Michael Rolland

PhD Candidate, Hispanic Linguistics

I am a PhD candidate in Hispanic Linguistics at the Graduate Center, researching language ideologies in the instruction of Spanish as a Heritage Language. I teach Spanish language and translation courses at Hunter College, as well as (occasionally) Italian courses.


+1 (646) 389-0850


Scholarly (Refereed)

Rolland, M., & Borrachero, A. (2020). Alternate Maps: Heritage Telecollaboration as a Tool for Critical Pedagogy. ADFL Bulletin, 46(1), 71–90. https://doi.org/10.1632/adfl.46.1.71

Rolland, M. (2016). Ideology, Access, and Status: Spanish-English Bilinguals in the Foreign-Language Classroom. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(2), 94–114. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.680

Digital Publications

Co-author, Teaching Languages@CUNY, A disciplinary guide, https://tinyurl.com/Teaching-Languages-CUNY


2021 (anticipated) – PhD in Hispanic Linguistics
PhD Program in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Dissertation title (working): Language Ideologies in Spanish Heritage Language Pedagogy
Dissertation supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Beatriz Lado

2018 – MPhil in Hispanic Linguistics
PhD Program in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

2011 – MA in Mediterranean Studies
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
Academic year at Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Florence, Italy

2008 – BA in Italian Literature
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Graduated cum laude
Academic year abroad at University of Bologna/Indiana-BCSP, Bologna, Italy


Adjunct Lecturer, Romance Languages, Hunter College

Academic Interests

My work is ultimately motivated by a lifelong search for identity and identification. I first took a serious interest in a language other than English through my search for meaning and identity as an English-speaking fourth-generation Italian-American. My path to learning Italian as a search for a connection to my family’s past helped me to understand that language, however important, is only one aspect of identity. It also changed my conceptualization of both language and identity from fixed, rigid, exclusive, and ascribed categories to a view characterized by fluidity, dynamism, multiplicity, and above all contestation. That, combined with a broader interest in language in society, led me to learn Spanish and ultimately to pursue graduate studies in the sociolinguistics of Spanish in the United States.

My work today focuses primarily on the present and future of the Spanish language in the United States and the world. I use insights from my own search for identity to research parallel questions in a variety of settings, particularly among bilingual Spanish speakers, whose place in US society is often tenuous and contested.

Interest include:

  • Spanish as a heritage language
  • Language ideologies
  • Language and identity
  • Language and power
  • Politics of language (glotopolítica)
  • Translation (SpanishEnglishItalian)
  • Spanish in the USA/NYC
  • Multilingualism/multilingual language acquisition
  • Ethnographic sociolinguistics