Carla Suhr

A photo of Carla Suhr
E-mail: Office: Rolfe 5326

Dr. Carla Suhr joined the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UCLA in 2016 after finishing her PhD at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Professor Suhr focuses her academic work on the integration of culture, language, and cognition as a way to improve cross-cultural communication and inclusive teaching.

She has worked in the field of Spanish linguistics and service learning for the past 14 years at organizations such as Universidad Complutense de Madrid and University of New Haven, and her experience as a Spanish teacher trainer provides her the ability to implement diverse teaching strategies towards a specific project, program, and course. She cofounded IDESLI International Institute of Linguistics in San Francisco in 2009, where she directed the Language Courses and developed programs geared to industries conducting businesses with Spanish-speaking countries and professionals as well as non-profit organizations working with the Latino community.

She currently teaches Spanish and Service-learning courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA, from which she emphasizes the positive learning outcomes attained from connecting students with the community. Learn more about these courses here

Her current area of research is within the cognitive sciences, specifically on conceptualization processes and how this understanding enables us to acquire cognitive strategies as a valuable tool for Second Language Acquisition.


Ph.D. (2016) Comunicación, Cognición e Interculturalidad. Intercultural Communication and Cognition, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Dissertation thesis: Interlinguistic lexical study of emotive stereotypes Dir: Enrique Bernárdez

M.A (2008) Intercultural Communication and Cognition, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

M.A (2006) Teaching Spanish As a Second Language, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Dir: Jesus Sanchez Lobato


Spanish Linguistics

Cognitive Linguistics

Conceptualization processes

Spanish Service-Learning

Cross-cultural Communication

Second Language Acquisition

Spanish as a Second Language

Spanish as a Heritage Language

Social Psychology


Historical Linguistics



Taking it to the Streets: Spanish in the Community

Service learning course to give students opportunity to use cultural and linguistic knowledge acquired in Spanish classes in real-world settings. Students required to spend minimum of eight to 10 hours per week at agreed on site in Latino community.

Latinos, Linguistics, and Literacy

In-depth study of various topics related to literacy, including different definitions of literacy, programs for adult preliterates, literacy and gender, approaches to literacy (whole language, phonics, Freire’s liberation pedagogy), history of writing systems, phoneme as basis for alphabetic writing, and national literacy campaigns. Required field project involving Spanish-speaking adults in adult literacy programs.

Melon-EPIC Fellow – Inclusive Classrooms

This seminar focuses on inclusive teaching approaches that address the needs of historically underrepresented minority students at UCLA. While “underrepresented minorities” is a term commonly used to refer to race, gender or class, physical and developmental disabilities may be added to provide a more comprehensive definition of the term. This STE will discuss ways in which courses can be adapted to comply with the university’s Diversity Requirements, as well as read and discuss various frameworks and approaches to inclusive teaching, which include but are not limited to acknowledging/combatting social constructions of identity, implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threats, and Universal Design for Learning.

Most Recent Conference Papers

Suhr, Carla.  Spanish Service Learning in Higher Education.  Misión Inversa, Córdoba, Argentina, August 2017. 
Suhr, Carla.  Construction of Emotive Stereotypes.  Culture, Cognition, and Communication,Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Lublin, Poland, September 2017.  
Suhr, Carla.  Mastering Spanish Through Service Learning.  Bringing Together Research and Practice: Language Learning, Language Teaching, and Teacher Training in Portuguese and Spanish, Facultade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, November 2017 
Suhr, Carla.  Evaluation in Spanish Service-Learning Courses. MLA Convention, New York, January 2018.  In the Panel “Service Learning in Teaching Spanish Language”, included in the year’s presidential theme #States of Insecurity. 

Suhr, Carla. Joining Forces: From Writing Composition to Service Learning in Enhancing Production of Spanish Heritage Speakers.  Third International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages, University of California, Los Angeles, February 2018