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

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

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Dr. Christina Isabelli was Professor and Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies (PhD, Ibero-Romance Philology and Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin) where she taught courses such as Second Language Acquisition, History of the Spanish Language and Spanish Linguistics. She is the author of Motivation and Extended Interaction in the Study Abroad Context (Edwin Mellen) 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. 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 and is currently Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at Gonzaga University.

She is currently working on a book project Researching Second Language Acquisition in the Study Abroad Context (Palgrave Macmillan). In addition, Christina is a foreign language teacher education Program Reviewer for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages/Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation as well as a Program Consultant for the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages/Modern Language Association.

  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, Gonzaga University, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Spokane, WA 2017-present
Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU), Department of Hispanic Studies,
Bloomington, IL 1999–2017 
Visiting Professor, Middlebury College, Middlebury Language School - Graduate Program, summers: 20102016
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
2017 - present Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Gonzaga University
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
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
May, 2017. Language program assessment. Association of Departments of Foreign Language: Building and Sustaining Language Programs - Access, Articulation, and Advocacy. Atlanta, GA

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.

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

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

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.

Recent Institutional Service
General Education Review Task Force (elected 2015–2017)
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