Lourdes Ortega


Head of Applied Linguistics Concentration


Department of Linguistics
General profile


Office hours

Please email me for appointment: lourdes.ortega@georgetown.edu


Lourdes Ortega has been a Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University since 2012. She held previous faculty positions in applied linguistics and second language acquisition at Georgia State University (2000-2002), Northern Arizona University (2002-2004), and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (2004-2012). Her main area of research is in second language acquisition, particularly sociocognitive and educational dimensions in adult classroom settings. She has also long-standing interests in second language writing and foreign language education and has published widely about systematic research synthesis and epistemological and ethical dimensions of second language acquisition research. In the last few years she has become interested in applying insights from bilingualism and from usage-based linguistics to the investigation of second language development. She is originally from Spain, where she also received her first degree in Spanish Philology. She studied abroad in Germany, lived in Greece for 7 years as a teacher of Spanish, and relocated to the United States in 1993, where she did her studies and where she has rooted her academic career. She was co-recipient of the Pimsleur and the TESOL Research awards (2001) and has been a doctoral Mellon fellow (1999), a postdoctoral Spencer/National Academy of Education fellow (2003), and a senior research fellow at the Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies (2010). Her publications include the books Understanding Second Language Acquisition (Hodder, 2009; revised edition forthcoming with Routledge in 2016) and Technology-Mediated TBLT: Researching Technology and Tasks (with Marta González-Lloret; John Benjamins, 2014). She served as area editor for “Language Learning and Teaching” for the Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2013) and she was the editor of Language Learning for the five-year term of 2010-2015.


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  • Ph.D. (2000) University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Second Language Acquisition
  • M.A. (1995) University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, English as a Second Language
  • Licenciatura (1986) University of Cadiz, Spain, Spanish Philology


  • German (speak, read, write)
  • Greek, Modern (1453- ) (speak, read, write)
  • Spanish (speak, read, write)