Ph.D. in linguistics at U.C. San Diego. This summer (2016) I'm teaching for the Language Program in the UCSD Department of Linguistics.

2016-2017: Visiting Assistant Professor at Colby College, Department of Spanish.


Since 2008 I have been an active member of U.C. San Diego's Border Spanish Project, an interdisciplinary effort to investigate the linguistic properties of the Spanish spoken in the San Diego-Tijuana border area. The populations I study consist of two generations of speakers on each side of the border: monolingual speakers in Tijuana, and immigrant and heritage speakers in San Diego. My primary method of research has been fieldwork effectuated through personal interviews on both sides of the border. My aim with this is to study naturalistic speech in a conversational setting. My secondary research method is corpus linguistics to a certain extent. I analyze my data using a logistic regression model.

I am primarily interested in the Spanish tense-mood-aspect system of the three groups, particularly mood selection in variable indicative/subjunctive contexts and the perfective/imperfective aspectual contrast. I also study the different tense systems that emerge as a result of three different language acquisition experiences (monolingual, immigrant, and heritage). Other areas of investigation in my research in Spanish include:
• differences in speech rate
• filled pauses and disfluencies
• calques and transfers in U.S. Spanish
• noun and verb variety in monolingual, immigrant, and heritage speakers

I also study the effects of language contact with English in heritage and immigrant speakers. From a sociolinguistic perspective I am especially interested in the effects of migration on language use as well as the different language experiences of speakers of Spanish in the United States. From a pedagogical standpoint I am interested in the effects of language instruction and literacy on the acquisition and production of Spanish not only among heritage speakers but also L2 speakers.

I have presented findings from my research at the Linguistics Association of the Southwest conference (LASSO 2011, 2014 & 2015), where in 2012 I was awarded their Best Student Paper award from their 2011 meeting. I have also presented at the U.C. Berkeley Linguistics Fieldwork Forum (2012), U.C. San Diego's symposium Mexico Moving Forward (2010), and TexasTech's 2nd Symposium of Spanish as a Heritage Language (2015). My project was partly funded by a competitive grant from U.C. San Diego's Latino Research Institute (2011).

At U.C. San Diego I have also investigated genitive constructions in GiTonga-Inhambane, a Bantu language spoken in Mozambique. I presented findings from this fieldwork project at the Annual Conference on African Linguistics (2012). My paper "Noun Class Agreement and the Elements of the Noun Phrase in GiTonga-Inhambane" can be accessed at the San Diego Linguistics Papers (SDLP) website.

As part of a field methods class I have also explored the system of noun classifiers in Mixtec Nieves


My pedagogical interests are Spanish linguistics, Spanish language instruction, and U.S. Latino/a Culture. At U.C. San Diego I have taught all levels of our first-year Spanish language sequence (low beginner, beginner, high beginner, and lower intermediate) to mixed L2/heritage learner groups. My teaching method is based on Krashen and Terrell’s natural approach and a growth model with primary emphasis on comprehensible input that approaches the teaching of L2 grammar as linguistic analysis. In every class I incorporate a variety of technology in the classroom including multimedia (powerpoint/audio/video), the textbook supersite, and other online learning modules such as TED for students to download materials, complete exercises online, and interact with each other outside the classroom. For the 2011-12 school year I received our department’s Outstanding Achievement in Teaching award.

I have taught the following courses at U.C. San Diego:

  • LIGN 143: The Structure of Spanish (Winter 2015)
  • LISP 1AX: Grammar Analysis of Spanish, low-beginner (2008-2015)
  • LISP 1CX: Grammar Analysis of Spanish, high-beginner (2008-2015)
  • LISP 1C: Conversation in Spanish, high-beginner (2009-2015)
  • LISP 1DX: Grammar Analysis of Spanish, low-intermediate (2009-2016)

    In addition to my experience as instructor, I have four years of experience as Head Teaching Assistant of Spanish at our Language Program. Since 2010 I have supervised and coordinated teaching assistants for one or two levels of first-year Spanish. I have worked in conjunction with them and with the Spanish academic coordinator in creating teaching and assessment materials for our classrooms.

    Other teaching experience

    Prior to U.C. San Diego, I taught the following classes:

  • English as second language (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels)
  • Western Cultural Heritage 1600-Present (upper-division college humanities)
  • Introduction to Academic Writing (college freshman composition)
  • Writing for the Social Sciences (college sophomore composition)
  • Writing about Literature (college sophomore composition)
  • Introduction to Creative Writing (lower-division college)
  • Foundations of Graphic Design: Photoshop (lower-division college)
  • Foundations of Web Design: Dreamweaver (lower-division college)

    Prior to U.C. San Diego, I was a teaching assistant for the following classes:

  • Introduction to Linguistics (lower-division college)
  • Western Cultural Heritage 1600-Present (upper-division college humanities)


    I have taken the following graduate courses in linguistics at U.C. San Diego:

  • LIGN 210: Phonetics. Taught by Amalia Arvaniti.
  • LIGN 211A: Introductory Phonology. Taught by Sharon Rose.
  • LIGN 211B: Nonlinear Phonology. Taught by Eric Bakovic.
  • LIGN 221A: Introduction to Grammatical Theory. Taught by John Moore.
  • LIGN 221B: Introduction to Grammatical Theory. Taught by Grant Goodall.
  • LIGN 225: Topics in Syntax: Experimental Syntax. Taught by Grant Goodall.
  • LIGN 230: Semantics. Taught by Ivano Caponigro.
  • LIGN 240: Field Methods. Taught by Gabriela Caballero.
  • LIGN 241: Fieldwork. Taught by Gabriela Caballero.
  • LIGN 245: Computational Corpus Linguistics. Taught by Andy Kehler.
  • LIGN 293: Research Practicum. Taught by John Moore.
  • LIGN 225: Topics in Syntax: Heritage Languages. Taught by John Moore.
  • PSYC 244: Language Production. Taught by Vic Ferreira.