Teaching Hispanic Linguistics: Strategies to Engage Learners

Stephanie M. Knouse, Furman University
Timothy Guptan, University of Georgia
Laurel Abreu, University of Southern Mississippi


Even though many post-secondary institutions offer a variety of Hispanic linguistics classes (Hualde 2006; Lipski 2006), research on the pedagogy of Hispanic linguistics is an underdeveloped or non-existent area of the discipline. Courses in Hispanic linguistics can present not only linguistic challenges for non-native speakers of Spanish, but also conceptual obstacles, for many students lack a background in linguistics as an academic subject. While some students might prefer a traditional lecture-style approach to the course "Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics," the authors advocate for a student-centered, hands-on approach to the course and recommend that instructors of this course seriously consider incorporating collaborative learning techniques, as well as some or all of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages' (ACTFL) World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, particularly those relating to all genres of communication.