Dr. Elizabeth Kissling

Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics

Profile

Elizabeth Kissling is an applied linguist who teaches courses about linguistics and courses in Spanish, from beginning through advanced levels. Her teaching is informed by her research in second language acquisition. She explores how second languages are learned in instructed environments and better methods for researching and teaching second languages. She specializes in Spanish phonetics and pronunciation. She is also interested in developing new cognitive approaches to teaching Spanish prepositions and verb aspect. 

Dr. Kissling’s courses include:

The Power and Prejudice of Language (a First Year Seminar)
Beginning and Intermediate Spanish Language
Spanish in the Media
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics 
The Sounds of Spanish (an advanced LALIS seminar)
Bilingualism in the US, Latin America, and Spain (an advanced LALIS seminar)

Grants and Fellowships

Course Improvement Grant (2018), Office of the Provost, University of Richmond

Summer Fellowship for research (2017), School of Arts and Sciences, University of Richmond

Summer Fellowship for research (2016), School of Arts and Sciences, University of Richmond

Council on Undergraduate Research Travel Award: March 2014, to present research involving undergraduates at a conference

Faculty Summer Research Grant: Summer 2013, $4,000 grant award, College of Arts and Letters, James Madison University

Awards

Nominated as University of Richmond’s 2018 “rising star” for the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Awards

Best Graduate Student Presentation: February 2012, Current Approaches in Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology

Presentations

The interlanguage hypotheses that instructed learners form about verb aspect in the past tense: An exploratory longitudinal study. Presented at the Conference on Tense, Aspect, and Modality in L2 (TAML2), Leiden, The Netherlands, May 2018.

An exploratory study of heritage Spanish rhotics: Addressing methodological challenges of heritage language phonetics research. Presented at the Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology (CASPSLaP) Conference, Bloomington, IN, February 2018.

Teaching phonetics for listening comprehension. (“Ignite” session). Presented at the Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology (CASPSLaP) Conference, Bloomington, IN, February 2018.

Probing English speakers’ explicit knowledge of the Spanish past tense aspectual system. Presented at the Spanish Applied Linguistics Association (AESLA) Conference, Jaén, Spain, May 2017.

Workshop: Action research to improve heritage language teaching and learning. Presented at the 4th National Symposium on Spanish as a Heritage Language, Irvine, CA, February 2017.

Teaching the preterite and imperfect. Presented at the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA) Conference, Williamsburg, VA, October 2016. 
          
Heritage Spanish rhotics: An acoustic analysis. Presented at the Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology Conference, Columbus, OH, April 2016.

Learners’ self-assessment of oral performance promotes language awareness. Presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference, Orlando, FL, April 2016.

Building language awareness and self-efficacy: Effects of self-assessments using Proficiency Guidelines. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 2015

Reconsidering native Spanish VOT phonetic “norms” and pronunciation targets for FL learners in a bilingual, multi-dialectal context. Presented at the Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology Conference, Washington, D.C. March 2014.

What predicts the effectiveness of FL pronunciation instruction?: Investigating the role of perception. Presented at the New Sounds Conference, Montreal, Canada. May 2013.

(Un)successful interactions during study abroad: insights from host families, students, and administrators. Presented at the Spanish Applied Linguistics Association (AESLA) Conference, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Spain. April 2013.

The señoras' side of the story: Attitudes and behaviors of study abroad host families. Presented at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. July 2012.

What do Spanish learners stand to gain from phonetics lessons added to the FL curriculum? Presented at the Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology Conference, Columbia, South Carolina. February 2012.

The perception-production Link in L2 phonology and learners’ responses to explicit vs. implicit instructional conditions. Presented at the Second Language Research Forum, Ames, Iowa. October 2011.

Learning outcomes of FL pronunciation instruction: How important are individual differences? Presented at the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Conference, Washington, D.C. July 2011.

Addressing L2 learners’ perceptual “foreign accent.” Presented at the Spanish Applied Linguistics Association (AESLA) Conference, Salamanca, Spain. May 2011.

Using cognitive linguistics analyses to explain systematicity in the L2 lexicon and support L2 vocabulary instruction. Presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference, Atlanta, Georgia. March 2010.

First language influence on phonological short-term memory: Exploring Arabic/English bilinguals’ serial order recall of consonants and vowels. Presented at the Second Language Research Forum, East Lansing, Michigan. October 2009.

Co-Presentations

Using ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to design an advanced conversation course. Presented at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Conference, San Antonio, Texas, with M.E. O’Donnell. November 2014.

A cognitive linguistics approach to teaching Spanish prepositions por, para: A practical application for teachers. Presented at the ACTFL Conference, Orlando, Florida, with L. Warren, & L. Negrete. November 2013.

A cognitive linguistics approach to teaching Spanish por and para: An experimental study. Presented at the 12th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, Alberta, Canada, with L. Negrete, & L. Warren. June 2013.

Selected Publications

Articles

Kissling, E.M.(2018). An exploratory study of heritage Spanish rhotics: Addressing methodological challenges of heritage language phonetics researchHeritage Language Journal, 15(1), 25-72. 

Kissling, E.M., & O’Donnell, M.E. (2015). Increasing language awareness and self-efficacy of FL students using self-assessment and the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Language Awareness, 24(4), 283-302. doi: 10.1080/09658416.2015.1099659

Kissling, E.M. (2015). Phonetics instruction improves learners’ perception of L2 sounds. Language Teaching Research, 19(3), 254-275. doi: 10.1177/1362168814541735

Kissling, E.M. (November 2014). What predicts the effectiveness of FL pronunciation instruction?: Investigating the role of perception and other individual differences. Canadian Modern Language Review, 70(4), 532-558.

Kissling, E.M. (2013). Teaching pronunciation: Is explicit phonetics instruction beneficial for FL learners? The Modern Language Journal, 97(3), 720-744.

Kissling, E.M. (2011). Cross Linguistic Differences in the Immediate Serial Recall of Consonants versus Vowels. Applied Psycholinguistics, 33(3), 605-621.

Chapters

Kissling, E.M., Negrete, L., Warren, L., & Tyler, A. (2018). Reexamining por and para in the Spanish foreign language intermediate classroom: A usage-based, cognitive linguistic approach. In A. Tyler, L. Huang, & H. Jan (Eds.), What is Applied Cognitive Linguistics? Answers from Current SLA Research (229-256)Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, Applied Cognitive Linguistics series.

Brinkwirth, A., Kissling, E.M., Murphy-Judy, K., & Valencia, C. (2007). Technology follows technique: Refocusing the observational lens. In M.A. Kassen, R.Z. Lavine, K. Murphy-Judy & M. Peters (Eds.), Preparing and Developing Technology-proficient L2 Teachers (pp. 165-188). San Marcox, TX: CALICO.

Education

Ph.D., Georgetown University
Applied Linguistics

M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Spanish Literature

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Spanish and International Studies

Contact Information

Carole Weinstein International Center
(804) 287-6459
(Mobile)

Areas of Expertise

Second language acquisition
Language teaching methods
Phonetics and pronunciation instruction
Spanish in the US