11:59 AM

Prolific Scholar Comes to UHD

Dr. Bill VanPatten Explores Best-Kept Secret in Adult Language Learning


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD’s Department of History, Humanities & Languages and the Spanish Program is hosting the talk, “One of the Best-Kept Secrets in Adult Language Learning” featuring scholar Dr. Bill VanPatten on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7-8 p.m. in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium.

This presentation will explore one of the best-kept secrets in the science of language acquisition: that at their core, child first language acquisition and adult language acquisition are fundamentally the same. The talk will also outline one of the major implications of this research for language practitioners and students.

“This event is an important event for the UHD Community. Dr. VanPatten is a well-known scholar in the fields of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Spanish Linguistics who has an almost 40-year career conducting and publishing research about SLA,” said Dr. Paul B. Mandell, associate professor of Spanish Applied Linguistics and coordinator of the UHD Spanish program. "VanPatten also has an international reputation for authoring second language teaching materials in both Spanish and French, and is regularly invited all over the world to conduct language teaching workshops and to deliver key note addresses at conferences. This talk is a rare opportunity for second language instructors in the Greater Houston area to hear him speak in person.”

VanPatten is a former professor of Spanish and Second Language Acquisition at Michigan State University where he investigated both theoretical and practical levels, using techniques from psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, and cognitive psychology.

Presently, VanPatten hosts Tea with BVP that is a weekly call-in show that discusses topics related to second language learning, teaching, and acquisition. Launched in October 2015 in an effort to accelerate the dissemination of research-supported knowledge and practices that are relevant to language teachers and practitioners. He is an associate member of the Center for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading and a visiting professor in the Center for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education at the University of Greenwich.

He has published eight books, eight edited volumes, six language textbooks (including the movies “Sol y viento,” “Liaisons” and the teleseries “Destinos”), and 120 articles and book chapters. Two of his articles are listed in the top 10 citations for articles in Studies in Second Language Acquisition and he is the recipient of local and national awards for research, teaching, leadership, and mentoring.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University and a doctorate at The University of Texas at Austin. He also served as a member of the faculty at Texas Tech University.

VanPatten’s most recent book (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) is “While We’re on the Topic: BVP on Language, Acquisition, and Classroom Practice.”

For more information, contact Dr. Paul B. Mandell at mandellp@uhd.edu.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.