic second language acquisition, Arabic program administration, and Arabic sociolinguistics. Numerous articles by Dr. Azaz were published in many reputable journals in applied linguistics. His recent book publications include Instructed Second Language Acquisition of Arabic (Routledge Press, 2023) and Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics XXXIV (John Benjamins Publishing, 2023). A textbook with Ayman Mohamed, Contemporary Egyptian Arabic, is in preparation for production (Georgetown University Press). Also, he is currently co-editing a special issue on multilingual perspectives in L2 Arabic (Journal of Critical Multilingual Studies). His recent co-authored articles focus on multidialectal practices in Arabic heritage and content-based instruction. His recent projects focus on sociopragmatic competence, linguistic complexity, and multilingualism in the context of L2 Arabic.  

Mahmoud is also a professional bidirectional translator (Arabic-English). He translated Anthony Gorman’s Historians, State, and Politics in Twentieth Century Egypt (Routledge), and he is currently translating Yasir Suleiman’s The Arabic Language and National Identity (Edinburgh University Press).  

He was awarded the 2022 Excellence in Language Program Direction Award by the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Language Programs (AAUSC);  Provost’s Award for Innovation in Teaching; the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Lower Division Teaching; the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award; Top L2 Research Award by the Second Language Research Forum; and Distinguished Lecturer Award from Ain Shams University in Egypt. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Applied Linguistics Forum of the Modern Language Association the Executive Board of the Arabic Linguistics Society. Previously, he served as the elected Arabic Sector Head at the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs.