Christina Isabelli, PhD
Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics
Illinois Wesleyan University
Department of Hispanic Studies

Illinois Wesleyan University
1111 N. East St - Buck 014
Bloomington, IL 61702

309-556-3284 (fax)

Buck 014 (office)

email me


Dr. Christina Isabelli is Professor and Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies (PhD, Ibero-Romance Philology and Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin). Christina teachers courses in Spanish language, Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and Foreign Language pedagogy and has published work in journals such as Foreign Language AnnalsComputer Assisted Language Learning, and Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. She recently served as principal investigator for a U.S. Census Bureau-funded investigation on observing census enumeration of linguistically isolated Spanish-speaking households in the 2010 U.S. census. Christina's research interests relate to sociolinguistic issues regarding Hispanics in the U.S. as well as second language acquisition in various learning contexts, identifying processes of forming social networks and how they function as contexts for language learning. She has served as a visiting professor of Applied Linguistics and Foreign Language pedagogy in Middlebury College's graduate summer program in Vermont since 2010.  Google Scholar Profile


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
Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU), Department of Hispanic Studies, Bloomington, IL 1999present 
Visiting Professor, Middlebury College, Middlebury Language School - Graduate Program, summers: 20102017
Visiting Professor, IES Abroad - Madrid, Spain, teaching grant, summer 2015
Visiting Professor, Universidad Internacional, Cuernavaca, Mexico, summer 2009
Instructor, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 19941999

Instructor, University of Iowa, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 19921994

Administrative Positions
2015 present   Founder & Director,  IWU Language School for Kids
2011 – present   Chair, Department of Hispanic Studies, IWU

2011 – present   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
ACTFL/CAEP Program Reviewer - examine the reports and data submitted by institutions seeking CAEP recognition of their foreign language teacher education programs through ACTFL, 2015present

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

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

6.     Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) 
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). [Foreign language] Program articulation and management. In M. Lacorte (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of Hispanic applied linguistics (pp. 150167). 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). Physical activity and its relationship to health: Perceptions of Mexican immigrant women in the US-Mexico border region. Hispanic Health Care International, 10(3), 127

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, 95105. <>

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), 717.

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. 231258). 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), 151169.

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. NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Isabelli-García, C. (2003). Development of oral communication skills abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 9, 149173. <>

Manuscripts in Progress

Isabelli-García, C., Bown, J., & Plews, J. State-of-the-art review of the field of second language acquisition in immersion contexts. Language Teaching.

Isabelli-García, C., & Isabelli, C. Researching Second Language Acquisition in the Study Abroad Context. Palgrave Macmillan.

Isabelli-García, C. Acculturation in the domestic immersion context: A dynamic systems approach  
Recent Invited Lectures
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.

February, 2015. Heritage language learners in the L2 classroom: Cultural perspectives. Concordia College, Moorehead, MN.

April, 2014. Language learning in the study abroad context: Variables that affect development. Language in Context  Research Group, University of Illinois at Chicago.

October, 2013. Study abroad: Measuring the correlation between second language acquisition and social networks. 32nd Second Language Research Forum. Brigham Young University.

October, 2013. Language learning on your campus and abroad: How to make the connection. IES Abroad 2013 Annual Conference. Chicago.

July, 2013. Estudiantes de herencia en los cursos de español como L2. [Heritage language learners in Spanish L2 courses]. Middlebury College Conference on Pedagogy for Spanish as an L2.

August, 2011. Observing census enumeration of non English-speaking households in the 2010 U.S. census. U.S. Census Bureau.Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.
Recent Conference Presentations
January 2016. Fostering advanced oral proficiency: Initiatives in the undergraduate foreign language curriculum. 131st MLA Annual Convention. Austin, TX.

November 2015. Institutional assessment of second language
learning outcomes. ACTFL Annual Convention. San Diego, CA.

November 2015. Best practices for incorporating Google Apps in the language classroom. With C. Quagliarello. ACTFL Annual Convention. San Diego, CA.

June 2015. Linguistic and psychological development of L2 learners in the cultural immersion context: The role of social networks. 1st International Conference on Spanish in Study Abroad Programs: Learning in a Cultural Immersion Context. Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain.

April 2015. Second language acquisition in the domestic immersion context: An ecolinguistic approach. With M. Lacorte. Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. University of Kentucky, Lexington.

June 2013.
Factors that explain differential learning in the study abroad context. IES Abroad Second Language Research Symposium. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.
Recent Institutional Service
General Education Review Task Force (elected 2015present)
Promotion and Tenure Committee (elected 2005
07, 2014–2016)
Teacher Education Committee, Faculty rep for Hispanic Studies (2005
Recent Community Service
Advisory Board, Children's Home + Aid, Bloomington, IL, 20152017  
Nominating Committee, Hispanic Families Work Group of McLean County, IL, 2005–2008
Fulbright Screening Committee, Institute of International Education, present