Section 1

Section Title

Noelia Sánchez-Walker, Ph.D.

Graduate Student

Contact Information:


I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics and Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education under the direction of Prof. Silvina A. Montrul. My research interests include acquisition and development of Spanish as a second language and as a heritage language in adults and school age children.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • L2 Acquisition of Spanish in the US
  • Acquisition and development of Spanish as a heritage language in the US
  • Writing in the heritage language

Research Description

  • My research focuses on comprehension of Spanish relative and passive clauses by adult L2 and heritage learners of Spanish. Relative and passive clauses are structures of later language development: they are acquired early but developed later, during school age years.Given the heterogeneous language experience of heritage learners, focusing on structures of later language development informs us on how these early acquired structures develop over the years up to college. My research takes into consideration overall Spanish instruction and early language experience with family and members of the community along with written and oral proficiency attained at time of testing to obtain a better picture of factors affecting development of these clauses.

    Because heritage learners and L2 learners first meaningful exposure to Spanish occurs at different ages this research also sheds light on each group's linguistic abilities and characteristics, information that can be used to tailor current Spanish teaching curricula in the U.S. for these two groups.


  • Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics with graduate concentration in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
  • M.A. in Translation (English/French - Spanish)
  • B.Sc. Biology


Journal Articles

  • Montrul, Silvina, and Noelia Sanchez Walker. "Differential Object Marking in Child and Adult Spanish Heritage Speakers." Language Acquisition 20 (2013): 109-132.