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Cristina Sanz


Co-Director, Center for Brain Basis of Cognition; Director, Barcelona Summer Program; Director, Intensive & SFS Spanish Program; Coordinator, Catalan Lectureship


Department of Spanish and Portuguese
General profile



+1 202-687-7213

Alt. phone





412 ICC


CRISTINA SANZ is Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at Georgetown University. She co-directs the Center for the Brain Basis of Cognition and is the Director of the Intensive & School of Foreign Service Language Programs. Dr. Sanz also serves as coordinator of the Catalan Lectureship and as Director of the Georgetown-at-Barcelona Summer Study Abroad Program.

Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Sanz received her undergraduate degree in Peninsular Literature from the Universitat de Barcelona. After three years as a high school teacher, she received a University Fellowship from the University of Illinois to complete an advanced certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE, 1993), and Ph.D. (1994). She completed her dissertation while teaching linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Sanz is an expert on bilingualism and second language acquisition. Her edited volume Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition (GUPress 2005) received the MLA's Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize for an Outstanding Research Publication in 2006. She has co-edited Spanish Applied Linguistics at the End of the Millennium (2000) and was guest editor of the special volume of Spanish Applied Linguistics - Cognition & Spanish Bilinguals (2001). Dr. Sanz has published book chapters and articles in such scholarly venues as Neuropsychologia, Applied Psycholinguistics, Language Learning, the Canadian Modern Language Review, the Encyclopedia of Language and Education, the International Journal of Multilingualism, and the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Professor Sanz has taught graduate courses in Spain and the Philippines and has educated generations of language teachers for over 20 years. She has been a consultant to the United Nations, the Instituto Cervantes, and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE).


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  • PhD (1994) U. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Spanish Linguistics
  • Advanced Certificate (SLATE) (1993) U. of Illinois, Second language Acquisition and Teacher Education
  • Licenciatura (1985) Universitat de Barcelona, Spanish Philology


  • Catalan (speak, read, write)
  • French (read, write)
  • Italian (speak, read, write)
  • Portuguese (read, write)
  • Spanish (speak, read, write)