Indiana University Bloomington
Department of Second Language Studies  
Spanish: Estudios de lenguas segundas  

Meet the Faculty

Kimberly L. Geeslin

Photo of Kimberly L. GeeslinEducation

Contact Information

Indiana University
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Ballantine Hall 853
1020 East Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103
Office Phone: (812) 856-5470

Research Interests

Personal Statement

Kimberly L. Geeslin joined the faculty of Indiana University in the fall of 1999, after receiving an M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) from the University of Arizona. In addition to my work with the department of Second Language Studies, I currently serve as the Director of the Hispanic Linguistics Program in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. My research concentrates on the intersection of second language acquisition and sociolinguistics with a particular focus on the second language acquisition of variation in second languages. The basic assumption I make when studying interlanguage development is that an analysis of language use must take into account both the linguistic structural features of a grammar, and the characteristics of the social context in which communication takes place. My recent book 'Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries to Improve the Analysis of Second Language Data: A Study of Copula Choice with Adjectives in Spanish' (2005, LINCOM Europa) addresses the second language acquisition of copula choice in Spanish by English-speaking learners at different levels of proficiency and shows how the tools from sociolinguistic analyses can be applied to second language data. My other published work advocates a shift from the analysis of errors in obligatory contexts to an analysis of use that does not require a subjective evaluation of accuracy, seeks to incorporate appropriate native-speaker baselines into the research design, and explores the effects of individual characteristics such as age and first language on the second language acquisition of variable structures.

Most recently, I have collaborated with several co-authors to expand our current knowledge of the variation of the copula contrast in Spanish and the degree to which individual characteristics play a role in the acquisition and ultimate attainment of the Spanish copulas. I am currently expanding this research to include additional grammatical structures in Spanish and to investigate the variation that occurs across tasks in second language acquisition research. As an extension of this research, I have embarked on a project in which I connect what is known about the second language acquisition of variable structures to language pedagogy and teacher training.

Courses Recently Taught

Books and Edited Volumes

Guijarro-Fuentes, P. & Geeslin, K. (2008). Language Acquisition, Language Variation and Copula  Choice in Spanish, Special volume (11, 3, 273-387) of Billingualism: Language and Cognition.  Cambridge University Press.

Geeslin, K. (2005). Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries to Improve the Analysis of Second Language Data: A Study of Copula Choice with Adjectives in Spanish. Munich: LINCOM Publishers. 313 pages.

Lee, J., Geeslin, K. & Clements, J. C. (Eds.). (2002). Structure, Meaning and Acquisition in Spanish: Selected Papers from the Fourth Hispanic Linguistic Symposium. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. 335 pages.

Refereed Articles

Geeslin, K. & Gudmestad, A. (forthcoming, 2010).  An exploration of the range and frequency of occurrence of forms in potentially-variable structures in second language Spanish.  Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 32, 3.

Diaz-Campos, M. & Geeslin, K. (forthcoming).  Copula Use in the Spanish of Venezuela: Social and Linguistic Sources of Variation Spanish, Spanish in Context.

Henriksen, N., Geeslin, K. & Willis, E. (forthcoming).  The development of L2 Spanish intonation during a study abroad immersion program in Leon, Spain: global contours and final boundry movements.  Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics.

Geeslin, K. (forthcoming).  The acquisition of variation in second language Spanish: How to identify and catch a moving target.  In M. Diaz-Campos (ed.), Handbook of Spanish Sociolinguistics. Blackwell.

Geeslin, K. & Gudmestad, A. (2008).  Variable subject expression in second-language Spanish: A comparison of native and non-native speakers.  In M. Bowles, R. Foote, S. Periñán, & R. Bhatt (eds).) Selected Proceedings of the Second Language Research Forum, pp. 69-85.  Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Estar in four Cases of Language Contact.  Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 11, 3, 365-380.  Geeslin, K. & Gudmestad, A. (2008).  Comparing interview and written elicitation tasks in native and non-native use: Do speakers do what we think they do?  In J. Bruhn de Garavito & E. Valenzuela (eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, pp. 64-77.  Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.     

