Areas of Expertise

Second Language Acquisition, Hispanic Linguistics, Interactional Competence


Abby, a native of Buffalo NY, received her Spanish Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the development of Interactional Competence by learners in the study abroad setting. In addition to its academic contributions, this research seeks to deepen our understanding of ways to create pedagogic environments that maximize the learning experience for students both at home and abroad. Abby’s academic pursuits in Spanish have been complemented by travels in Latin America and Spain, and by time spent living in Mexico and Spain, working in a variety of settings including an orphanage, an English language school, and a study abroad company.


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin 2007
M.A., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1995
B.A., Binghamton University 1992

Previous Courses

Spanish 1, 2, 3 & 4; Spanish in the United States; Spanish Sociolinguistics; Spanish Phonetics and Phonology; Spanish Second Language Acquisition; Advanced Grammar and Conversation; Intermediate Oral and Written Expression





Hertel, Tammy, & Dings, Abby. (2017). The undergraduate Spanish major curriculum: Faculty, alumni and student perceptions. Foreign Language Annals 50, 697-716.

Dings, Abby, (2014). Interactional Competence and the development of alignment activity: A Case study of a Spanish language learner. Modern Language Journal, 98, 742-756.

Hertel, Tammy, & Dings, Abby. (2014). The undergraduate Spanish major curriculum: Realities and faculty perceptions. Foreign Language Annals, 47, 546-568.

Dings, Abby. (2012). Native speaker/nonnative speaker interaction and orientation to novice/expert identity. Journal of Pragmatics, 44, 1503-1518.

Dings, Abigail, and Jobe, Theodore. (2003) Negotiating obstacles: Extended repair sequences in native-nonnative interaction. In Paula Kempchinsky and Carlos-Eduardo Pineros (Eds.), Theory, Practice, and Acquisition (pp. 371-381). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.