Language Instruction Research - Guided practices and OER materials development 

Faculty Director 

Dr. Gabriela Zapata

Dr. Gabriela C. Zapata received her PhD in Spanish (Linguistics track) from the Pennsylvania State University in 2002. She is Associate Professor and Director of Lower Division Spanish Instruction in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University. Her research foci are second (L2) and heritage language (HL) acquisition and pedagogy, bilingualism, and teacher education. She is also interested in the development of OER materials for L2 and HL teaching and in language program direction. Dr. Zapata has served as Director or Coordinator of five Spanish and Portuguese basic language programs in public and private universities in the United States and Canada. Throughout her career, she has published articles on bilingualism and second language acquisition and pedagogy in journals such as Computer Assisted Language Learning, Foreign Language Annals, Hispania, International Journal of Bilingualism,Language, Culture, and Curriculum, Language Learning, and Language Awareness, among others, and in a variety of edited volumes. She is also the main author of the first edition of the Canadian edition ofPuntos de partida, and the co-editor (with Dr. Manel Lacorte) of the volume Multiliteracies Pedagogy and Language Learning: Teaching Spanish to Heritage Speakers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Dr. Zapata is a Certified ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview Tester in Spanish.

Undergraduate Student Collaborators 

Amy Beristain

Amy is a junior at Texas A&M University. She is from San Antonio, TX. Amy is a Biology major with a double minor in Spanish and Psychology, and she  has a strong passion for science as well as Hispanic studies. She is also part of the American Medical Student Association and the Hispanic Studies Association , where she works as a mentor, and she volunteers at the College Station Medical Center. Amy aspires to enter medical school and become a cardiologist.

Bailey Buchanan

Bailey will graduate this coming May from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish. She will then go to San Antonio, Texas, where she will teach bilingual education at an elementary school as part of the Teach for America program.  After this fellowship, she hopes to attend graduate school to further study and research L2 acquisition.

Carolina Cantú

Carolina is a junior at Texas A&M University from Fort Worth, Texas. She was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, México and Spanish is her first language. She is a double major in Spanish and Sociology with a minor in Latinx and Mexican American Studies, and a certificate in diversity. She is actively involved in the Catholic Student Association, and she is the current president of the Bilingual Education Student Organization and the founder of the Bilingual Education Student Outreach Society, an honor society for aspiring bilingual educators. She has been an Aggie Research Scholar for a year now and plans to continue her research pursuits for the rest of her career. She is passionate about pedagogy and aspires to become an educator.

Efrain Hernandéz

Efrain is a senior at Texas A&M from Killeen, Texas. He was born in Puerto Rico and moved to Texas to have better life opportunities. He is a Spanish major, and is also working toward a masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M. He has represented the University in many ways. However, his greatest success has been in Track and Field, where he has made a name for himself and the university. He aspires to be an Athletic Director at higher education institution.

Dylan Manshack

Dylan is a sophomore at Texas A&M University from Elysian Fields, Texas. He is a double major in Economics and Spanish. He is currently an Executive for the Conference on Student Government Associations (COSGA), which aims to bring students from all over the world to discuss Student Government, campus issues, and current events. His career goals include working for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and eventually becoming a professor after a long and impactful career in economic development.

Through the Aggie Research Leadership Program and Aggie Research Scholar, and under the direction of Dr. Gabriela Zapata