Germán Zárate-Sández

Photo of Germán Zárate-Sández
Germán Zárate-Sández
Associate Professor of Spanish, Director of Introductory Language, and Interim Director of the Quito Study Abroad Program
(269) 387-3039
(269) 387-3103
815 Sprau Tower, Mail Stop 5338
Mailing address: 
Department of Spanish
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5338 USA
Office hours: 

On sabbatical leave for 2021-22 academic year.

  • Ph.D., Spanish Applied Linguistics, Georgetown University, 2015
  • M.S., Spanish Linguistics, Georgetown University, 2009
  • M.S., English as a Second Language, The University of Scranton, 2007
  • B.A., English Linguistics, Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina, 2004
Teaching interests: 
  • Applied linguistics
  • Linguistic theories
Research interests: 
  • Phonetics/phonology
  • Second language (L2) acquisition

Dr. Germán Zárate-Sández is an associate professor and director of the basic Spanish program in the Department of Spanish at Western Michigan University.

An applied linguist by training, Dr. Zárate-Sández’s expertise and research lie in the areas of phonetics/phonology and Second Language (L2) Acquisition. In the former area, he studies phonological processes in both Spanish and English, with special emphasis on the perception and production of intonation. In the latter, he examines issues of cross-linguistic influence between the first and second language, in particular among heritage speakers and high-proficiency L2 users, and the role of individual differences (age, personality, aptitude, etc.) in learning a second language. Most of his publications and professional presentations have addressed the intersection of these two areas, that is, the acquisition and use of L2 pronunciation. He has also published on the application of technology to second language teaching and research.

Also a specialist in foreign/second language education, Zárate-Sández has worked at teacher-training programs at the Universidad Nacional de San Juan and the Instituto Lenguas Vivas Bariloche in Argentina. He regularly gives talks and workshops on methodological innovations in teaching Spanish and English as foreign languages. His considerable teaching experience reflects his research interests: he has taught courses in Spanish grammar, English and Spanish phonetics/phonology, applied linguistics, discourse analysis and linguistic theories. His administrative background includes organization of international professional conferences, language program coordination at the university level and the co-direction of Georgetown’s study abroad program in Quito, Ecuador.