Since my first course assignment many years ago, I have never stopped feeling the thrill of entering class, meeting students from all walks of life, and sharing with them the special space where we engage our minds and create understanding.

Flavia Belpoliti, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Spanish Grad Studies

  • Faculty
Literature and Languages
Contact Flavia
David Talbot Hall of Languages 318
Related Department
Literature and Languages

Dr. Belpoliti was born in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience in higher education in Argentina and the United States. She has designed and taught a variety of courses in Spanish language, Hispanic linguistics, sociolinguistics and curriculum design at graduate and undergraduate levels. Additionally, Belpoliti frequently conducts professional development workshops at the regional, state and national levels, where she shares her expertise with Spanish instructors. When she is not teaching or researching, Belpoliti enjoys gardening, hiking and pottery.

A Conversation with Dr. Flavia Belpoliti

What do you like most about your current role?

I have always enjoyed the opportunity that the classroom gives me to know and understand other minds. Since my first course assignment many years ago, I have never stopped feeling the thrill of entering class, meeting students from all walks of life, and sharing with them the special space where we engage our minds and create understanding. As a director, I feel that it’s an exciting opportunity to develop and redesign our program to reflect changes in the profession!

Tell me about a current project you are working on.

I am working on two large and fascinating projects. First, as co-director of the Texas Coalition for Heritage Spanish, I work closely with colleagues across the state to promote and support teaching and learning Spanish as a heritage language in Texas, following principles of open education. Our coalition manages a large depository of resources and teaching materials, and we provide professional training to language instructors and school administrators. My second project involves modeling multimodal competency among bilingual/multilingual learners. As most of the information we deal with is presented in multimodal digital discourses, we need to reframe our conceptualization of literacy and see how learners interact, interpret and produce different multimodal texts, deploying semiotic repertoires that include their bilingual/multilingual abilities.

What would you tell a student who is thinking about attending A&M-Commerce?

A&M-Commerce offers students a close connection with all members (classmates, faculty, administrators). Although we’re not a small institution, you can feel that you’re not just a number but an important member of the university. Your voice is heard; you are supported through challenges, and your success is sincerely celebrated by all of us.

Who has been a role model for you?

I have had the privilege of finding and working with multiple mentors throughout my life. First, my parents passed their love for learning to me. I also had the honor of working in Buenos Aires with Dr. Ma. Elena Rodríguez, professor of linguistics and director of the Argentinean chapter of the International Reading Association. I started my research career in Buenos Aires, working with Dr. Alfredo Rubione from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, who introduced me to investigating cultural production through semiotics. In the U.S., Dr. Manuel Gutierrez and Dr. Marta Fairclough from the University of Houston are not only my teachers and mentors but also my friends.


  • Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, University of Houston, Texas, 2011
  • Graduate Studies in Discourse Analysis, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2001
  • Bachelor of Letters, Universidad del Salvador, Argentina, 1995

Research Interests

  • Spanish as a Heritage Language (acquisition, development and learning process)
  • Spanish in the U.S. and the dynamic outcomes of language in contact
  • Spanish teacher preparation and development
  • SPA 342: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
  • SPA 513: Teaching Spanish as a Heritage Language
  • SPA 597: Special Topic: Teaching and Learning Spanish Vocabulary

Selected Publications

  • Belpoliti, F. & Bermejo, E. (2020). Spanish Heritage Language Learners' Emerging Literacy: From Research to Practice. Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge. ISBN 978-1138182141.
  • Gironzetti, E. & Belpoliti F. (2021). “The other side of Heritage Language Education. Understanding Spanish Heritage Language Teachers in the US”. Foreign Language Annals, 54, 1189-1213.
  • Belpoliti, F. (2023). Traducción pedagógica y el aprendizaje-enseñanza del español: actitudes y prácticas en los EE. UU. In De Benni, M (Ed.), Volumen temático del 32mo. Congreso de ASELE. Verona: ASELE.

Professional Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award, Teaching Group, University of Houston, 2012
  • Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Fellows, University of Houston, 2010

Professional Associations

  • American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Language Programs (AAUSC)
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • The American Association of Teachers of Portuguese and Spanish (AATPS), Higher Education Committee Member
  • Asociación de Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera (ASELE)
  • Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina (ALFAL)
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