Meet Dr. Strawbridge!

Dr. Tripp Strawbridge is Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics and Kansas State University

Dr. Strawbridge is new to Kansas State University and Manhattan, Kansas this year (2020-21), so if you see him around campus make sure to say hello, introduce yourself, and welcome him to our #KStateSpanish community.

Dr. Strawbridge teaches Spanish language courses (including conversation, professional, and composition courses) as well as courses in both general and Hispanic linguistics. During the fall semester at K-State, he will be teaching Spanish Conversation (SPAN 420), Business Spanish (SPAN 530), and the graduate survey course Principles of Linguistics: Language Structure and Use (MLANG 600). With students in both language and linguistics courses, Dr. Strawbridge enjoys exploring the ways in which language use is intertwined with the nature of our social relationships and personal identity. Currently, he is developing a graduate seminar at K-State on these topics to be taught in the spring semester. In his language teaching, Dr. Strawbridge is adamant about connecting classroom language practice to real world language use, and has regularly involved his students in virtual language tandem exchanges, pairing them with Spanish-speaking (and English-learning) students in Mexico and Spain for conversational language partnerships.

The primary focus of Dr. Strawbridge’s research is Spanish Second Language Acquisition (SLA) as it occurs in the context of university-level study abroad. His own experience studying and living in Spain inspired him to explore, through applied research, how language learning occurs in study abroad and how to improve these experiences for students. His doctoral dissertation investigated the structure and composition of study abroad participants’ in-person social networks, and the connections of these social networks to both Spanish language learning outcomes and the nature of study abroad programs themselves. To conduct this research, Dr. Strawbridge spent the spring 2019 semester in Spain with U.S.-based students from six different study abroad programs studying in Granada, Madrid, Sevilla, and Toledo.

With study abroad student-participants in Toledo, Spain (Spring 2019).

Dr. Strawbridge has also researched Spanish language learning in the university classroom. In a recent article published in Foreign Language Annals — “Lasting effects of pre-university language exposure on undergraduate proficiency” — he and his colleagues performed a large-scale analysis to track the reading, listening, and speaking outcomes – as measured via ACTFL proficiency assessments – of over 900 students studying Spanish and French, at various points in a university language curriculum (from lower-level courses to the end of the major). In addition to tracking how proficiency develops in different language modalities (for example, if speaking develops before listening), the results of this study showed that both pre-university exposure and initial placement in the university language sequence play an important role in proficiency development until the end of the language major. 

Waiting for the grand opening of La Feria de Sevilla (Spain)

Originally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Strawbridge grew up in New York, completed his undergraduate studies in Miami, and later lived in Spain, France, and Maine (the real Portland!). He then completed his PhD at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and is excited to get to know Manhattan (even if only through its delivery food options). He hikes and bikes whenever he can, and when not required to social distance he loves playing basketball.  

Hiking in Panticosa, Spain

If you’re interested in taking courses or working on a research project with Dr. Strawbridge, send him an email at tstraw[at] ksu [dog] edu. and he would be happy to set up a Zoom meeting. He would also be more than happy to chat with you about a Spanish major, study abroad, and how fun it is to do research in applied linguistics.

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