Skip to main content


A photo of Mirta Barrea-Marlys

Mirta Barrea-Marlys, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


World Languages and Cultures
Plangere Center 127

Mirta Barrea-Marlys, Ph.D.

Dr. Barrea-Marlys is an Associate Professor of Spanish, as well as Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures since fall, 2011. She also teaches Italian, coordinates the MU Teacher Education/Spanish program and is the Department Career Advisor.

She holds a Ph.D in Romance Languages from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was extensively trained in the communicative method of teaching languages, linguistics, and pedagogy. Her areas of specialization are in Medieval, Golden Age, and 18th Century Spanish literature. She teaches all levels of Spanish language, culture, literature, linguistics, and created the Methods for Teaching World Languages course, a requirement for Spanish/Education majors.

Her research and teaching are complimentary, as can be seen with her article, “The Role of Grammar in Communicative Language Teaching: An Exploration of Second Language Teachers’ Perceptions and Classroom Practices,” published in the Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching. Centre for Language Studies National University of Singapore. June 2012.  She also created the Spanish for Language Professions course in keeping with the department’s recent mission   toward integrating languages across the curriculum.

Among her publications are Jael, on the Eighteenth-Century Spanish theater, the Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater as well as articles and book chapters on contemporary Latin American women authors, the novel and film in Spain and Latin America, and contemporary Argentine authors.

Her current research interests include preparation for and efficacy of oral and written proficiency testing for World Language teacher candidates and the role of language in Study Abroad.

Dr. Barrea-Marlys’ recent conference presentations include:

  • MLA-ADFL Plenary Session, “Transforming General Education for the 21st Century,” Pittsburgh PA, June 2019
  • “Make the Most of Study Abroad: The Importance of World Languages and Integrated Global Education,” CIEE conference in Barcelona, 2018
  • “Teacher Candidate Preparation for Performance Assessments in World Languages.” West East Institute (WEI) Conference, Rome, 2016
  • “(Re) ‘Visions’ of the Quixote: Film, Technology, and the Web.” Northeast Modern Language Association Conference (NEMLA), March 2016
  • “Facing the Challenge: Teacher Candidate Preparation for National and State Assessments;” “Challenges in Teacher Candidate Preparation: OPI and Praxis Assessments,” ACTFL 2015
  • “The Divine Meets the Mundane: Concepts of Marriage according to Teresa of Avila and María de Zayas,” roundtable session “In Celebration of Her Quincentenary: St. Teresa’s Legacy to Early Modern Women. Northeast Modern Language Association Conference. Toronto, 2015.

Dr. Barrea-Marlys also sits on the Peace Corp Advisory Board, the Teacher
Education Advisory Council and is Chair of the Global Education Committee as
well as the faculty advisor for Study Abroad programs in Florence and
Argentina. She has also worked with the School of Education for CAEP/NCATE
Accreditation and attended workshops on “Writing the ACTFL/CAEP (NCATE)
Program Report: Strengthening World Language Teacher Preparation Programs” and
“Collaboratively Implementing
edTPA into World Language Teacher Education Programs.”


Ph.D., Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Pennsylvania

M.A., Romance Languages and Literatures, Villanova University

B.A., Spanish/Secondary Education, Rutgers University


Frequently Taught Classes

  • Elementary Italian I (FI 101)
  • Elementary Spanish I (FS 101)
  • Elementary Spanish II (FS 102)
  • Introduction to Hispanic Literature (FS 301)
  • Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (FS 315)
  • Oral Proficiency Interview - Gr (FO LTIOPIG)
  • Oral Proficiency Interview - Ug (FO LTIOPI)
  • Oral Proficiency Interview for Graduates (FO LTIOPI)
  • Survey of Spanish Literature (FS 307)
  • The Teaching of World Languages (ED 427, FO 427)