Irma Alarcon

Irma Alarcón

Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, Indiana University
Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics

Office: Greene Hall 519
Phone: (336) 758-5194
e-mail: alarcoi@wfu.edu

  • Bio
  • CV
  • Publications
  • Courses

Irma Alarcón is a native of Chile, and received her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from Indiana University, Bloomington. She teaches courses in psycholinguistics and TESOL linguistics, as well as Spanish grammar for both English-speaking learners and heritage speakers (early bilinguals). Her primary research focuses on theoretical issues concerning the role of linguistic variables, such as noun gender and morphology, on the acquisition of Spanish gender agreement. Her most recent work has analyzed heritage Spanish speakers, and offers both theoretical implications concerning differences between first and second language acquisition and pedagogical insights into the burgeoning field of teaching Spanish to Latinos in the U.S.

EDUCATION                                         

2005    Ph.D., Hispanic Linguistics. Indiana University, Bloomington
1998    M.A., Hispanic Linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington
1998    M.A., Applied Linguistics (TESOL), Indiana University, Bloomington
1990    B.A., English Language, Literature, & Pedagogy, Universidad de Concepción, Chile

ACADEMIC POSITIONS

2011 – present             Associate Professor, Wake Forest University
2005 – 2011                Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University
2007 (Summer)           M.A. Instructor, Summer program in Guanajuato, Mexico
2003 – 2005                Visiting Lecturer, Indiana University
1999 – 2003                Graduate Instructor, Indiana University
1999 (Spring)              EFL Instructor, Universidad de Concepción, Chile
1995 – 1998                Graduate Instructor, Indiana University
1994 – 1995                EFL Instructor, Universidad de Concepción, Chile
1993                            EFL Teaching Assistant. Universidad de Concepción, Chile
1991 – 1992                Computer Lab Teaching Assistant. Universidad de Concepción, Chile

RECENT PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

“Maintaining the target language in the foreign language classroom: Why? How? And When? (Theoretical and pedagogical implications).” The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). The Marriott Rivercenter. San Antonio, Texas: July 8-11, 2013.

“Spanish gender agreement in English-Spanish bilinguals: An online grammaticality judgment task.” 31 Congreso de Asociación Española de Lingüística Aplicada (AESLA). Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands: April 18-20, 2013.

“Grammatical features of heritage and L2 learners’ oral production in Spanish.” Spanish Linguistics in North Carolina (SLINKI). North Carolina State University, Raleigh: January 22, 2011.

“The role of age and context of acquisition in the processing of Spanish gender agreement.” Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. Indiana University, Bloomington: October 14-17, 2010.

“Spanish gender agreement in advanced heritage and L2 learners: An E-prime experiment.” Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). University of Kentucky, Lexington: April 15-17, 2010.

“College Heritage Spanish Speakers: A Study of the Effects of Instruction on their Underlying Grammar and Written Proficiency.” First International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages. Los Angeles, California: February 19-21, 2010.

“Spanish grammatical gender under complete and incomplete acquisition: A study of heritage speakers, L2 learners, and native speakers.” American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Denver, Colorado: March 21-24, 2009.

"Spanish gender agreement behavior in argumentative texts produced by advanced L2 learners." Second Language Research Forum (SLRF). Honolulu, Hawaii: October 17-19, 2008.

“Grammatical development and sociolinguistic profile of Spanish heritage speakers: a pilot course.” The Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC). University of North Carolina. Wilmington: October 9-11, 2008.

“Assessing the relationship between gender assignment and agreement in L2 Spanish.” The British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL). Swansea University, Wales, UK: September 11-13, 2008.

“The SLA of Spanish gender agreement: Evidence from accuracy and reaction time data.” Second Language Research Forum (SLRF). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: October 11-14, 2007.

“Effects of morphological marking and noun class on the relationship between gender assignment and agreement in L2 Spanish.” American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Costa Mesa, California: April 21-24, 2007.

RECENT INVITED LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS

Gave a sixty minute talk titled: Heritage Language Learners: A New Challenge for Foreign Language Teachers at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: November 25, 2013.

Conducted a two-hour workshop titled: Teachers’ Language Use in the Foreign Language Classroom at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: November 25, 2013.

Gave a seventy-five minute lecture for the Neuroscience Program on linguistics and psycholinguistics. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC: October 22, 2013.

“Where is language located in the brain?” Gave a seventy-five minute lecture for the Neuroscience Program. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC: November 29, 2011.

