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Laura Villa received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2010. Her scholarly research has focused on current and historical language policy in Spain and Latin America. In the field of contemporary language policy she has published articles on the promotion of Spanish in Brazil offering a critical analysis of the discourses surrounding the legitimacy of Spain’s interests and presence in Brazil. Regarding the history of Spanish language policy, her dissertation, "Estandarización lingüística y construcción nacional: La norma española y la norma americana (1823-1857)," explores the connections between the language standardization and nation-building processes in Spain and Latin America in the mid-nineteenth century.
She has taught a number of elementary Spanish and Portuguese courses as well as several intermediate, advanced, and heritage speakers’ courses in Spanish at Hunter College, Lehman College, and The City College of New York. She is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher and she always challenges her students to critically analyze all components of culture and to further explore rather than take for granted linguistic and sociolinguistic thoughts and ideas.
The Faculty Perspective
UD is the first institution in which I have been employed as a full time assistant professor. I firmly support the commitment of the university to educate the whole person and hope to contribute to that mission with service to the university and the profession, with my research in the field of sociolinguistics, and with languages courses grounded on the conviction that the acquisition of linguistic skills and socio-cultural knowledge must go hand in hand.
- Spanish for Heritage Speakers (City College Academy of the Arts–'Early College Initiative')
- Spanish as a Foreign Language: Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced, Conversation (Hunter College, Lehman College, The City College of New York)
- Portuguese as a Foreign Language: Elementary (The City College of New York–Adult and Continuing Education Program)
- Ph. D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Language. The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. September 2010
- Manuscript reviewer for Spanish in Context, John Benjamins
- Member of the Modern Language Association (MLA)
- Member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)
- Member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA)
- Member of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society (SiS)
- Language Policy
- Language History
- Linguistic Ideologies
- Applied Linguistics
- Foreign and Heritage Language Teaching
Selected Publications and Presentations
"'Because When Governments Speak, They Are Not Always Right:' National Construction and Orthographic Conflicts in Mid-Nineteenth Century Spain." Forthcoming in Language and History, Linguistics and Historiography. Eds. Langer, Nils, Steffan Davies, and Wim Vandenbussche. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2011.
"¡Oye! Língua e negócios entre o Brasil e a Espanha." Calidoscópio 6.1 (2008): 45-55. Coauthored with José del Valle.
"La lengua como recurso económico: “ESPAÑOL S.A.” y sus operaciones en Brasil." La lengua, ¿patria común? Ideas e ideologías del español. Ed. José del Valle. Frankfurt and Madrid: Vervuert/Iberoamericana, 2007. 97-127. Co-authored with José del Valle. (Revised, updated and augmented from "Spanish in Brazil").
"Spanish in Brazil: Language Policy, Business, and Cultural Propaganda." Language Policy 5.4 (2006): 369-392. Co-authored with José del Valle.
"Lenguas, naciones y multinacionales: las políticas de promoción del español en Brasil." Revista da ABRALIN 4.1-2 (2005): 197-230. Co-authored with José del Valle.
"Spelling Communities: Controversial Orthographies and the Construction of (Trans) National Identities in the Spanish-Speaking World," to be presented at the American Anthropological Association 2010 Annual Meeting. New Orleans, Louisiana. November 17, 2010.
"¿Política lingüística o propaganda cultural? La implementación de la "ley de español" en Brasil," to be presented at the Cuarto Simposio sobre Política de Lenguaje, Procesos lingüísticos y globalización. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mérida, Yucatán). October 27-29, 2010.
"'Because When Governments Speak, They Are Not Always Right:' National Construction and Orthographic Conflicts in Mid-Nineteenth Century Spain," presented at the Historical Sociolinguistics Network 2009 Conference, Language and History, Linguistics and Historiography. Bristol University. April 4, 2009.
"Spanish Language Policy in Brazil: Language and Business in a Globalizing World," presented at the Georgetown Linguistic Society 2007 Conference, Language and Globalization: Policy, Education and Media. Georgetown University. April 1, 2007.
"Entre la realidad y el deseo: actitudes hacia la enseñanza del español en Brasil," presented at Universidade do Rio do Vale do Sinos (UNISINOS, São Leopoldo, Brazil). June 13, 2006.