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Alejandra Balestra, PhD

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Spanish Language Program Director

Office: 449 AH

Phone: (713) 743-9914

Email

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Alejandra Balestra is the Director of the Spanish Language Program (L2 track). She completed her Licenciatura en Letras, in Argentina (Universidad de Buenos Aires), and her M.A. and Ph.D. at University of Houston.

Her main research areas are Spanish as Second Language, e-learning content development, critical thinking development and e-learning, and Argentinean Culture and History.

Alejandra shares her life in Houston with her husband, Nelson, their cat, Lila; and enjoying having the opportunity to be close to her daughter, Carla Romina, her son-in-law, Ray, and most important: her 3 years old grandson, Auden Lihuel.

In her free time, she enjoys playing with Auden, reading, biking, walking, and going to the movies and theater plays.

Education

  • PhD in Spanish Linguistics - Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of Houston.
  • MA in Spanish, Hispanics in the U.S. Literature - Department of Modern and Classical Languages, University of Houston.
  • Bachelor Degree in Letters and Linguistics - Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Spanish as a Second and Foreign Language Acquisition
  • E-learning content development
  • Critical thinking development and e-learning
  • Digital humanities and Spanish as a Second Language Teaching
  • Online curriculum development
  • Argentinean Culture and History

Profesional Recognition

Curriculum Development Award, SPAN 1505: Intensive Intermediate Spanish, ($40000), UH Granted May – August 2015 (PI: Dr. Alejandra Balestra, co-instructors: Laura Gasca-Jiménez and Allison Yakel)

Curriculum Development Award, SPAN 2302: Intermediate Spanish, minimester and regular semester online, ($12500), UH Granted December 2015 (PI: Dr. Alejandra Balestra, individual grant).

Curriculum Development Award, SPAN 2610: Intensive Intermediate Spanish, ($29733), UH Granted May – August 2015 (PI: Dr. Alejandra Balestra, co-instructors: Laura Gasca-Jiménez and Allison Yakel)

Courses

Undergraduate

  • Historical Grammar, Spring 2016 (University of Houston)
  • Teaching Spanish Techniques, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016 (University of Houston)
  • Culture and Society, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014 (Universidad de Palermo)
  • Introduction to Spanish Linguistics, Spring and Summer 2011 (George Mason University)
  • Gateway to Advance Spanish, Fall 2010 (George Mason University)
  • Spanish Writing and Stylistics, Spring 2010 (George Mason University)
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011 (George Mason University)
  • Accelerated Basic Spanish, Fall 2009 (George Mason University)
  • Intermediate Spanish, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Summer 2010, Fall 2010 (George Mason University)
  • Aproximaciones a la literatura argentina del siglo XX: realidad social argentina en la literatura y en el cine. March 24-May 26, 2009 (Instituto Cervantes, Albuquerque)
  • Advanced Spanish, Spring 2009 (Instituto Cervantes, Albuquerque)
  • Basic Spanish 4, Fall 2007, Spring 2008 (Instituto Cervantes, Albuquerque)
  • Intermediate Spanish 3, Fall 2007 (Instituto Cervantes, Albuquerque)
  • Cultura Argentina a través del cine, Summer 2007 (Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Argentine Culture: history, literature, economy and politics, Summer 2006 (Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina).
  • Río de la Plata Spanish: History and Evolution, Summer, 2005 2006, and 2007 (Universidad de Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina).
  • Introduction to Spanish Linguistics, Summer Program in Salamanca, Summer 2003 (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain)
  • Intermediate Spanish, Spring 2003 (University of Houston).
  • Introduction to Spanish Linguistics, Spring 2003 (University of Houston).
  • Spanish Composition for Hispanic Heritage Learners, Fall 2002 (University of Houston).
  • Written Communication in Spanish, Fall 2002 (University of Houston).
  • Teaching Spanish for Acquisition, Fall 2002 (University of Houston).
  • Spanish Phonetics and Phonology, Spring 2002 (University of Houston).
  • Elementary Spanish, Fall 2001 (University of Houston).
  • Spanish Language and Literatura, April 1992 - December 1995 (Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, Universidad de Buenos Aires).
  • Spanish Language History, Agosto 1991 - June 1993 (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras).
  • General Linguistics, 1991 (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras).

Graduate

  • Historical Grammar, Spring 2016 (University of Houston)
  • Teaching Spanish for Acquisition, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016 (University of Houston)
  • Recent Reasearch in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language, Spring 2015 (University of Houston)
  • Teaching Spanish as Heritage Language, Spring 2011 (George Mason University)
  • Applied Spanish Stylistics, Fall 2010 (George Mason University)
  • Recent Research on the Teaching of Spanish, Fall 2003, Fall 2004, Fall 2005, Fall 2007 (University of New Mexico).
  • Historical Linguistics, Spring 2006 (University of New Mexico).
  • Spanish Phonology, Spring 2005 (University of New Mexico).
  • Sociolinguistics and Gender, Spring 2004, 2007 (University of New Mexico).

Selected Publications

“Women writers: Linguistic and discourse features of letters written by women in New Mexico and California, Nineteenth Century,” Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literature, Volume 7, (2009), 26-41.

Balestra, Alejandra and Alex Sousa, Variación en el uso de los adjetivos en las cartas de Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton: ¿Contacto lingüístico o subjetividad? Revista Iberoamericana de Lingüística. (2009), 13-27.

Formas de tratamiento en correspondencia en español: California y Nuevo México, 1800-1900. In Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Linguistic Heritage: Sociohistorical Approaches to Spanish in the United States, Alejandra Balestra, Glenn Martinez, Irene Moyna, Editors, (2008), 75-88.

“El tiempo futuro en el español de California (1800-1930): incidencia del género y del estilo en un cambio lingüístico en marcha” Spanish in Context, 3.1 (2006), 25-47.

“Alberto O´Farrill y Jesús Colón: Dos cronistas en Nueva York.” Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage. Volume IV. Ed. José Aranda and Silvio Torres Saillant, Houston: Arte Público Press, (2002), 133-44.

“Alberto O’Farrill.” Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States. General Editor Nicolás Kanellos, Co-editors Kenya Dworkin y Méndez, Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, Charles Tatum. Coord. Alejandra Balestra. New York: Oxford University Press, (2001), 372-73.

“Cambio de armas de Luisa Valenzuela: una guerra desde el punto de vista femenino.” The Politics of Written Word in the Americas. Conference proceedings. Waco: Baylor University, (1999), 1-8.

“Las glosas en Historia de las Indias,” Actas del III Congreso Argentino de Hispanistas. Buenos Aires: Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Instituto de Filología y Literaturas Hispánicas “Dr. Amado Alonso,” (1992), 284-92.

“Vocabulario basado en textos médicos de los siglos XIII al XVI. (Enfermedades),” Medicina y Sociedad: curar y sanar en la España de los siglos XIII al XVI. Buenos Aires: Instituto de Historia de España “Claudio Sánchez Albornoz,” Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, (1996), 265-71.