404 Herter Hall

Spring 2024 Office Hours: Mon and Wed from 4pm to 5pm and by appointment.

Professional Bio

Luiz Amaral is a Professor of Portuguese and Spanish Linguistics, the Director of the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Program, and an adjunct faculty in the Department of Linguistics. He is also the Director of the Polyglot Lab, and one of the chief editors of Living Languages, a journal dedicated to the revitalization of endangered languages.. His research focuses on second language acquisition, bilingualism and language instruction for minority languages with a specific focus on Spanish and Portuguese in the US, and indigenous languages in Brazil. Some of his research projects study the symbolic representations of interlanguage properties and bilingual grammars, especially at the morphosyntactic level. His applied work focuses on supporting minority language maintenance and indigenous language revitalization through pedagogical initiatives that range from the design and creation of pedagogical materials to language program development and teacher education.

Professor Amaral is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he finished his BA in Portuguese and French at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and his MA in Linguistics at PUC-Rio.  He received his PhD in Hispanic Linguistics at The Ohio State University with a dissertation entitled “Designing Intelligent Language Tutoring Systems: integrating natural 
language processing technology into foreign language teaching practice," which focused on Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Natural Language Processing.

His current work on native Brazilian languages focuses on language learning by bilingual speakers and the instruction of minority languages at indigenous schools. He is the leading consultant in a pilot project sponsored by UNESCO-Brazil and coordinated by ProDoclin to create pedagogical grammars for four Brazilian languages. Since 2012 he has been working as a consultant in educational projects sponsored by UNESCO, local governments, and NGOs to develop pedagogical materials and language programs at indigenous schools in Latin America.

To learn more about Prof. Amaral’s work, please visit his webpage.    



  • Second language teaching and learning
  • Endangered language revitalization and maintenance
  • Bilingual, L2 and heritage language acquisition
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL)



  • Spanish 797LA - Indigenous Languages of Latin America
  • Spanish 671 - Applied Linguistics and Methodology
  • Spanish 697RM - Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition
  • Spanish 697A - Linguistic Theory and Second Language Acquisition
  • Spanish 470 - General View of Hispanic Linguistics
  • Portuguese 470 - General View of Portuguese Linguistics
  • Portuguese 316 - Brazil: Culture through Music
  • Spanish 311 - Spanish Advanced Grammar
  • FFYS 197 - Freshmen Seminar on Cognitive and Linguistic Strategies to Learn a Second Language