Christina Isabelli, PhD

Chair, Modern Languages & Literature Department

Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics 

Dr. Christina Isabelli is Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at Gonzaga University (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) where she teaches courses in Spanish language and linguistics in addition to foreign language methodology courses. She is the author of two books, Motivation and Extended Interaction in the Study Abroad Context (Edwin Mellen) and Researching Second Language Acquisition in the Study Abroad Learning Environment (Palgrave), and has published a variety of articles on second language acquisition in the study abroad and domestic immersions contexts, identifying processes of forming social networks abroad and how they function as contexts for language learning.

Christina serves the 
Association of Departments of Foreign Languages/Modern Language Association (ADFL/MLA) as a Language Program Consultant that carries out site visits to liberal arts institutions to provide counsel on a variety of issues such as curriculum design, faculty governance, and strategic planning. This work dovetails with her experience as a Program Reviewer for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP/ACTFL) in which she evaluates university program reports submitted yearly by U.S. institutions seeking CAEP recognition of their world language teacher certification programs. She is also on the Board of Directors of the national organization, American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators (AAUSC), that promotes, improves, and strengthens foreign language and second language instruction in the U.S. and just recently was appointed to the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction - World Language Advocacy Committee which provides feedback and identifies emerging initiatives in world language learning statewide.

  • Google Scholar Profile  
  • Comunidad de Investigadores del Español
  • Education
    Ph.D. University of Texas - Austin, Ibero-Romance Philology and Linguistics
    M.A. University of Iowa, Spanish Literature and Linguistics
    B.A. Illinois State University, Spanish and Mathematics 

    Academic Positions
    2017- present Professor, Gonzaga University, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Spokane, WA
    1999-2017      Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU), Department of Hispanic Studies, Bloomington, IL
    2010-2020      Visiting Professor, Middlebury Summer Language School of Spanish Graduate Program, Middlebury, VT
    2015 Summer Visiting Professor, IES Abroad - Madrid, Spain, teaching grant
    2009 Summer Visiting Professor, Universidad Internacional, Cuernavaca, Mexico

    Administrative Positions
    2017  present Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Gonzaga University
    2015 – 2017     Founder & Director, IWU Language School for Kids
    2011 – 2017     Chair, Department of Hispanic Studies, IWU
    2011 – 2017     Spanish Language Program Coordinator, Department of Hispanic Studies, IWU
    2010    Fall       Resident Director of the IWU London Program
    2007    Spring   Resident Director of the IWU Spain Program 

    Recent National Service
    2021-present Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction - World Advocacy Committee.

    2020–2022 AAUSC Board of Directors - responsible for coordinating language sections and promoting
                            membership in the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators of
                            Language Programs. 

    2015–present   ACTFL/CAEP Program Reviewer - examine the reports and data submitted by
     U.S. institutions seeking CAEP recognition of their foreign language teacher education
     certification programs through ACTFL.

    2015–present  ADFL-MLA Language Program Consultant - advise language departments on a
    variety of issues such 
    as curriculum design, faculty governance, and strategic planning.

    Research and Professional Interests
    1. Second language acquisition during study abroad and domestic immersion
    2. Social networks and second language acquisition
    3. Spanish in the U.S. - sociolinguistics
    4. Foreign/Second language teaching methodology
    5. World language program articulation

    Published Books:
    Isabelli-García, C., & Isabelli, C. A. (2020). Researching second language acquisition in the study
    abroad learning environment
    . London:
    Palgrave MacMillan.

    Isabelli-García, C. (2004). A case study of the factors in the development of Spanish linguistic accuracy and
    oral communication skills: Motivation and extended interaction in the study abroad context.
    Edwin Mellen Press.

    Recent Published Articles:

    Isabelli-García, C., Bown, J., Plews, J.L., & Dewey, D.P. (2018). Language learning and study abroad.
    Language Teaching, 51(4), 439-484.

    Isabelli-García, C. (2017). Key concepts in applied linguistics: Second language acquisition and study abroad
    learning environments. Estudios de Lingüística Inglesa Aplicada17, 273–282.

    Isabelli-García, C., & Lacorte, M. (2016). Language learners' characteristics, target language use, and linguistic

    development in a domestic immersion context. Foreign Language Annals, 49(3), 544–556. 

