Piers Armstrong

College of Arts & Letters
Office Location: KH D 1054
Phone: 323-343-4320 Email: parmstr@calstatela.edu


I have been at Cal State LA for over ten years working both as a Lecturer in Modern Languages and Literatures and as an administrator in the College of Professional and Global Education (PaGE). I am currently the Associate Director of the English Language Program. Previously I coordinated a series of PaGE academic programs, and was Director of the Legal Interpretation and Translation Program, and created and directed the Medical Interpreting Program. My duties involve student service, administrative and logistic support in both academic and professional programs, and, in the programs I direct, faculty supervision and curricular design.

On the English language side, I have taught ELLs (English language learners) in Australia, France, Polynesia, the U.S. and Brazil, at high school, community college, and at private and public universities. I have taught various courses in USC's MAT-TESOL online program for English language teachers. I have also taught a range of Humanities courses on topics ranging from the social history of the Americas to the aesthetics of pop music. I earned an MA-TESOL degree at Cal State LA. In the Commonwealth sphere, I earned a Cambridge/Royal Society of the Arts TEFL Certificate  (now Cambrige CELTA) and am certified as an IELTS (EFL language proficiency test). I have presented research on language teaching pedagogy and on language proficiency testing at CATESOL, TESOL and other venues. 

On the non-English side, my PhD at UCLA was in Romance Literature and Linguistics, with a thesis on the international reception of  Brazilian literature and culture. I have taught various combinations of French, Spanish and Portugese language and literatures at UCLAUC IrvineUSC and Dartmouth College. In Brazil, I taught cultural and literary studies at the Universidade Federal da Bahia and the Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana. Courses taught at Cal State LA have included French, Spanish and Portuguese language and composition, Spanish-English translation, Contrastive Syntax (Spanish-English) for legal interpreters, Research Methods for Modern Languages, and Comparative Literature.  I have published research in U.S., U.K., Australian and Brazilian academic journals, a book on the thesis topic, and one in Portuguese on cultural studies.  I am also an ATA (American Translators' Association) certified translator.

In my spare time, I like to go back-packing, especially in California's unique Sierra Nevada (a.k.a. "Range of Light"  per John Muir, visionary environmentalist, founder of the Sierra Club, commemorated in the John Muir Trail).  You can see video of some of this terrain, along with urban and all sorts of other attractions, on one of my favorite TV programs, Huell Howser's California's Gold.