DEPARTMENT: Language & Literature Dept
POSITION: Assistant Professor
LOCATION: Main Campus, Harrisonburg | RLN 209
PHONE: (540) 432-4365
Sonia Balasch, who holds a Ph.D. in Spanish/Hispanic Linguistics from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM), is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics in the Department of Language and Literature at EMU. Before joining this university, she had the privilege of teaching at her alma mater as a teaching assistant. Then, after earning her doctorate, she taught at the New Mexico Military Institute (Roswell, NM), the University of Montana (Missoula, MT), Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA) and George Mason University (Fairfax, VA).
Teaching and Research
A key component of her teaching is the appreciation of the linguistic richness of the Spanish language that exists both outside of the United States and within this country as an asset of language vitality in our globally mobile society. Her interest in enabling her students to evolve in a changing world shapes her commitment to create Open Educational Resources (OER) as part of a collaborative project with colleagues who are driven by similar interests in teaching students to become critical thinkers.
Teaching Spanish to heritage speakers has provided her with material for her most recent collaborative research project where the students themselves became researchers in a Latino cross-country project.
Her core linguistic research focuses on natural language variation in Spanish, and the roles of social and linguistic factors in language change. She considers vernacular language usage as the most revealing source of linguistic variation and applies the tools of statistical analysis to its study.