I am a Professor of Hispanic linguistics in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I am also a faculty affiliate in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and in the Social Justice Initiative

Since 2009 I've served as Editor of the journal Spanish in Context.


Most broadly, I am interested in the promotion of minority languages and multilingualism (see my TEDx talk), particularly via elementary schooling. My work focuses on Spanish in the United States, including factors that influence intergenerational language transmission, connections between language and identity, and heritage language education. Some of my recent research topics include:

* Language development in dual immersion schools
* Mexican and Puerto Rican Spanish in Chicago, and the language and identity of mixed “Mexi-Rican” individuals
* Teaching heritage languages, particularly Spanish in the U.S.
* Spanish use in Chicago quinceañera celebrations
* The use of “Spanglish” in commercially published greeting cards

Here is a list of my invited (non-conference) presentations and some of my current research projects.

MexiRican language and identity

My newest book explores issues of language and identity among "MexiRican" individuals. 

On this page, you can see a video about a talk I delivered at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Latino Cultural Center on March 8, 2017, as well as a few other things related to this project.

Interview at SUNY Stony Brook, April 2016

A very nice interview by the Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Education at the State University of New York at Stony Brook about my research on dual language education, on "MexiRicans" and on why there should be separate instruction for heritage Spanish speakers. Thanks for the invitation to come and speak with you and also learn about what you're doing!