Irene Wherritt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Emertius

Irene Wherritt is Associate Professor Emertius in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Iowa, specializing in Portuguese and Spanish Sociolinguistics and in Applied Linguistics.

Professional and Academic Positions

  • Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa, 2002-present
  • Associate Professor, University of Iowa, 1985-2002
  • Assistant Professor, University of Iowa, 1980-1985
  • Assistant Professor, University of Kansas 1977-1980
  • Acting Assistant Professor, University of Kansas 1974-1977



Contributions to Instructional Programs

  • Head two honor's thesis (1998, 2000)
  • Member three committees, 1980-present
  • Development of two Web CT courses, Spring 2000
  • Development of eight UI TWIST courses (program for incorporation of technology into classroom teaching, 1996-1999
  • Consultant to The National Foreign Language Center, Portuguese, 1998-1999.
  • Head, one dissertation committee, member 24 M.A. and Ph.D. committees 1980-1998.Interim Director, Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese, General Education Program, 1996-97
  • Portuguese TA Supervision, 1980-1997
  • Grant from CICS to develop a program for portfolios for the Portuguese major, 1996
  • Consultant for University of Georgia curriculum improvement grant, 1996
  • Review of first- and second-year Spanish and Portuguese programs at the Universities of Illinois and Chicago, Consortium on Latin American Studies, US Dept. of Education. 1994
  • Director, UI Foreign Language Assessment Project, 1988-1991 (development of tests and placement system for foreign languages)
  • Chair, UI Council on Teaching, 1984-85 and member, 1983-1986


  • I. Wherritt. (forthcoming September 2000). Caribbean English. Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Culture. Eds. Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez and Ana M. Lopez. 3 vols. London: Routledge.
  • I. Wherritt. (forthcoming September 2000). Brazilian Portuguese. Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Culture. Eds. Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez and Ana M. Lopez. 3 vols. London: Routledge.
  • *I. Wherritt, C. Druva-Roush, and J. Moore. (1991). The development of a foreign language placement system at The University of Iowa. in R. V. Teschner (ed.) Assessing foreign language proficiency of undergraduates. Boston: Heinle and Heinle Publishers, pp. 79-92.
  • ***N. Gonzalez and I. Wherritt. (1990). Spanish language use in West Liberty, Iowa: A pilot study. In J. Bergen (Ed.), Spanish in the United States: Sociological Issues. Georgetown University Press, pp. 67-78.
  • ***I. Wherritt, T. A. Cleary, and C. Druva-Roush. (1990). Development and analysis of a flexible Spanish language placement test. Hispania, 73, 1124-1129.
  • *I. Wherritt and T. A. Cleary. (1990). A national survey of Spanish language testing for placement or outcome assessment at B.A.-granting institutions in the United States. Foreign Language Annals, 22, 157-165.
  • I. Wherritt. (1989). Portuguese loanwords in Konkani. Hispania, 72, 873-881.
  • ***Edited Journal Issue: (1989). I. Wherritt and O. García. (Issue eds.) US. Spanish: The language of Latinos. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 79, 110 pp.
  • ***I. Wherritt and O. García. (1989). U. S. Spanish: The language of Latinos. Introduction. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 79, 5-9.
  • ***I. Wherritt and N. Gonzalez. (1989). Spanish language maintenance in a small Iowa community. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 79, 29-39.
  • I. Wherritt. (1989). Portuguese language shift: About town in Goa, India. Hispania, 72, 385-391.
  • I. Wherritt. (1989). Review of Nichols, Robert L., Dominicis, Maria Canteli, and Neale-Silva, Eduardo. Motivos de conversación. (2nd ed.) Modern Language Journal, 73, 390-391.
  • I. Wherritt. (1987). Portuguese language loyalty in Goa, India. Documentção de Estudos em Lingüística Teórica e Aplicada, 3, 163-181.
  • I. Wherritt. (1985). Portuguese language use and the Catholic church in Goa, India. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 8, 60-75.
  • I. Wherritt. (1985). Portuguese language use in Goa, India. Anthropological Linguistics, Winter, 437-451.
  • I. Wherritt. (1984). Review of Carlos Solé and Yolanda Solé. Español: Ampliación y repaso. Modern Language Journal, 68, 98-99.
  • I. Wherritt. (1983). Directives in Brazilian Portuguese: Mother-child interaction. In J. Bergen and G. Bills, (Eds.), Spanish and Portuguese in Social Context. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, pp. 105-118.
  • I. Wherritt. (1982). A new schema for teaching the subjunctive in Brazilian Portuguese: From I-V with a single rule. Hispania, 65, 67-75.
  • I. Wherritt. (1981). Efficient presentation of grammar. Foreign Language Annals, 14, 429-434.
  • I. Wherritt. (1981). Sociolinguistics and foreign language teaching. System, 9, 141-150.
  • I. Wherritt. (1979). Unedited speech: Developing listening comprehension in beginners. NALLD Journal, 7(4), 7-10.
  • I. Wherritt. (1978). A sociolingüística da oração substantiva em português. Língua e Literatura, 7, 85-109.
  • I. Wherritt. (1978). Patterns of the Portuguese subjunctive. Revista Brasileira de Lingüística, 5, 39-62.


