Christina Isabelli, PhD
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)

Spring 2015
sabbatical - off campus

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Dr. Christina Isabelli (PhD, University of Texas-Austin) is Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies and Professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics at Illinois Wesleyan University where she teaches courses on topics such as Second Language Acquisition, History of the Spanish Language, Spanish Linguistics, and Spanish in the United States. Christina’s latest published work appears in Foreign Language Annals and Hispanic Health Care International and she is a book and manuscript reviewer for numerous journals. Dr. Isabelli 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 census and has taught applied linguistics courses since 2010 in Middlebury College's graduate summer program in Vermont. Her 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. Google Scholar Profile


Ph.D. University of Texas - Austin, 2000. Ibero-Romance Philology and Linguistics
M.A. University of Iowa, 1994. Spanish Literature and Linguistics
B.A. Illinois State University, 1992. Spanish and Mathematics
Academic Positions
Professor, Illinois Wesleyan University, Department of Hispanic Studies, Bloomington, Illinois
  Associate Professor, 2005-2012; Assistant Professor, 2000-2005; Instructor, 1999-2000  

Visiting Professor, Middlebury College, Spanish Language Graduate School, summers: 2010-2015

Visiting Professor, Universidad Internacional, Spanish Graduate School, Cuernavaca, Mexico, summer 2009

Instructor, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 1994-1999

Administrative Positions
2011 – present   Chair, Department of Hispanic Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University
2011 – present   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
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. – variation and change
4.     Computer-assisted language learning (CALL)
5.   World Language program articulation
Publication - Book
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. Preface Barbara Freed. New York, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

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

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.
Publications - Articles
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), 127-136.

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.

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. <>
Publication - Government Report
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. <

Manuscripts in Progress

Isabelli-García, C., Dewey, D., & Bown, J. (accepted). State-of-the-art review of the field of second language acquisition in immersion contexts. Language Teaching.

Isabelli-García, C., & Isabelli, C. (accepted). Researching Second Language Acquisition and Communicative Use in the Study Abroad Context. The Prentice Hall Second Language Professional Library Series: Theory and Practice in Second Language Classroom Instruction.

Isabelli-García, C
., & Lacorte, M. (journal manuscript). Second language acquisition in the intensive, domestic immersion context.
Recent Invited Lectures
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 Presentations
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. Co-authored 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.

November 2008. Language Learning Abroad: Acculturation, Integration or Both? Midwest Modern Language Association. Minneapolis, MN.

November 2007. Acquisition of Gender Agreement in Two Learning Contexts. Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. San Antonio, Texas.

November 2006. Social Networks and Some Recommendations for Study Abroad Success. Council on International  Educational Exchange Conference on International Educational Exchange. Seville, Spain.

October 2003. The Benefits of Asynchronous Computer Mediated Communication in Enhancing Cultural Acquisition. Co-authored with E. Zeiss. Second Language Research Forum.  University of Arizona, Tucson.

October 2002. Linguistic Development of Spanish Language Accuracy in the Study Abroad Context: What Can be Expected. Co-authored with C. Nishida. 6th Conference on Hispanic Linguistics and L1 and L2 Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Iowa.
Recent National Service
ACTFL/CAEP (Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation) Program Reviewer - examine the reports and data submitted by institutions seeking CAEP recognition of their foreign language teacher education programs through ACTFL, 2015

External Evaluator - University of Northern Iowa, Spanish Program of the Department of Languages and Literature, 2015

Book/Manuscript reviewer - EUROSLA Yearbook/Monograph, Georgetown University Press, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Modern Language Journal, Routledge, Spanish in Context, Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition, System  2006-present

Fulbright National Screening Committee - Institute of International Education, 2005-08
Recent Institutional Service
Promotion and Tenure Committee (elected 2005-07, 2014-present)
Teacher Education Committee, Faculty rep for Hispanic Studies (2005 – present)
Academic Appeals Committee (elected 2013-14)
IWU Fulbright Program Adviser (2010-13)
Recent Community Service
Advisory Board, Children's Home + Aid, Bloomington, IL, 2015 present  
Nominating Committee, Hispanic Families Work Group of McLean County, IL, 2005 – 08