    Lord, G., & Isabelli-García, C. (2014). [World language] Program articulation and management. In M.
    Lacorte (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of Hispanic applied linguistics (pp. 150–167). London: Routledge. 

    Isabelli-García, C., Pan, Y., & Lubkemann, S. (2012). Observing census enumeration of non-English-speaking
    households in 2010 U.S. Census: Spanish report. Research and Methodology Directorate, Center for Survey
    Measurement Research Report Series (Survey Methodology #2012-06). U.S. Census Bureau.

    Hartweg, D., Isabelli-García, C., McEwen, M., & Piper, R. (2012). Being physically active: Perceptions of Mexican
    immigrant women in the Arizona-Mexico border. Hispanic Health Care International10(3), 127–136. 

    Isabelli-García, C., & Slough, R. (2012). Acquisition of the non-generic definite article by Spanish learners
    of English 
    as a foreign language. Onomázein: Revista de Lingüística, Filología y Traducción, 25, 95–105.

    Isabelli-García, C. (2010). Acquisition of Spanish gender agreement in two learning contexts: Study abroad and
    at home. Foreign Language Annals, 43(2), 289–303.

    Hartweg, D., & Isabelli-García, C. (2007). Health perceptions of low-income, immigrant Spanish-speaking Latinas
    in the United States. Hispanic Healthcare International, 5(2), 7–17.

    Isabelli-García, C. (2006). Study abroad social networks, motivation and attitudes: Implications for second
    language acquisition. In E. Churchill & M. DuFon (Eds.), Language learners in study abroad contexts (pp. 231–258).
    Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

    Zeiss, E., & Isabelli-García, C. (2005). The benefits of asynchronous computer-mediated communication in
    enhancing cultural acquisition. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(3), 151–169.

    Isabelli-García, C. (2003). Development of oral communication skills abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal
    of Study Abroad
    , 9, 149–173.

    Manuscript in Progress
    Isabelli-García, C. Acculturation and resiliency in the domestic immersion context: A dynamic systems approach. 

    Recent Invited Presentations
    July 2020. Book presentation - Researching second language acquisition in the study abroad learning environment.
    Middlebury College, VT, virtual.

    October 2019. Roundtable - Heritage Spanish learners. Semana de la lengua española en Seattle, Universidad
    Autónoma de México, Centro de Estudios para Extranjeros, Seattle, WA.

    May 2019. Study abroad: Innovative approaches to strengthening language departments. Organized/Moderated
    panel J. Collentine, J. Bown, S. Fritzsche, C. Oakley. Association of Departments of Foreign Languages,
    Spokane, WA.

    February 2019. Heritage language learners in the L2 classroom. Concordia College, 
    Moorehead, MN.

    June 2018. The foreign language requirement in the twenty-first century. Association of Departments
    of Foreign Languages - Reconfiguring Languages in Higher Education: Structures, Spaces, Advocacy.
    Michigan State University

    May 2017. Language program assessment. Association of Departments of Foreign Language: Building and
    Sustaining Language Programs - Access, Articulation, and Advocacy. Atlanta, GA. 

    March 2017. Engaging the liberal arts campus with the BePress Expert Gallery Suite. With S. Davis-Kahl. Webinar.

    January 2017. Factors that explain differential learning in the study abroad context. Department of Modern
    Languages and Literatures, Furman University.

    February 2016. Researching social language in study abroad contexts: Using mixed methods. Co-sponsored
    by the Department of French and Italian & Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE) program,
    University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL.

    Recent Conference Presentations
    November 2021. Assessing intercultural communication. ACTFL Annual Convention. Virtual.

    October 2018. 
    Outcomes, measures, and culture...oh my! Consortium on Useful Assessment in
    Language and Humanities Education (CUALHE). With L. García-Torvisco, R. Marquis, and R. Stephanis. University
    of Oregon. Eugene, OR.

    November 2017. An innovative way to practice the three modes of communication: VoiceThread. With
    C. Lynn.  ACTFL Annual Convention. Nashville, TN. 

    November 2017. Recruitment in language programs. With C. Dunlap. ACTFL Annual Convention. Nashville, TN.

    January 2016. Fostering advanced oral proficiency: Initiatives in the undergraduate foreign language curriculum.
    131st MLA Annual Convention. Austin, TX.