“What does it mean to ‘know’ a language?” and “Where is language located in the brain?” Invited to give two seventy-five minute lectures for the Neuroscience Program. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC: November 11 and 16, 2010.

“Language and the Brain.” Gave a seventy-five minute lecture for the Neuroscience Program. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC: November 17, 2009. 

Orientation for a trip to Chile for Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) faculty and students. With Dr. Teresa Sanhueza gave a three-hour presentation on Chilean history and contemporary issues, integrated into a cross-cultural perspective. WSSU, Winston-Salem, NC: April 27, 2008.

Invited to give an introduction to the Chilean film “Machuca” for the XXI Latin American Film Festival (November 1-14). Guilford College, Greensboro, NC: November 11, 2007.

“How to make teacher talk optimal for language acquisition to happen in our classroom.” Gave a three-hour workshop at the 41st Annual Conference of The Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC). Embassy Suites-Marriott Hotel Twin Towers, Winston-Salem, NC: October 4, 2007.

EDITORIAL POSITIONS

2003 – 2004    Editor, Chiricú, The International Journal of Chicano-Riqueño Studies. Indiana University, Bloomington.

2000 – 2002    Associate Editor, Chiricú, The International Journal of Chicano-Riqueño Studies. Indiana University, Bloomington.

REVIEWER POSITIONS

Second Language Research. Spring 2014 – present.
Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics. Spring 2013 – present.
Bilingualism, Language and Cognition. Fall 2012 – present.
Heritage Language Journal. Spring 2011 – present.
Lingua. Fall 2009 – present.
Language Learning. Spring 2009 – present.
Foreign Language Annals. Fall 2007 – present.
Scientific Journals International. Fall 2007 – present.
Southwest Journal of Linguistics. Fall 2007 – present.
Hispania. Spring 2006 – present.
Indiana University Linguistics Club Working Papers Online. 2004.

ACADEMIC GRANTS AND AWARDS

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Faculty Fellowship. Wake Forest University. July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2014.

Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences Research Fund (SBER). Wake Forest University. Spring 2009.

William C. Archie Fund for Faculty Excellence. Wake Forest University. Fall 2008.

Provost Fund for Faculty Travel. Wake Forest University. Fall 2008.

Language Learning Dissertation Grant. Language Learning Journal. Fall 2004.

Agapito Rey/Donald Sisters/Timothy Rogers Travel Grant. Indiana University. Fall 2004.

MLA Graduate Student Travel Grant. Modern Language Association. Fall 2004.

Graduate & Professional Student Organization Travel Grant. Indiana University. Fall 2004.

TEACHING AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS, AND OTHER HONORS

WFU Volleyball Professor Appreciation Night. Fall, 2013.

Wake Forest Mortar Board Honor Society Faculty Appreciation Event. Spring 2008.

Wake Forest Student Faculty Mixer. Spring 2008; Spring 2007.

Wake Forest Authors, Editors, and Fine & Performing Artists Reception and Dinner. Fall 2007.

Student Choice Award nominee. Indiana University. Spring 2004.

Department of Spanish & Portuguese nominee for the Lieber Associate Instructor Teaching Award. Indiana University. Fall 2003.

Associate Instructor of the Year Award for Outstanding Teaching. Indiana University. Spring 2003.

Outstanding Achievement in Teaching. Indiana University. Fall 2002.

Distinguished Teaching Award. Indiana University. Fall 2002.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

Modern Language Association (MLA)
American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)

 

 

Published Dissertation

Alarcón, I. (2006). The second language acquisition of Spanish gender agreement: The effects of linguistic variables on accuracy. Munich, Germany: Lincom Europa.

Reviewed in: Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30, 253-254, 2008, by E. Zyzik.

Journal Articles

Alarcón, I. (2011). Spanish grammatical gender under complete and incomplete acquisition: Early and late bilinguals’ linguistic behavior within the noun phrase. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 14(3), 332-350.

Alarcón, I. (2010). The Effects of instruction on the written proficiency of heritage speakers of Spanish: A case study. PAIDEIA, Revista de Educación, 48, 55-74.

Alarcón, I. (2010). Gender assignment and agreement in L2 Spanish: The effects of morphological marking, animacy, and gender. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 3(2), 267-299.

Alarcón, I. (2010). Advanced heritage learners of Spanish: A Sociolinguistic profile for pedagogical purposes. Foreign Language Annals, 43(2), 269-288. 

Alarcón, I. (2009). The processing of gender agreement in L1 and L2 Spanish: Evidence from reaction time data. Hispania, 92(4), 814-828.

