Dr. Diana Gonzalez Professor of Spanish


Ph.D., University of Göttingen, Germany
Specialization in Linguistics, UNS, Argentina
Licenciada en Letras, UNS, Argentina

VPH 132

Dr. Gonzalez' main interests revolve around how languages function and behave, especially in fields related to language in society and meaning. She has presented on those topics at national conferences of the North American Christian Foreign Language Association. Prior to joining Northwestern's faculty, Dr. Gonzalez served with Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics, teaching at the Ricardo Palma University in Lima, Perú. She also taught Spanish and German at Dordt University, as well as graduate and undergraduate linguistic courses at the universities of Chihuahua and Zacatecas in Mexico, and worked as an editor for a publishing ministry in Costa Rica.

She was on sabbatical during the 2017-18 school year, working on a research team in her home country of Argentina. She and her colleagues explored how language choices in Spanish—whether individually or collectively—differ depending on the social context, roles and values of the speakers. The project also studied identity building through discourse and how that process defines and determines distinct communication styles.

SPA314 - Introduction to Reading Hispanic Literature

(3 credits) Advanced development of reading skills and strategies and an introduction to Hispanic literature and literary topics. Students will learn how to effectively read a literary text in Spanish. Attention will be paid to strategies for understanding context through vocabulary and grammar recognition. Additionally students will be introduced to the literary genres and cultural contexts of the texts they study as well as pertinent critical commentary. Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency. Note: Taught in Spanish.

SPA326 - The Sounds of Spanish

(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) An in-depth study of Spanish phonetics. Topics include techniques and rules of Spanish articulation, analysis of the sounds of vowels and consonants in Spanish and their differences from English pronunciation, syllabication, rhythm, stress, pitch and intonation. Prerequisites: SPA202 and one 3-credit 300-level course. Note: Taught in Spanish.

SPA352 - Survey of Hispanic Literature from the Americas

(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) A study of Spanish Latin-American literature from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor. Note: Taught in Spanish.

SPA376 - Study Abroad Cross-Cultural Preparation

(1 credit) Lack of cross-cultural competence and sensitivity is a prominent cause of much frustration and anger between visitors to a country and the individuals living in that country. In preparation for their semester study abroad, in this course students will learn common cross-cultural skills and become aware of the joys and challenges they will face in those months. They will also spend time learning about the country in which they will be studying so they are well-versed in the basic historical, political, economic, social and cultural issues that country has dealt with and is dealing with. Prerequisite: Acceptance into a study abroad program approved by Northwestern College for Spanish majors.

SPA377 - Enhancing the Study Abroad Experience

(1 credit) Semester study abroad trips have two interweaving tracks: the external experience, where we encounter the new world in which we are living, and the internal experience, where we visit new places with ourselves. Writing a journal affords the student the opportunity to wrap these two journeys together and end up with a vibrant account of his/her experience - a keepsake that helps him/her remember and learn from the semester study abroad. Thus, a travel journal is the ultimate souvenir. To complete the requirements for this course, students will write a journal during their semester study abroad experience as well as write a final essay reflecting on both the semester abroad and their entire foreign-language collegiate experience. Prerequisite: Acceptance into a study abroad program approved by Northwestern College for Spanish majors.

"Vitality of Spanish in Churches in Orange City and Sioux Center", XXXII CAWL Conference, Hope College, Holland, MI, 2023

"There is Virtue and Variation in the Expression of Politeness". Northwestern Review, 5(1), 2020

"Listening with Humility". Northwestern Review, 4(1), 2019

"Contraste en perspectivas sobre (des)cortesía entre dos comunidades cultural y lingüísticamente diferentes: el caso de Bahía Blanca y Orange City. Tonos Digital, 36, Vol. 1, 2019

"Listening with Humility", IAPCHE's Third Biennial Conference on Internationalizing Christian Higher Education, Prince Conference Center, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, 2017

"Literacy and Justice for All" (with Carletta Lahn, XXVII CAWL Conference, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA. 2017

"Culturally and Linguistically Humble". IAPCHE's 8th International Conference, Baekseok University, Cheonan City, South Korea. 2016

"The Art of Disbelieving Myths". XXVI CAWL Conference. Houghton College, Houghton, NY. 2016

"Respuestas a algunos mitos frecuente sobre bilingüismo: un estudio de caso". Lenguas en contexto, 12(12), Enero-Diciembre 2015

"Enhancing Study-Abroad Experiences". IAPCHE's Second Biennial Conference on Internationalizing Christian Higher Education. Prince Conference Center, Calvin College, Grands Rapids, MI. 2015

“Mantenimiento del español en Orange City y Sioux Center”. En: ANAIS, Estudos Linguísticos e Filológicos, XVII Congreso Internacional Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina (ALFAL). 2014 

“Un estudio de actitudes hacia el quechua del este de Apurimac.” SILESR

2014-001, February 2014 

“Negative Benefits: It sounds paradoxical”. XXIII NACFLA Conference. Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA. 2013 

“Enhancing the Study Abroad Experience” (with Prof. Kris McDonald). XXIII NACFLA Conference. Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA 2013 

“When Spanish Looks

Different.” IITA Conference. Northwestern College, IA. 2012

“Every Name Tells A Story.” XXI NACFLA Conference. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX. 2011

“Biocultural Diversity, Linguistic Diversity and Hospitality.” XX NACFLA Conference. Anderson University, Anderson, IN. 2010 

“Language’s Affects on Bio-cultural Diversity”, (with NWC student Ellen Schuch). Creation Care: Day of Learning in Community. Northwestern College. Orange City, IA. 2009

"Metaphor--So Far ... So Close," XIX NACFLA Conference, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, California 2009

"Is Metaphor Bilingual?" XVIII NACFLA Conference, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2008

"All Languages Are Created Equal," XVII NACFLA Conference, Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, 2007

Sociolinguistics Component for Mother-Tongue Translators Training Program, Peruvian Bible Society, Lima, Perú, 2006

"Developing Authors in Minority Languages," XVII Congress of Social Communication Students, Hermilio Valdizán University, Huánuco, Perú, 2005

"Language Attitudes Towards Three Quechua Varieties in Eastern Apurimac," Ricardo Palma University, Lima, Perú, 2005

Professor at CILTA, Ricardo Palma University, Lima, Peru

Assistant Profesor of Spanish, Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa

Professor of Linguistics, University of Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico

Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico

Instructor in Spanish, University of Göttingen, Germany

International Network for Christian Higher Education

Linguistic Society of America

Summer Institute of Linguistics

Christian Association of World Languages

Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de América Latina

Foundation for Endangered Languages


Member of the National System of Researchers (SNI), Mexico, 1993-1996