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Lourdes Ortega (2016)

Multilingual Success: Continuous, Probabilistic, and Beyond Language

Dr. Lourdes Ortega, Professor & Head of Applied Linguistics, Georgetown University

March 21, 2016

112 Chambers


How successful are adults in their learning of new languages? Traditionally, the field of second language acquisition has answered this question rather pessimistically, comparing multilingual success directly to monolingual success. Dr. Ortega will explore an alternative view that (1) can be applied to a continuum along both early and late bilingualism, (2) capitalizes on probabilistic rather than categorical success, and (3) goes beyond strictly linguistic notions of competence. This view of multilingual success, she will argue, can have transformative implications for research and teaching.


Dr. Ortega is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University. Her work has appeared in journals such as Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Journal of Second Language Writing, Language Learning, Language Learning & Technology, Modern Language Journal, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, and System. Her most recent books are Technology-Mediated TBLT: Researching Technology and Tasks (co-edited with Marta González-Lloret, John Benjamins, 2014), The Usage-based Study of Language Learning and Multilingualism (co-edited with colleagues, Georgetown University Press, 2016), and Understanding Second Language Acquisition (1st edition with Hodder, 2009; revised edition forthcoming with Routledge).