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About Alma Ramirez-Trujillo

I currently work at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, VA in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. I am interested in languages in contact, second language acquisition and bilingualism. My dissertation titled “Production of Agreement in Spanish by Nahuatl speakers” focuses on the production of gender, number, subject, verb and object agreement by Nahuatl speakers who speak Spanish as a second language (n=19), simultaneous bilinguals (Spanish-Nahuatl) (n=6), and a group of Spanish monolinguals (n=5).
Through a translation task, an elicited production task and a spontaneous production task I show that contact with the target language (and not the age of acquisition) determines the participants’ performance. That is, those individuals with more contact with the standard variety of Spanish are able to reach a superior stage in the acquisition of their L2, while those speakers with less contact ‘get stuck’ in the production of simplified or transferred forms from their L1 as a result of fossilization. Nonetheless, all participants are able to produce correct forms in their L2, which suggests that there is not a syntactic deficit but a mapping problem. This research highlights the creativity of the interlanguage grammar in order to compensate the lack of appropriate input.


Present Assistant Professor, Bridgewater College World Languages and Cultures
Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages, Emory and Henry College ‐ Foreign Languages Department
The University of Western Ontario, Western University

Curriculum Vitae


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Honors and Awards

  • 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award by Emory & Henry College.
  • 2014 Outstanding Scholarly Publication Award by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)
  • 2014 Hiter Harris “Rising Star” award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges

Contact Information

Dr. Ramirez-Trujillo
Department of World Languages & Cultures | Flory 212
Phone: 540-828-5348 | fax: 540-828-5747
Acceptable Pronouns: She/Her/Hers/Herself
Encouraged Gender Neutral Pronouns: They/Them/Their(s)/Themselves


Languages in Contact and Language Acquisition (5)

Generative Linguistics (2)

Languages in Contact, Crosslinguistic Influence, Transfer (1)