Background: I graduated from Cornell University in 1997 with a PhD in Applied Linguistics and a minor in Cognitive Studies. I have held positions at University of Minnesota, Penn State University, and University of Texas-Austin. I was also a faculty member in the former Department of Hispanic Studies at Rice University from 2000 to 2006. From 2006 to 2013, I was the director of the Language Program in Spanish and Portuguese at UT-Austin, one of the largest second language programs in the nation.
Research: As a faculty member in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, I conduct research in a number of areas associated with the field of second language acquisition/development. As Director of Research at CLIC, I work with the postdoctoral fellows at the center on a number of topics related to Interactional Competence, Language Testing, and other areas central to research on L2 acquisition and teaching. Currently, I am on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journals Language@Internet and Journal of Spanish Language Teaching. The following are the most relevant areas of my research:
- The analysis of morphological, syntactic and discursive knowledge of tense and aspect among adult second language (L2) learners. This topic is covered by five books published by John Benjamins (2000, 2002, 2005), Bloomsbury Press (2008), de Gruyter (2013) and several articles in various professional journals and book chapters in refereed books.
- Second language learning/teaching among adult learners, including methodology, testing and the use of electronic media for second language learning. These topics are presented in two books published by Georgetown University Press in 2003 and in 2006 as well as several refereed articles. I am also the author of a Spanish first year textbook, Conectándonos, published by Kendall-Hunt.
- Conceptual aspects of dialects in contact, with a special emphasis on social and political implications of bilingual education in the US. This is a topic covered by a book published by Multilingual Matters (2009).
Teaching: I teach courses on the sociolinguistics of Spanish, the history of Spanish, the development of tense-aspect marking, theories of L2 development, cognitive approaches to L2 acquisition, bilingualism, and L2 assessment and testing.
Life outside the university: I was born in Uruguay not too long ago. I am married to María José Tort, who works in clinical research. We have two sons, Julián and Lucas.
Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, Rice University.
MS 36, Rice University
6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005