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