2019 IWL Speaker Series--Languages for Specific Purposes
Title: Languages for Specific Purposes: Curriculum Development and Program Design in the 21st Century
Presenter: Lourdes Sánchez-López, PhD, Professor of Spanish
Director, Spanish for Specific Purposes Certificate program
University of Alabama at Birmingham
As the world becomes even more globalized in the 21st century, the future of language teaching
and learning is more relevant than ever before. Grounded on the pillars of a critically important
humanities and liberal arts foundation, the future of language teaching and learning is a balanced
symbiosis between the concrete skill set of languages for specific purposes (LSP), the complex
framework of intercultural (trans)competence, and the successful integration of professional
experiential learning. These key elements must work in harmony to collectively achieve the
specific purpose of the learner (Sánchez-López, 2017). This presentation has a twofold purpose:
1) to present an overview of the evolution as well as future directions of LSP studies in
American higher education, and 2) to share the sequential development of the various LSP
programs established at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the last two decades.
Lourdes Sánchez-López, PhD. (Applied Linguistics, University of Jaén) is Professor of Spanish,
Associate Chair, and Director of the Spanish for Specific Purposes program in the Department of
Foreign Languages at Literatures at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is co-author
of two textbooks, El mundo hispanohablante contemporáneo: Historia, política, sociedades y
cultura (The Contemporary Spanish-Speaking World: History, Politics, Societies, and Culture)
(Routledge, 2016), and Pueblos, Intermediate Spanish in Cultural Contexts (Cengage, 2006).
She is the editor of the anthology Scholarship and Teaching on Languages for Specific Purposes
(2013). Dr. Sánchez-López enjoys teaching courses at all levels, from general introductory
Spanish to specific purposes (business and health), to Spanish linguistics, to phonetics and
phonology, to cultural studies, to community service-learning, to foreign language methodology.
She organized and directed the First International Symposium on Languages for Specific
Purposes (UAB, 2012), which launched a national and international collaborative movement of
LSP scholars in the US and beyond. She served as president and past-president of the Alabama
chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (2006-2010).