Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Amalia Merino

Doctoral Student
Amalia Merino



Psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, sociophonetics, second language acquisition, heritage language


MAS 309 • Bilingualism In The Americas

39964 • Spring 2020
Meets MWF 8:00AM-9:00AM GDC 2.410

Bilingualism is a complex phenomenon that refers to the capacity to speak and communicate indistinctly in two or more different languages. Then, it is not a semantic feature of the natural language; it is a pragmatic characteristic of its use. Since language is a property of groups of speakers, bilingualism is a skill showed and belonging to certain individuals. Because of the nature of our contemporary society, this phenomenon is a lived reality for a number of individuals in several communities inside and outside the US. This is to say, the fact that several communities in the Américas conserve a native language besides the official one extends between the members of these communities the knowledge and use of different ways to communicate.


The main purpose of this course is to analyze the linguistic, cognitive, social, and cultural aspects of this complex phenomenon. To do so, the course supposes that the main characteristics of the (different variables of the different) languages are independent of the origin of these communities. The course will primarily focus on the relationship that is established between English (as the vernacular language) and the second co-existent language, especially the binomial with Spanish (approximately 70% of course material) and other common US bilingual language experiences as well. The idea is to analyze the bilingual speaker in context within the community to which she belongs, especially relating to Mexican American and US-Latino communities.



Multiple Voices. An Introduction to Bilingualism, by Carol Myers-Scotton (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006). Additional texts will be available on the Blackboard.



25% Final Paper

25% Two Short Essays (12.5% each)

10% Peer-Review Sessions

10% Oral Presentation

30% Attendance and Participation

(5% additional extra-credit short essay)


SPN 611D • Second-Year Spanish

44350 • Fall 2019
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BEN 1.104

Focus on the development of multilingual literacy through the analysis and use of Spanish to achieve linguistic competence (aspect, mood, compound tenses, passive voice), communication and interactional competence (pragmatics, cultural perspectives), and metalinguistic competence (critical analysis of oral and written texts, dialectal differences).


SPN 130D • Spanish Across Disciplines

44474 • Fall 2019
Meets F 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 574

Students read and discuss Spanish language materials related to the subject matter of another designated course.

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