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 University of Texas-Austin, one of the largest language programs in the US.

Research: As a faculty member in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Rice University, I conduct research in a number of areas associated with the field of second language acquisition/development. As Director of Research at the Center for Languages & Intercultural Communication (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, and on the  International Advisory Board of ILCE (Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Españolas) at Universidad de Navarra (Spain).

The following are the most relevant areas of my research:

  1. Semantic and pragmatic correlates of temporality in second language (L2) acquisition (e.g., morphological, syntactic and discursive knowledge of tense and aspect). 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.
  2. Second language learning/teaching among adult learners. These topics are presented in two books published by Georgetown University Press in 2003 and in 2006, an upcoming book to be published by Routledge titled Teaching and Testing Interactional Competence: Bridging theory and practice, a forthcoming special issue of the journal Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition, and several refereed articles. I am also the author of a Spanish first year textbook, Conectándonos, published by Kendall-Hunt.
  3. Bilingualism and multilingualism with a focus on social and political views on multilingualism and on bilingual education in the US. This is a topic covered by a book published by Multilingual Matters (2009).

Teaching: I am currently developing two new courses to be offered in 2019 and 2020: Language Identity and Language Ideologies (2019) & Thought and Language (2020). I regularly 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