Outstanding Dissertation Earns Hispanic Studies Alumna First Book Contract


Laura Gasca Jiménez, a former doctoral student in the Department of Hispanic Studies, received the prestigious 2019 ASELE-Routledge international award for best dissertation and book contract. Gasca Jiménez completed her Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics in 2018. Her dissertation, entitled “La competencia traductora de hablantes de español como lengua de herencia” (“The Translation Abilities of Spanish Heritage Language Learners”) was directed by Professor of Spanish Linguistics Marta Fairclough.

Gasca Jiménez’s work focuses on the translation experience of Spanish heritage language learners. Based on data derived from two translation tasks and a questionnaire on translation, the quantitative and qualitative study describes the translation habits, attitudes, and abilities of 90 undergraduate students with different proficiency levels in Spanish.

The dissertation is among only a handful of publications on student translation, so Gasca Jiménez’s meticulous, state-of-the-art work represents an important contribution to her profession. Her research has helped to fill a gap in heritage-language education, and the results hold promise for language learners throughout the nation.