• B.A., University of Belize, 2006
  • M.A., TESOL, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, 2009
  • Ph.D., University of Florida, 2016
Areas of Interest

Osmer E. Balam (B.A. University of Belize; M.A. Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Ph.D. University of Florida) taught ESL and culture courses at the Regional Language Center in the University of Belize. He has also taught Spanish language and content (second language acquisition, syntax and pragmatics) courses at the University of Indiana in Bloomington and the University of Florida in Gainesville. At Wooster, he will teach language and content courses, as well as a topics course in Bilingualism in the Spanish-speaking world. His research focuses on the sociolinguistic outcomes of bi/multilingualism in Northern Belize where Spanish is in intense contact with English and Belizean Kriol. Dr. Balam’s refereed publications have appeared in edited volumes and scholarly journals such as Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Spanish in Context, the Journal of Language Contact, and the Journal of Language, Identity and Education. In his free time, Dr. Balam enjoys working out, watching historical films and documentaries, traveling, and writing poetry. His original poetry is available online. One of Dr. Balam’s dreams is to publish a book of Spanish/English bilingual poetry.

Courses Taught
  • Beginning Spanish 101
  • Spanish Phonology 270

Balam, O., (2021). Beyond Differences and Similarities in Code-switching and Translanguaging Research. Belgian Journal of Linguistics, 35, 76-103.

Balam, O., Parafita Couto, M. C., & Chen, M. (2021). Being in Bilingual Speech: An Analysis of Estar ‘be’ Constructions in Spanish/English Code-switching. Journal of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 3(2), 238-264.

Balam, O., Lakshmanan, U., & Parafita Couto, M. C. (2021). Gender Assignment Strategies among Simultaneous Spanish/English Bilingual Children from Miami, Florida. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 14(2), 241-280.

Balam, O., Parafita Couto, M. C., & Stadthagen-González, H. (2020). Bilingual Verbs in Three Spanish/English Code-switching communities. International Journal of Bilingualism. 24(5-6), 952-967.

Balam, O., & Parafita Couto, M. C. (2019). Adjectives in Spanish/English Code-switching: Avoidance of Grammatical Gender in Bi/multilingual Speech. Spanish in Context 16(2), 194-216.

Balam, O., & Prada Pérez, A. (2017). Attitudes toward Spanish and Code-Switching in Belize: Stigmatization and Innovation in the Spanish Classroom. Journal of Language, Identity and Education 16(1), 17-31.

Lakshmanan, U., Balam, O., & Bhatia, T. K. (2016). Introducing the Special Issue: Mixed Verbs and Linguistic Creativity in Bi/Multilingual Communities. Languages 1(1), 9.

Balam, O. (2016). Semantic Categories and Gender Assignment in Contact Spanish: Type of Code-Switching and its Relevance to Linguistic Outcomes. Journal of Language Contact 9(3), 1-31.

Balam, O. (2015). Code-switching and Linguistic Evolution: The Case of ‘Hacer + V’ in Orange Walk, Northern Belize. Lengua y Migración 7(1), 83-109.

Balam, O. (2013). Variable Neutralization of the Intervocalic Rhotic Contrast in Northern Belizean Spanish. Borealis: An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics 2(2), 285-315.

Balam, O. (2013). Overt Language Attitudes and Linguistic Identities among Multilingual Speakers in Northern Belize. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 6(2), 247-277.