Alarcón, I. (2007). Conceptualizing and implementing comprehensible input in the foreign language classroom. PAIDEIA, Revista de Educación, 43, 57-71. 

Alarcón, I. (2004). The sequential acquisition of L2 Spanish gender marking: Assignment and agreement. Indiana University Linguistics Club Working Papers Online, 4(7), 1-23. Retrieved from https://www.indiana.edu/~iulcwp/

Alarcón, I. (2003). The polysemy of the conjunction y in Spanish proverbs. Indiana University Linguistics Club Working Papers Online, 3(2), 1-16. Retrieved from https://www.indiana.edu/~iulcwp/

Alarcón, I. (2002). Syntactic complexity and processing difficulty: Towards an objective syntactic measure of text simplification. Indiana University Linguistics Club Working Papers Online, 2(8), 1-10. Retrieved from https://www.indiana.edu/~iulcwp/

Alarcón, M.A., & Alarcón, I. (1992). Sistemas de aprendizaje interactivos y adquisición de lenguas. RLA, Revista de Lingüística Aplicada, 30, 51-60. 

Book Chapters

Alarcón, I. (2013). Grammatical gender in second language Spanish. In K. Geeslin (Ed.), The handbook of Spanish second language acquisition. (pp. 202-218). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Alarcón, I. (2008). ¿Cómo es que “un vestido” es masculino y “una corbata” es femenina? In J. D. Ewald & A. Edstrom (Eds.), El español a través de la lingüística: Preguntas y    respuestas (pp. 26-38). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Other Publications

Alarcón, I. (2000). Design your own ranch house. In K. Ryan (ed.), Recipes for wired teachers. Practical ideas by teachers for teachers. (pp. 106-107). Nagoya, Japan: Japan Association of Language Teaching, Computer Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group (JALT CALL SIG).

Alarcón, I. (2000). Furnish your new apartment. In K. Ryan (ed.), Recipes for wired teachers. Practical ideas by teachers for teachers. (pp. 108-109). Nagoya, Japan: Japan Association of Language Teaching, Computer Assisted Language Learning Special Interest Group (JALT CALL SIG).

Invited Book Reviews

Alarcón, I. (2014). Taller de escritores: Grammar and composition for advanced Spanish by Bleichmar, G. & Cañón, P. The Modern Language Journal, 98(1), 492-493.

Alarcón, I. (2012). The earliest stages of language learning by Gullberg, M. & Indefrey, P. (Eds.). The Modern Language Journal, 96(1), 133-135.

Alarcón, I. (2011). Critical Period Hypothesis Revisited: The Impact of Age on Ultimate Attainment in the Pronunciation of a Foreign Language by Jedynak, M. The Modern Language Journal, 95(1), 144-146.

Alarcón, I. (2008). The language of language: Core concepts in linguistic analysis by Cruz-Ferreira, M. & Abraham, S.A. The Modern Language Journal, 92(3), 477-478.

Alarcón, I. (2007). Fossilized second language grammars: The acquisition of grammatical gender by Franceschina, F. The Modern Language Journal, 91(3), 475-476.

At Wake Forest University

Spanish courses
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (SPN 329)
Grammar and Composition for Heritage Speakers of Spanish (SPN 319L)
Grammar and Composition (SPN 319)
Intensive Spanish – Salamanca (SPN 301)
Spanish Internships – Salamanca (SPN 199)
Intermediate Spanish (SPN 153)
Intensive Elementary Spanish (SPN 113)
Elementary Spanish (SPN 111)

Linguistics courses
TESOL Linguistics (LIN/EDU 337)
Introduction to Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition (LIN 330)
Introduction to Linguistics (LIN/ANT 150)

Graduate courses
U.S. Heritage Speakers and Bilingualism (TIS 734)
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (SPN 629)

At Indiana University

Conversation and Diction (S317)
Spanish Grammar and Composition (S310)
Introduction to Hispanic Culture (S275)
Second Year Spanish II (S250)
Second Year Spanish I (S200)
Elementary Spanish II (S150)
Intensive Elementary Spanish (S135)
A 10-week ESL course

Abroad (México, Spain, and Chile)

Second Language Acquisition: Theory and Practice
Teaching Grammar in Context
Spanish Grammar and Conversation for beginning, intermediate and advanced learners.
A professional EFL reading-comprehension course for doctoral students.
English for Specific Purposes courses to Pharmacy, Sociology, and French college students.
EFL high school courses covering grammar, vocabulary, listening-comprehension, reading, etc.
English for Specific Purposes courses to Geology and Sociology college students.