Assistant Professor of Hispanic and Italian Studies
Degree/Institution: PhD Georgetown University
Office: HU 238
Phone: (518) 442-4222/4100
Fax: (518) 442-4111
Research Interests: Heritage/Second Language Acquisition, Bilingualism, Cognition, Task-based Language Learning, Curriculum & Instruction
Dissertation Title: “Heritage and Second Language Learners of Spanish: The Roles of Task Complexity and Inhibitory Control” (Dissertation Abstract)
Courses Taught at UAlbany
Spanish for Bilinguals
Spanish for Teachers
Spanish Teaching Methodology
Heritage Language Acquisition
1. Input and Cognitive Factors in Heritage Language Acquisition
It is well established that heritage language (HL) bilinguals’ grammars fall short from monolingual outcomes, and HL speakers’ proficiency of the HL ranges from merely receptive to native-like. As a result, one of my key research questions is: What are the variables that may potentially contribute to the differences in HL proficiency? Currently, I’m interested in exploring how the interaction between input variables (e.g., community language use, dual-language immersion programs) and cognitive variables (e.g., language aptitude, memory factors) may explain the differences in proficiency levels among HL speakers.
2. Task-based Language Learning and Individual Differences
The field of Second Language Acquisition has been interested in the design of pedagogical tasks in fostering interlanguage development among L2 learners. My research interests lie in exploring how manipulating task features may meet the L2 developmental needs of different types of learners. Currently, I’m examining how individual differences in inhibitory control abilities and prior language experience (i.e., heritage language learners) quantitatively and qualitatively may mediate learning outcomes as a result of task conditions.
3. Type of Bilingualism and Cognitive Control
Much research effort has been invested to examining bilingual advantages in cognitive control. However, it is not clear whether bilingual advantages are held constant across different bilingual populations, especially when considering the effects of societal bilingualism on the individual. Therefore, I am interested in studying whether different thresholds of bilingualism due to language use, proficiency and/or access to bilingual education may affect differentially the cognitive advantages attributed to early bilingual speakers.
Wikipage (for authorized grad students): https://wiki.albany.edu/display/Dashboard/Home
The National Heritage Language Resource Center’s Research and Proficiency Assessment Tools: http://www.nhlrc.ucla.edu/data/
(in progress, but please feel free to contribute)