Lourdes Barquín Sanmartín

Tutor in Spanish


Lourdes is a linguist with a background in language teaching, both at secondary and higher education. She is also a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics, currently in her final year. Her doctoral research revolves around the acquisition of Spanish as a second (L2) and a third (L3) language in native English speakers with a focus on grammatical transfers between proximal languages.

Lourdes holds an undergraduate degree in Translation and Interpretation Studies (English, French and Spanish) and a minor in simultaneous interpretation. She also spent her second year at the University of Sheffield as part of the Erasmus Exchange Programme. During her last year of university, she worked as a Spanish and English teacher and collaborated with the editorial Saure as a proofreader. After she graduated in 2016, she was granted an award by the Spanish Ministry of Education to work as a Spanish assistant in Paris. Once the academic year finished in France, she moved to the UK in order to pursue her career in language teaching and learning.

She settled in Liverpool, where she obtained her Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education (PGCE) specialising in Modern Foreign Languages, spending three years teaching in a British school. During this time, she combined her full-time job in school with her MA in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. In 2020, she was accepted to start her PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh, where she is currently researching language acquisition and Spanish linguistics under the supervision of Dr Carlos Soler Montes and Dr Michael Ramsammy. In September 2021, she received the British Spanish Society scholarship in collaboration with BBVA.

Lourdes' main research interests are grammatical transfers from the L1 and L2 into the L3. Due to her background in secondary education, she focuses specifically on students with L1 English, L2 French and L3 Spanish as this is the predominant language combination among British students. Her hypothesis supports that the similarities between French and Spanish can facilitate the learning of the past aspectual contrast imperfecto/indefinido and the modal contrast subjuntivo/indicativo in Spanish as a third language. 


  • PhD in Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition, The University of Edinburgh (2020-today).
    • Project title: The acquisition of tense and modality in Spanish as a second and third language in native English speakers. Contrastive analysis of grammatical transfers.
    • Supervisors: Dr Carlos Soler Montes (School of Languages) and Dr Michael Ramsammy (School of Linguistics).
    • Funded by the British Spanish Society in collaboration with BBVA.
    • Associate Fellowship of the HEA (University of Edinburgh).
    • Fellow of the HEA (University of Edinburgh). Start date: November 2022.
    • Staff Mobility at Centro Complutense para la Enseñanza del Español (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).
  • MA in Applied Linguistics in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language, Universidad Europea del Atlántico (2018-2020)

    • Final dissertation title: La influencia en la motivación de los alumnos de primer curso de secundaria (11-12 años) del centro Saint John Plessington Catholic College (Reino Unido) ante una exposición continua de la L2 en un curso de ELE nivel A1: Una propuesta didáctica basada en el enfoque por tareas.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (French and Spanish), The University of Chester (2017-2018)

    • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
    • Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) 
    • Recently Qualified Teacher (RQT)
  • BA (Hons) in Translation and Interpretation, The University of the Basque Country (2012-2016)

    • Erasmus at The University of Sheffield Programme (2013-2014).
    • Specialisation on simultaneous interpretation.
    • Final dissertation title: Estudio analítico de la evaluación diagnóstica en la enseñanza de la Traducción (published).
  • Qualified examiner of the official Spanish DELE (all levels) and SIELE certificates by Instituto Cervantes.

Responsibilities & affiliations


  • Spanish Teacher at King's College London
  • Tutor in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham 


  • The Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland (AHGBI)
  • Association for the Teaching of Spanish in Higher Education in the UK (ELEUK)
  • Bilingualism Matters Research Centre (volunteer)
  • Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK)
  • British Spanish Society

Undergraduate teaching

  • Spanish 4. Oral for Spanish 
  • Spanish 3. Year Abroad Language Course
  • Foundation Spanish Language 1
  • Foundation Spanish Language 2

Postgraduate teaching

  • Spanish Teacher at King's College
    • Spanish Language Level 1
    • Spanish Language Level 2
    • Spanish Language Level 3
    • Postgraduate Spanish Beginners
  • Tutor in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham 
    • (Distance Learning) MA in Translation Studies

