Hélade Scutti Santos received her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2013. Her dissertation research focused on the acquisition of Portuguese as a third language by learners who already know English and Spanish. Her work contributes to a better understanding about the acquisition of additional languages beyond the second language. In conjunction with her PhD, she also earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education.
Prior to coming to the U.S., Helade taught Spanish for fourteen years in a variety of instructional contexts in Brazil. As a result of her teaching practices and efforts, she was honored as Outstanding Teacher at the Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil, and her name was included on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students every semester she taught at the University of Illinois. As a researcher, she is interested in all aspects of nonnative language learning and teaching. As a language instructor, she strives to give her students the linguistic and cultural tools that can help them explore and experience the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds.