Explore UAB

Professor of Spanish; Department Associate Chair;
Director, Spanish for Specific Purposes
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University Hall 3168
(205) 934-8281

Research and Teaching Interests: Spanish for Specific Purposes (health and business), Applied linguistics, Second language acquisition, Phonetics and phonology, Cultural studies, Foreign language pedagogy, Community service-learning and engaged scholarship

Office Hours: By appointment


  • BA, University of Granada (Spain), English Philology
  • Erasmus Program, University of Newcastle (England)
  • MA, University of Southern Mississippi, Spanish Linguistics
  • PhD, University of Jaén (Spain), Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition

UAB Scholars Profile Opens an external link.

Lourdes Sánchez-López was born and raised in Jaén (southern Spain), the world's capital of olive oil. She came to UAB in 2001 to develop and establish UAB’s Spanish for Specific Purposes program (health, business, and translation and interpretation), among the first program of its kind in the nation. She is co-author of two textbooks, El mundo hispanohablante contemporáneo: Historia, política, sociedades y cultura [The Contemporary Spanish-Speaking World: History, Politics, Societies and Culture] (Routledge, 2016) and Pueblos, Intermediate Spanish in Cultural Contexts (Cengage, 2006). She is the editor of the anthology Scholarship and Teaching on Languages for Specific Purposes (2013). Sánchez-López is also co-author of the Transnational Classroom (TC)©, a pioneering teaching methodology where groups of students in different parts of the world are connected to learn about foreign languages and cultures while enhancing study abroad programs. Motivated by her constant desire to innovate, expand, and reach out, she also founded UAB’s Children’s Spanish Summer camp in 2003.

Prof. Sánchez-López enjoys teaching courses at all levels, from general introductory Spanish to specific purposes (business and health), to Spanish linguistics, to cultural studies, to community service-learning. Most of her advanced courses take a constructive approach to learning through films, music, and literary pieces. Many of her students regularly present at the EXPOs for Undergraduate Scholarship and Service Learning.

Prof. Sánchez-López has been deeply engaged in student mentoring through the Manos Juntas program, a mentorship program for undergraduate Hispanic/Latino students, and through UAB’s Spanish And Latino Student Association (S.A.L.S.A.), which she co-founded in 2006. She organized and directed the First International Symposium on Languages for Specific Purposes (UAB, 2012), which launched a national and international collaborative movement of LSP scholars in the US and beyond. She served as president of the Alabama chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

  • Recent Courses
    • Globalization in the Hispanic World
    • Contemporary Spain and Globalization
    • Spain in the 20th Century through Film and Music
    • Advanced Spanish Linguistics
    • Latin American Conflicts
    • Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
    • Business Spanish
    • Spanish for Health Professionals
    • Spanish for the Professions
    • Foreign Language Service-Learning
    • Foreign Language Methodology
  • Select Publications


    • Mojica-Díaz, C. and Lourdes Sánchez-López. El mundo hispanohablante contemporáneo: Historia, política, sociedades y culturas. Routledge (2016).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes, ed. Scholarship and Teaching on Languages for Specific Purposes. UAB Digital Collections (2013).
    • Spaine Long, S., Ana Martínez-Lage, Lourdes Sánchez-López, and Llorenç Comajoan Colome. Pueblos, Intermediate Spanish in Cultural Contexts. Boston, MA: Cengage (2007).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes and Clara Mojica-Díaz. Pueblos, Intermediate Spanish in Cultural Contexts: Student Activities Manual. Boston, MA: Cengage (2007).

    Book Chapters and Articles

    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes. “Español para las profesiones (Spanish for the Professions)”. The Routledge Handbook of Spanish Language Teaching: Metodologías, recursos y contextos para la enseñanza del español L2 (editors Javier Muñoz-Basols, Elisa Gironzetti, and Manel Lacorte), London and New York: Routledge, pp. 519-532. (2019).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes. “Transforming the community’s linguistic landscape in a mixed-learner service learning capstone course in a Spanish for specific purposes program”. Revista Signos. Estudios de Lingüística, 52(101), pp: 996-1012. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. DOI: 10.4067/S0718-09342019000300996. (2019).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes. “Contemporary issues in Spanish for Specific Purposes in the United States”. Cuadernos de ALDEEU. pp: 281-286. (2019).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes. “Cultural and pragmatic aspects of L2 Spanish for academic purposes: New data on the current state of the question”. Journal of Spanish Language Teaching, 5: 2, pp: 101-114. DOI: 10.1080/23247797.2018.1538307. (2018).
    • Sánchez-López, Lourdes. “Languages and Specific Purposes: Overview and Practical Advise”, inaugural podcast of the World Languages 21 podcast series, Sabio Books (hosted by Carmen King de Ramirez and Diana Ruggiero). (2018).
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

    Academic Distinctions

    • Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning (2017)
    • Faculty Fellow Award in Engaged Scholarship (2017)
    • The Charles Barkley Excellence in Mentoring Award, UAB’s Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (2012)
    • Outstanding Motivating Woman Award, Birmingham International Center (2013)
    • International Education Relations Award, University of Jaén (2007)
    • President and Past-President, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Alabama Chapter (2005-2010)
    • Finalist, UAB President’s Diversity Award, Faculty category (2012, 2013)
    • Finalist, UAB Outstanding Woman Award, Faculty category (2013)
    • Nominee for the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2005, 2010)
    • Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers Excellence in Teaching Award, Post-Secondary (2004)
    • Honorable Mention, The ACE/AT&T Award: Technology as a Tool for Internationalization, American Council on Education, International Initiatives (2003)

    Professional Societies

    • Alabama World Languages Association
    • ALDEEU-Spanish Professional in America, Inc.
    • American Association of Applied Linguistics
    • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
    • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
    • Language for Specific Purposes in the US Working Group
    • Sigma Delta Pi, National Society of Spanish
    • Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies
  • Student Groups
    • Mentor, Former Chair, Steering Committee, Manos Juntas (mentorship program for Hispanic/Latino undergraduate students)
    • Co-founder and Inaugural Faculty Adviser, Spanish And Latino Student Association (S.A.L.S.A.)
    • Sigma Delta Pi

Back to Top