Gabriela Cecilia Zapata

Dr. Gabriela C. Zapata was born in Rosario, Argentina, and she moved to the United States in 1994. She received her PhD in Spanish (Linguistics track) from the Pennsylvania State University in 2002. She is Professor of Hispanic Linguistics in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Texas A&M University. Her research foci are second (L2) and heritage language (HL) pedagogy, multiliteracies, multimodal social semiotics, and teacher education. She is also involved in the development and implementation of inclusive open educational resources for the teaching of Spanish as a L2 and HL and Spanish for the Professions. Dr. Zapata has served as an ADVANCE Administrative Fellow in the Office for Diversity at Texas A&M University and as Director or Coordinator of six Spanish and Portuguese basic language programs in public and private universities in the United States and Canada. Throughout her career, she has published articles on bilingualism, L2 and HL pedagogy, multimodal social semiotics, and teacher cognition and practice in journals such as Computer Assisted Language Learning, Foreign Language Annals, The International Journal of Bilingualism, The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Language, Culture, and Curriculum, Language Learning, and Language Awareness, among others, and in a variety of edited volumes. Dr. Zapata is the main author of the first Canadian edition of Puntos de partida, and of the OER L2 Spanish textbooks Trayectos (published digitally by COERLL) and Introducción a la escritura (Pressbooks). She is also the co-editor (with Dr. Manel Lacorte) of the volume Multiliteracies Pedagogy and Language Learning: Teaching Spanish to Heritage Speakers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Her co-authored (with Dr. Mary Kalantzis and Dr. Bill Cope) book Las alfabetizaciones múltiples: Teoría y práctica was published in December 2019 by Editorial Octaedro. At present, she is working on a single-authored book on Learning by Design and L2 education under contract with Routledge. Dr. Zapata received her certification as ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview Tester in Spanish in 2014. She has also served as an ACTFL mentor and the Vice-Chair and Chair of ACTFL’s Spanish for Heritage Learners Special Interest Group. She currently holds the position of Past-Chair in this group's leadership. In 2019, she was awarded the SGA Open Education Champion Award by the Student Government Association at Texas A&M University. Dr. Zapata is also a CIMER Entering Mentoring Trained Facilitator

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Fall 2021: Dr. Zapata is on Faculty Development Leave until January 16, 2022. 

My commitment

I will not tolerate, and I will denounce and act against discriminatory attitudes and behaviors based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical and/or cognitive differences, language, beliefs, and any and all forms of oppression. I recognize that the Hispanic world has a long and complicated history of slavery and racial exploitation, which it has taken a long time to come to terms with and whose deleterious effects are still felt. I believe we must work very hard to embrace Hispanism in its many forms as well as to strive to redress the injustices of the past. Through my teaching, research, service, and materials development, I commit to make visible the many contributions of Afro-descendants and of members of other underrepresented cultural, ethnic, and linguistic groups. I stand ready to listen and learn from my Black and African-American brothers and sisters. Black Lives Matter!

Poster by Artist Lexx Valdez. Source: Amplifier. Available at

Click here for a list of resources to address diversity, inclusion, social justice, and civil rights movements in the classroom.


Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that Texas A&M University (College Station) is situated on the land of multiple Native nations, past and present. These original homelands are the territory of Indigenous peoples who were largely dispossessed and removed. We specifically acknowledge the traditional stewardship of this land by the Tonkawa, Tawakoni, Hueco, Sana, Wichita, and Coahuiltecan peoples. We pledge to support and advocate for the histories, cultures, languages, and territorial rights of historic Indigenous peoples of Texas and the Indigenous people that live here now. This statement affirms continuous Indigenous presence and rights, acknowledges the ongoing effects of settler colonization, and supports Indigenous struggles for political, legal, and cultural sovereignty.


Image attribution: John Williams, Tonkawa. By BPL, licensed under CC BY 2.0., via Wikimedia Commons.

John Williams, Tonkawa

Statement on Discriminatory and Violent Acts Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI)

I stand in solidarity with students, scholars, and fellow citizens of the world of Asian and Pacific Island descent. I will not tolerate, and I will denounce and act against any discriminatory attitudes and behaviors that members of these communities may be experiencing as a result of misinformation and malicious, misdirected blame with regards to COVID-19.  


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Artist: Shepard Fairey (Source: Amplifier. Available at