Research summary

My research focuses on how English native speakers learn Spanish as a third language and how their knowledge of French as a previously acquired language can help the learning of Spanish. This is particularly interesting when the second (L2) and the third languages (L3) are typologically similar, such as French L2 and Spanish L3. Having found that French is the most commonly taught L2 in the UK followed by Spanish L3, I am interested to know whether students that have a previous knowledge of French can make less mistakes and more progress in Spanish compared to those monolinguals who only study Spanish. This research project is centered around the acquisition of the subjunctive mood and the past tense in Spanish, particularly the difference between 'imperfecto' and 'indefinido', as these are two of the most challenging grammatical areas for native English speakers.

Current research interests

Second and third language acquisition; language transfers; positive language transfers from typologically similar languages; translanguaging; intercomprehension; plurilingual approach; language learning and teaching in multilingual contexts.

Affiliated research centres

Project activity

  • Research assistant in "The Edinburgh Spanish Learner Corpus. Data-driven language learning and teaching" project (May-June 2021)
  • Conference organisation assistant in "Encuentro ELEUK 2021 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching" (June 2021)

Past project grants

- SRUK/CERU Travel Grant (2022)
- AHGBI Annual Conference Award (2022)
- British Spanish Society – BBVA Scholarship Award (2021)
- Language Teacher Training Scholarship. British Council (2017)
- Spanish Language Assistant Programme, Académie de Versailles. Ministerio de Educación de España (2016)
- Erasmus Exchange Programme, University of Sheffield. Ministerio de Educación de España (2013)

Conference details

Bilingualism Matters Research Symposium 2022. Celebrated 26th October 2022 in Edinburgh (Attendee).

L3 Workshop 2022: Workshop on Multilingual Language Acquisition, Processing and Use. Celebrated 22nd - 23rd October 2022 at King's College London (Attendee).

ELEUK Teaching and (un)learning Spanish gender inclusive language (online). Celebrated 14th October (attendee).

Scottish Learning Festival 2022 (online). Celebrated 21st - 22nd September 2022 (Attendee).

ELEUK Annual Conference 2022. Celebrated 16th - 17th  June 2022 at the University of Warwick (Attendee).

University of Edinburgh Learning & Teaching Conference 2022. Celebrated 14th - 16th June 2022 at the University of Edinburgh (Attendee).

Papers delivered

AHGBI Annual Conference 2022. Celebrated 11th - 13th  April 2022 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), London.

  • Paper presentation: The acquisition of tense and modality in Spanish as a second and third language in native English speakers.
  • Award for Participation at AHGBI Annual Conference 2022 - 67th Annual Symposium.

Bilingualism Matters Research Symposium 2021. Celebrated 25th - 26th  October 2021.

  • Poster presentation: The Acquisition of modality and aspect in Spanish among native English speakers learning French L2 and Spanish L3

SGSAH Interconnected Scotland 2021, Research Showcase

  • Presentation: Learning French and Spanish under the Scottish 1+2 policy

Encuentro ELEUK 2021 by ELEUK Association for the Teaching of Spanish in Higher and Adult Education. Celebrated 9th - 11th June 2021.

  • Presentation title: El aprendizaje del modo subjuntivo y el pasado en español L2 y L3
  • Paper publication in Encuentro ELEUK 2021
  • Assistant conference organiser 

ForLingua: la calidad y perfil del profesor de lengua by Universidad de Alcalá (Alcalingua). Celebrated 13th - 15th May 2021.

  • Presentation title: Una reflexión sobre la enseñanza de español como tercera lengua en la educación secundaria británica
  • Paper publication in ForLingua Revista Digital, May 2021


  • Higher Education:
    • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) (November 2022 - present)
    • Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Spanish as a Foreign Language:
    • Qualified examiner of DELE (all levels)
    • Qualified examiner of SIELE
  • Secondary Education:
    • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
    • Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT)
    • Recently Qualified Teacher (RQT)