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Alan V. Brown

Research Interests:
Spanish Applied Linguistics
Second Language Acquisition
L2 Pedagogy and Assessment

Ph.D., Second Language Acquistion and Teaching, University of Arizona, 2006; M.A., Spanish Teaching, Brigham Young University, 2001; TESOL Graduate Certificate, 1999; B.A., Spanish Teaching--Secondary Certification, Brigham Young University, 1998


On a personal level, I am the happy father of 4 children [Grace (18), Ashton (16-deceased), Abigail (14), and Amanda (12)] and an even happier husband to my wife, Andrea! I enjoy commuting to the university on my bike year round the weather permits and pull out the volleyball, basketball, and tennis racket when time permits. 


My research interests relate to the Spanish language classroom and curriculum, particularly issues concerning pedagogy and assessment. I have had articles appear in the Modern Language Journal, Hispania, Foreign Language Annals, and the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education. In 2018, Georgetown University Press published a book I co-authored with my colleague, Dr. Greg L. Thompson at BYU, related to the changing nature of post-secondary Spanish language education in the United States. More recently in 2021, my co-authors (Yanira Paz and Earl Brown) and I published a pedagogical grammar of Spanish which incorporated spoken and written corpora entitled ¨El léxico-gramática del español: Una aproximación mediante la linguística de corpus¨ as part of Routledge´s Introductions to Spanish Language and Linguistics series. I have also worked with L2 Spanish speech and have a co-authored article soon to be published by Language Testing related to the relationship between floor/ceiling testing on the OPIc and automated measures of temporal fluency.  

Areas of Specialty

  • L2 Spanish language pedagogy
  • L2 Spanish language assessment
  • (Spanish) Second Language Acquisition
  • (Spanish) Applied Linguistics
Selected Publications:


Brown, A.V., Crane, C., Dupuy, B., & Ene, E. (Editors). The Routledge Handbook of Language Program Administration. Routledge. (under contract with Routledge).

Brown, A.V., Paz, Y., & Brown, E. (2021). El léxico-gramática del español: Una aproximación mediante la lingüística de corpus. Routledge Press.

Ceo-DiFrancesco, D., Thompson, G., Barton, K., & Brown, A. (2020). Experiencias (Introductory and Intermediate Spanish language textbook). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. (all language titles recently acquired by Vista Higher Learning)

Brown, A.V., & Thompson, G. (2018). The Changing Landscape of Spanish Language Curricula: Designing Higher Education Programs for Diverse Students. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.


Cox, T., Brown, A., and Thompson, G. (forthcoming). “Temporal Fluency Features in the ACTFL Spanish OPIc: An Investigation into Floor and Ceiling Scoring.” Language Testing.

Dueber, D. M., Toland, M. D., Lingat, J. E. M., Love, A. M. A., Qiu, C., Wu, R., Brown, A. V. (Online First). To reverse item orientation or not to reverse item orientation, that is the question. Assessment, 1-19.

Brown, A., Thompson, G., & Cox, T. (2021). ACTFL OPIc Question Prompt and Advanced Spanish Fluency. In M. Menke & P. Malovrh (Eds.), Advancedness in Second Language Spanish: Definitions, Challenges and Possibilities (pp. 41-63). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Brown, A. & Thompson, G. How foreign are the Advanced Placement world language exams? The case of Spanish heritage learner candidates. (2020). Hispania: A journal devoted to the teaching of Spanish and Portuguese, 103(2), 181-198.

Thompson, G., and Brown, A. (2019). Heritage learners and Spanish for specific purposes: Bridging the gap through community service learning. Revista Signos: Estudios de lingüística, 52(101): 908-930.

Brown, A.V., Plonsky, L., & Teimouri, Y. (2018). The use of course grades as metrics in L2 research: A systematic review. Foreign Language Annals, 51(4), 763-778.

Brown, A., Cox, T., & Thompson, G. (2017). A comparative discourse analysis of Spanish past narrations from the ACTFL OPI and OPIc. Foreign Language Annals, 50(4), 793-807.

Brown, A., & Thompson, G. (2016) The evolution of foreign language AP exam candidates: A 36-year descriptive study. Foreign Language Annals, 49(2), 235-251.

Cook, K., Brown, A., & Ballard, G. (2016). Using photovoice to explore environmental sustainability across languages and cultures. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 7, 49-67.