Dr. Justin Patrick White
Ph.D., Florida State University
Associate Professor of Spanish/SLA, Linguistics
Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program
Areas of Expertise
Spanish and Linguistics
I am an Associate Professor of Professor of Spanish/Second Language Acquisition, Linguistics and Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program. We are proud to say that the Spanish Basic Language Program (1120/1121/2220/2221) now has an annual enrollment of roughly 3000 students compared with 1600 students when I arrived in 2009. It is wonderful to see such growth in our department and across the university! During various points throughout the year (including summer), I am responsible for setting up the 100+ course sections of the lower-division Spanish language courses. It is incredibly rewarding to see so many students enjoy learning the Spanish language. So, if you are a student and you see my name on the syllabus or linked with your course, that is why – if you ever have questions, feel free to knock on my office door or stop by my Zoom room, I am here to help.
Where are my degrees from?
Ph.D. Florida State University
Specialization: Spanish – Second Language Acquisition
Dissertation Title: The effects of input-based instruction type on the acquisition of Spanish accusative clitics.
Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Michael J. Leeser
M.A. Bowling Green State University
Specialization: Spanish and linguistics
Thesis title: Spanish prepositions por and para in a contextualized inductive choose your own adventure-style computer-assisted language-learning tool.
Thesis Advisor: Fenfang Hwu
B.S. Bowling Green State University
Specialization: Secondary Education – Spanish
What do I teach?
One of the courses that I teach every fall semester is FLE 6892, which is for incoming graduate teaching assistants during their first semester of study, is one that looks at how languages are acquired and how to best teach them based on the past 40 plus years of empirical studies. I also routinely teach graduate and undergraduate-level courses on Second Language Acquisition research and theory and Bilingualism research and theory (essentially the intersection of psychology and linguistics). I also have offered a course on Forensic Linguistics, which is the intersection of language and the law. Take a look at our course offerings in our department, I’m sure you’ll find courses that can count towards your major or minor. You can also consider a minor or double major in linguistics or in Spanish. Reach out to our department or to your advisor, we’ll be happy to talk with you about the many possibilities that exist.
What are my research interests?
My primary research interests deal with language processing for second language learners and I have recently conducted a few studies investigating language processing with Heritage Language Learners along with a book chapter on what is called the mixed language classroom, the point at which both second language learners and Heritage Language Learners merge in the same classes. FAU is designated a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), which is one of the reasons why I consider the research in language acquisition and language-related pedagogical practices for second language learners and for Heritage Learners to be of utmost importance.
I find that my true research interests are dedicated towards using what we know (and continue to study) about how the mind processes, stores, and accesses language and then incorporating the implications of these studies into pedagogical practices. We are in a unique position to be able to advance our understanding of language acquisition and also deliver pedagogical practices that align with related cognitive processes. This also is rewarding to know that we provide sound pedagogy based on research. I thoroughly enjoy learning and creating environments in which students learn.
As of 2020, I am also the Editor for the Southern Journal on Linguistics (SJL) which publishes issues twice a year, in the spring and fall. This affords me the opportunity to read research in a diverse range of areas of linguistics, something that I find both interesting and fun!
What got me interested in languages?
During my coursework for my undergraduate degree in Spanish Education for High School, I lived in a small town in Costa Rica for a year and then during my Master’s degree, I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for a year. I've travelled to a number of other places and countries for extended periods of time - Northern Mexico, Central Mexico, Eastern Mexico, Western Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, and the list goes on. I have driven across the US half a dozen times stretching from Ohio (where I am originally from) to Oregon to San Diego. I’ve also driven into Mexico 15 hours where I spent months in the wonderful town of Los Mochis and another 10 hours down to Guadalajara. I've crossed the US/Mexico border walking in Tijuana and Nogales, each time during the hot summer months. I also crossed the border into Nicaragua by flat bottom river boat and I’ve traveled to Tikal, Guatemala on multiple occasions by bus. I’ve visited Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico, Parque-Museo La Venta in Villahermosa, Mexico (where the colossal heads are), Copán, Honduras, and some other off the beaten-path places. All of these experiences contribute to my interest in language acquisition, language learning, language teaching pedagogy.
What about free time?
For many years I trained Capoeira (the Brazilian martial art disguised as a dance) and for a few years I trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and then I got into heated Yoga for a long time (where the room is heated to 103 degrees and the classes last between 60 and 90 minutes). Times are different now, so I still continue my Yoga practice, just not in a crowded heated room. I follow a vegetarian diet and do my best to stay healthy.
Here are some of my most recent research endeavors:
1. Rodriguez, E., Brandl, A., White, J. P. (2021). Teaching Heritage Language Learners with an Interface Approach: Rethinking Current Practices. Southern Journal of Linguistics, 45 (1), 76 – 117.
2. Rodriguez, E., Brandl, A., White, J. P., Montoya, A., & Bonilla, K. (2021). Linguistic inclusivity with Spanish heritage learners: Valuing student feedback. International Journal of Language Studies, 15(3), 45-64.
3. White, J.P., DeMil, A.J., Blattner, G. (2021). Perceptions and Practices in Language Teaching: A Survey of Experts in Literary and Cultural Studies. Dimension, 56, 25 – 44.
4. White, J.P., Martini, A. (2019). Frequency of Input: An Analysis at the Macro and Micro Levels of Learning Italian. Instructed Second Language Acquisition, 3 (1), 3 – 27.
5. Mendoza M. & White, J.P. (2017). Dative Clitic Placement in Contemporary Cuban Spanish: A Relic from the Past? Southern Journal of Linguistics, 41 (1), 88 – 102.
Books / Co-edited Volumes
1. White, J.P. (Ed.) (2021). Southern Journal of Linguistics, 45(1).
2. White, J.P. (Ed.). (2020). Southern Journal of Linguistics, 44(1).
1. Blattner, G., & White, J.P. (2016). Leadership in Foreign Language Departments: It’s Not Just Language. In Viktor Wang (Ed), Encyclopedia of Strategic Leadership and Management. IGI Global. (pp. 350 – 360).
Upcoming Book Chapters
1. White, J.P. Lexical Preference in Input Processing. In J. Barcroft & W. Wong (Eds), Handbook of second language acquisition and input processing. New York, NY: Routledge.
2. White, J.P. & Mandell, P.B. (Under contract). Language Processing Implications in Mixed Language Classrooms. In P. Bayona & Garcia-Martinez, E. (Eds), Global Approaches to Mixed Language Classrooms. Multilingual Matters.
3. White, J.P., Mandell, P.B., Brandl, A. (Under contract). Pandemic-motivated transformations: Comprehensible-input oriented pedagogy in beginning Spanish online-course design. In Online language teaching in diverse contexts: International perspectives from Canada and beyond. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.