Texas Tech University

Faculty Focus

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Dr. Idoia Elola - Associate Professor of Spanish

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Dr. Elola joined the CMLL faculty with an appointment in two programs; she teaches courses in Hispanic linguistics and the acquisition of Spanish as a second language for the Spanish program, as well as a course in research and pedagogy in L2 writing for Applied Linguistics. Additionally, she directs the academic programming for the Seville Center in Spain.

During the last two years, with the support of the Spanish faculty and the addition of Drs. Tecedor and Pascual, the Hispanic Linguistics track has been renewed and exciting projects are emerging in the areas of Spanish heritage language learners' acquisition and literacy as well as new emphasis being placed upon the intertwined relationship between acquisition and technology.

Elola's research has evolved and now follows several new and interesting paths. When Dr. Elola arrived at TTU her research concentrated primarily on the foreign language learners' cognitive writing processes and the impact of feedback on linguistic development and acquisition. In the last three years, however, her new research has expanded into the area of Spanish heritage language learners' writing processes with the assistance of a colleague from Penn State University. Likewise, in the last seven years, she has frequently published on individual and collaborative writing with the use of social tools, and more recently her publications have addressed new literacies that are emerging in the 21st century. At present, Dr. Elola is involved in different projects with graduate students in the Spanish program, and with Dr. Tecedor and Dr. Pascual; she is also initiating a project on feedback with Dr. Nakatsukasa and Dr. Tecedor.

The importance of study abroad instruction and immersion for the benefit of TTU foreign language students as well as Spanish heritage language learner has remained in the forefront for Elola. The opportunity to send students abroad, either to Mexico or Seville (in the case of the Spanish program), or France, Greece, Italy or Great Britain while being taught by our CMLL faculty and our excellent graduate students, provides our students with a win-win experience that enriches their lives, fosters an understanding of other cultures, develops their language skills and prepares them for their academic and professional lives.

Over the last few years Elola has been teaching and doing research abroad; as a result, she has spent less time in Lubbock and has realized that she has not been able to get to know the new faculty and has had little time to enjoy good moments with friends and colleagues. She hopes that once she returns from her development leave (during which she hopes to renew her hobby for photography) she will have many opportunities to enjoy good dinners in her home and drink coffee with old and new friends.

Dr. Joseph Price - Assistant Professor of French

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Q. What made you decide on your field of research?
A. I have always loved learning and studying language and about languages. Once I began to major in French in college, I began to become interested in questions of how language is acquired and used by native speakers, and ultimately, by learners as I began to train as a teacher.

As a student in Maine, where French is a language spoken by many, I began to become increasingly interested in questions of bilingualism and multilingualism. In graduate school, where I gained experience teaching, conducting research in Second Language Acquisition and Sociolinguistic fieldwork, I knew that this was the right field for me.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your field?
A. I enjoy being able to teach and do research in areas that affect how language is taught and learned, and how we think about language, culture and the learning process in general. I love that what I do is practical and meaningful, and can benefit teachers and learners. Plus, there is always something new to learn.

Q. Have you had any of your students go into this field?
A. Yes, several, especially in recent years. I think that adding a stronger linguistics component to our French course offerings has been responsible for this, and may have drawn some students as well. Last year, I directed an MA Thesis with Alicia Davis, who went on to Louisiana State University and is studying French Linguistics under Dr. Sylvie Dubois. Stacey Latimer, who graduated in 2013 is now at Purdue University, studying French Linguistics. Some of our French MAs have also entered the Applied Linguistics Program here – Tim Turner, Karlissa Black and Jackie Scrivener all come to mind as recent students who have taken an interest in Linguistics after their time in our French program.

Q. Tell me something about a memorable student.
A. There are many memorable ones; the ones we remember are the ones who really love learning and love what you teach, who take it seriously and outside the classroom and discover on their own. They love what you love, and you have the impression that you have been helpful in helping them learn and discover. They also teach you something. I also learn from my students. For some, I know that my influence has been life-changing, and even in small ways, that I have had an influence on their choices of graduate school and future career plans, something very gratifying and also very humbling.

Q. What are your personal hobbies and interests?
A. I have many – aside from languages and language learning, I am a big fan of all music. I studied classical piano for many years, and still play. I love all periods, the Baroque, the German Lieder School, the late 19th- and early 20th-century French Impressionist (especially Ravel, Debussy and Fauré), as well American popular music from the turn of the early 20th century through World War II. I collect records (vinyl, that is) and have about 1000 at home!

I am also a fan of American domestic architectural design and wanted to be an architect at one time. I also enjoy reading about languages, dialectology, history and culture, and love various periods of French Literature, especially naturalism and medieval literature. I once wanted to specialize in French Historical Linguistics, and created one of the first Old French Websites on the Internet in 1997. It's still online (www.oldfrench.info).

I am very much interested in genealogy and family history, and traced my own family history back to specific towns in Ireland and Germany on my mother's side, and back to the 17th century in Maryland on my father's side. I am a pretty good detective and can usually find any information.