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Visit also my list of publications and current projects.

Language Learning with Technology

My main research interest brings me back to my childhood days in Spain as an avid movie-goer, videogame-player language lover. I investigate Spanish learning via videogames, simulations, and e-tutors, with a double goal: understanding the cognitive and psycho-social mechanisms of language learning with technology, and using this know-how to design theoretically and empirically sound solutions for hybrid/online language learning. Among these is Talking to Avatars, a simulation that allows learners of Spanish to interact with video-recorded actors to solve real-life tasks. Through quantitative and qualitative research methods, I explore: 

  • the difference between interactive and vicarious language learning;

  • the effectiveness of deductive, inductive, and guided induction instructional approaches;

  • the effectiveness of corrective feedback with different types of information and demands;

  • the moderators of corrective feedback (e.g., pedagogical practice, targeted linguistic features);

  • the contributions of cognitive and socially-oriented theoretical approaches to my research; and

  • the internal and external methodological validity of research on hybrid/online language learning.

Translation Pedagogy

My second research interest dates back to my early freelance career in translation and interpreting, which I studied in undergrad and grad school. Informed by a socioconstructivist approach to pedagogy, I investigate the impact of collaborative translation on the development of the translation competence, as well as its application to language learning. My research thus bridges translation and second language acquisition theory, while informing translator trainers. At the moment, I am focusing on the effects of two independent variables: 

  • the type of collaborative translation environment (face to face, chat-, and cloud-based) and 

  • the work distribution (translating alone or with a partner, from the get-go or after individual work).

Language and Identity

My third research interest sparked recently as a result of my teaching in the M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies at American University. Motivated by the current institutional efforts for diversity and inclusiveness, I have begun to investigate the interconnections of language and identity in Hispanic minority groups. I am currently working on two projects:

  • the narrative of blogs by Hispanic transgender people, analyzed quantitatively via corpus linguistics and qualitatively via discourse analysis; and

  • the presence of the Andalusian dialect in Spanish pop music, including its “Castilianization” by Andalusians and its appropriation by non-Andalusians.

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