Geeslin, K. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2007).  The SLA of Variable Structures: Analyzing Obligatory and Variable Contexts.  ITL: International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 153, 25-51.

Geeslin, K. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2007).  Spanish in Contact with Galician: Exploring Language Learning and Language Use.  In K. Potowski and R. Cameron (eds.), Spanish in contact: Policy, Social and Linguistic Inquiries, pp. 253-273.  John Benjamins.

Geeslin, K. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2006).  A Longitudinal Study of Copula Choice: Following Development in Variable Structures.  In N. Sagarra & J. Toribio (eds.) Selected Proceedings of the 9th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, pp 144-156.  Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Geeslin, K. (2006). Linguistic contextual features and variation in L2 data elicitation. In C. Klee & T. Face (eds.), Selected proceedings from the 7th Conference on the acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese as a first and second language, pp. 74-85.. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Geeslin, K. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. (2006). The Second Language Acquisition of Variable Structures in Spanish by Portuguese Speakers. Language Learning 56 (1), 53-107.

Guijarro-Fuentes, P. & Geeslin, K. (2006). Interpretation of Spanish copula choice by Portuguese near-native speakers. In C. Abello-Contesse, R. Chacón-Beltrán, M.D. López-Jiménez, & M.M. Torreblanca-López, (eds.), Age in L2 Acquisition and Teaching (pp. 193-209). Pieterlen, Switzerland: Peter Lang.

Guijarro-Fuentes, P. & Geeslin, K. (2006). Copula choice in the Spanish of Galicia: The effects of bilingualism on language use. Spanish in Context, 3(1).

Geeslin, K. (2003). A comparison of copula choice in advanced and native Spanish. Language Learning, 53, 4, 703-764.

Geeslin, K. (2003). The Role of adjectival features in the second language acquisition of copula choice. In P. Kempchinsky & C. Piñeros, (Eds.), Theory, Practice and Acquisition: Papers from the 6th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium and the 5th Conference on the Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese, (pp. 332-351). Cascadilla Press.

Geeslin, K. (2002). The second language acquisition of copula choice and its relationship to language change. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 24 (3), 419-451.

Geeslin, K. (2002). Semantic transparency as a predictor of copula choice in second language acquisition. Linguistics: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences, 40(2), 439-468.

Geeslin, K. (2001). Changing norms, moving targets and the SLA of copula choice. Spanish Applied Linguistics, 5 (1-2), 29-55.

Geeslin, K. (2000). A new approach to the second language acquisition of copula choice in Spanish. In R. Leow & C. Sanz (Eds.), Spanish Applied Linguistics at the Turn of the Millennium: Papers from the 1999 Conference on the L1 & L2 Acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese, (pp. 50-66). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Honors and Awards

  • Department of Spanish & Portuguese, GSAC Outstanding Mentor Award, 2006
  • Indiana University FACET Award, 2005.
  • British Academy Project Development Grant (reference number: SG:40255).  "An investigation of the acquisition and use of Spanish".  2005-2006, (£6030). (with Pedro Guijarro-Fuentes).
  • Active Learning Grant for development of S428, Indiana University.
  • Trustees Teaching Award, Indiana University, 2002, 2008.
  • Faculty Summer Fellowship, Indiana University.

Current Research Project

  • The second language acquisition of geographically-indexed variants (e.g. leísmo, interdental fricative) in a study abroad setting [collaborative projects with Dr. Erik Willis and Nicholas Henriksen, Maria Hasler Barker, Lorenzo Garcia-Amaya, and Jason Killam].
  • A comparative study of advanced non-native speaker use of variable structures in Spanish (e.g., future and past time reference, copula contrast, mood use and subject expression) [collaborative project with Dr. Aames Gudmestad].
  • A study of the relationship between vocabulary size, copula and the second language acquisition of variation in the (copula + adjective) structure.
  • The second language acquisition of intonation [collaborative project with Dr. Erik Willis and Nicholas Henriksen].