Lourdes Ortega



Department of Second Language Studies

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


1890 East-West Rd.

Moore Hall 585

Honolulu, HI 96822, USA


fax: (808) 956-2802


Lourdes’ CV




I spent 2010-2011 on sabbatical in Europe, at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Freiburg in Germany in the fall; and in the Spanish and English Departments at the University of Alicante in Spain in the spring.


I am back in Hawaii for this academic year, teaching SLA and L2 writing in the fall 2011 and SLA again in the spring 2012.


In fall 2012, John Norris and I will be joining the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington DC.


USLA Ortega  Understanding Second Language Acquisition (ISBN-13: 978-0340905593, order from Hodder in the UK; in the US you can order at amazon.com or from Oxford University Press).


Reviewed by Ahlem Ammar in Canadian Modern Language Review, 66(3) 467-469; Rhonda Oliver in Modern Language Journal, 94(4) 677-678; Nina Spada in Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32(4) 651-652; and Parvaneh Tavakoli in 2011 BAAL News Online.


You can download freely available materials (including chapter ppts) from Hodder, to teach with USLA, here.



Welcome to my webpage! I am a faculty member of the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa (UHM). I have been a dweller of four countries: Spain, where I was born and college educated and where I lived until 1986; Germany, where I studied Latin and Ancient Greek at the University of Munich for just a year in the early 1980s; Greece, where I became a teacher of Spanish and spent 7 years, all that time convinced that this would be my country for the rest of my life; and the United States, my chosen place of residence and work since 1993. It looks like I will be in the US for many years to come, as I cannot think of a better academic environment for a professor and researcher… but who knows!


I hold a five-year degree in Spanish Philology from the University of Cádiz (in southern Spain), and I received both my M.A. (in English as a Second Language, 1995) and my Ph.D. (in Second Language Acquisition, 2000) from UHM. Between 1999 and 2004, I taught SLA and applied linguistics in the graduate programs at Georgetown University, Georgia State University, and Northern Arizona University, and since 2004 I teach in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in second language studies at UHM. I have been invited to lecture in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. I was recipient with John Norris of the TESOL Distinguished Research award and the MLJ/ACTFL Paul Pimsleur award, both for our meta-analysis of L2 instruction published in Language Learning in 2000. My research has been supported with a Doctoral Mellon Fellowship at the National Foreign Language Center in 1999, a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2003, and a FRIAS External Senior Research Fellowship in 2010.




My main area of research is in second language acquisition, and I have long-standing interests in second language writing, foreign language education, and the use of research methods in applied linguistics. I teach graduate courses in these areas in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs at SLS-UHM. My staple courses are Second Language Acquisition (every semester, pretty much!) and Second Language Writing (usually every fall); and each spring I offer a doctoral-level seminar, alternating among three topics: Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis, CHILDES and Learner Language, and Error Correction. Much of my time is devoted to teaching, to mentoring my students through their efforts to write for publication, and to reviewing for colleagues and journals.


I am the journal editor of Language Learning for the five-year term of 2010-2015. I was also book series editor of the Language Learning Monographs from 2006-2010 and saw two volumes through under my editorship: In 2008 Discursive Practice in Language Learning and Teaching by Richard Young, and in 2010 Mogadishu on the Mississippi: Language, Racialized Identity, and Education in a New Land, by Martha Bigelow (you can read the editor’s Foreword here).


I am also a member of the editorial boards of several journals, including Applied Linguistics; The Canadian Modern Language Review; The Journal of Second Language Writing; Language Teaching Research; The Modern Language Journal; and formerly of Language Learning & Technology and TESOL Quarterly; and I have served as Member-at-Large for the American Association for Applied Linguistics (2005-2008) and have chaired the Steering Committee of the AAAL Advocacy Action Group



If you want to read some of my work, you can find it in chapters in edited books with Continuum (e.g.), Parlor Press (e.g.), John Benjamins (e.g.), Routledge (e.g.), Multilingual Matters (e.g.), Wiley-Blackwell (e.g.), Cambridge University Press (e.g.), and so on. Or you can read it in articles in various refereed journals, such as Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (2005), Applied Linguistics (2003, 2009), Language Learning (2000, 2001), Language Learning & Technology (1997), Language Teaching (2010), Language Teaching Research (2008), The Modern Language Journal (1998, 2005), Studies in Second Language Acquisition (1999), or TESOL Quarterly (2007).

I have written three books so far. One is a graduate-level introduction to my main field of research, SLA: Understanding Second Language Acquisition (2009, Hodder Arnold). The other two are co-edited volumes, one with Heidi Byrnes on The Longitudinal Study of Advanced L2 Capacities (2008, Routledge) and the other with John Norris on Synthesizing Research on Language Learning and Teaching (2006, Benjamins). I have also edited a six-volume anthology that features 80 SLA readings in the Critical Concepts in Linguistics Routledge series, which is designed for library acquisition (see TOC here).

I just finished my work as area editor of the 83-entry area on “Language Learning and Teaching” of the Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, under the direction of general editor Carol Chapelle. The Encyclopedia is scheduled to appear in 2012.

Recent and forthcoming publications:

Ortega, L. (forthcoming, 2012). Epistemological diversity and moral ends of research in instructed SLA. Language Teaching Research, 16. [Special Issue, co-edited by N. Andon & A. Fortune]

Ortega, L. (forthcoming, 2012). Interlanguage complexity: A construct in search of theoretical renewal. In B. Szmrecsanyi & B. Kortmann (Eds). Linguistic complexity in interlanguage varieties, L2 varieties, and contact languages. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Norris, J. M., & Ortega, L. (forthcoming, 2012). Assessing learner knowledge. In S. M. Gass & A. Mackey (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 573-589). New York: Routledge.

Ortega, L. (forthcoming, 2011). Language acquisition research for language teaching: Choosing between application and relevance. In B. Hinger, D. Newby & E. M. Unterrainer (Eds.), Sprachen lernen: Kompetenzen entwickeln? Performanzen (über)prüfen. Wien: Präsens Verlag.

Ortega, L. (forthcoming, 2011). Reflections on the learning-to-write and writing-to-learn dimensions of second language writing. In R. M. Manchón (Ed.), Learning to write and writing to learn in an additional language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ortega, L. (2011). Second language acquisition. In J. Simpson (Ed.), Handbook of applied linguistics (pp. 173-186). New York: Routledge.

Ortega, L. (2011). SLA after the social turn: Where cognitivism and its alternatives stand. In D. Atkinson (Ed.), Alternative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (pp. 167-180). New York: Routledge.


Selected powerpoints for recent plenaries:

The Bilingual Turn in SLA, plenary address at the American Association for Applied Linguistics Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 6-9, 2010. ppt


Craig Chaudron & Charlie Sato, In Memoriam


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