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About Reyes

I am originally from Granada, Spain, and attended Nebrija University in Madrid, where I graduated with honors in Linguistics and immediately began my PhD studies in Applied Linguistics to Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. I conducted my doctoral research between 2004 and 2008 at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany) as faculty for Spanish and Linguistics.

I hold a European Doctorate with Honors in Applied Linguistics since 2009. I then moved to New York City to become a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University.

My major areas of research are Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.

I study how Metaphor Theory, Linguistic Typology and Cognitive Grammar impact both language structure and use. I then apply these theoretical tenets to real-world use in my teaching of Spanish, and I weave a pedagogical narrative of grammatical translanguaging between English and Spanish for a more grounded understanding.


Applied Cognitive Linguistics

I work with meaning and language to blend ideas with the right constructions in order to build strong, effective and impactful communication. With extensive experience in language instruction and applied research, I understand language at a fundamentally deep level that goes from the abstract systematization of linguistic form to the everyday social use of how (or why) we talk the way we do.

For instance, it matters if you want to ask someone if they are happy in the moment and a result of an experience:

¿estás feliz?

or ask them if they are content in life:

¿eres feliz?

Research shows that describing a person as

“friendly and nice

will activate language processing areas of the brain, but that using

“warm and sweet

will additionally trigger those areas responsible for physical sensations and taste.

As a cognitive linguist, I have a high sensitivity to these nuances of language. I have almost 20 years of teaching, speaking, and research with a focus on second language acquisition, particularly English / Spanish. With this, I bring a unique and profound level of understanding of the details of language to my consulting work.