  • Research Grant, 1989, Goa, India. Center for International and Comparative Studies and Midwest Universities Consortium on International Activities
  • Research Fellowship, American Institute of Indian Studies, Goa, India, 1984
  • Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Grant, Brazil, 1978-79


  • Developmental Assignment, University of Iowa, 1985, 1991, 2001
  • Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant, 1999
  • nTITLE Grant 1999
  • University House Interdisciplinary Research Grant, University of Iowa, 1985
  • Old Gold Fellowship, University of Iowa, 1984, 1981
  • University of Kansas Faculty Research Grant, Summer 1978 and Faculty Development Fund Grant, 1977


Selected Invited Lectures and Conference Presentations


  • Infiltration of English-Only into county government: A new tactic in Iowa. Presentation at Spanish in the US Conference, UC Davis, April 2000
  • Placement, assessment, and curricular revision in foreign language programs. Lecture, University of Georgia, February, 1996
  • Spanish language use in a Pentecostal Church: A new chapter in Spanish language maintenance in West Liberty, Iowa. Spanish in the US Conference XV, October 1994
  • Oral style of curanderos. Spanish in the US Conference XIII, October 1992.
  • Active and passive participants in the health care setting. Spanish in the US Conference XII, November 1991
  • Development of a placement system at the University of Iowa. ACTFL Convention November 1991
  • Moderator for panel, Verb forms in Spanish in contact situations. Spanish in the US Conference XII, November 1991
  • Linguistic needs of Hispanics in medical settings. Spanish in the US Conference XI, October 1990

Pending Decisions

  • Article submitted for publication: "Spanish Language in a Pentecostal Church: Language Maintenance Encouraged" submitted September 1999 to Southwest Journal of Linguistics




  • Peer review and Promotion and Tenure Review
  • six committees 1980 - present
  • Outcomes Assessment 1995 - present
  • Undergraduate advisees about 15 per semester, 1997-present
  • Bate Papo 1980 - present
  • Interim Director, General Education Program, 1996-97
  • General Education Program Advisory Committee 1996-97
  • Search (11 committees) 1980-1996
  • Salary 1994, 1996
  • Curriculum 1995
  • Portuguese TA Supervision 1980-1995
  • Travel Committee 1994


  • Faculty Assembly Alternate, 1999-2000
  • Reviewer of Developmental Assignments for the College of Liberal Arts, 1994
  • Director, Foreign Language Assessment Project 1988-1991
  • Chair, Latin American Studies, 1986-1988 Steering Committee, 1982-1997


  • Chair, Libraries Committee, 1992-94 and member, 1991-94
  • Review Committee for Center for Advanced Studies, 1992-93
  • Selection Committee, National Resource Center Foreign Language and Area Studies
  • Graduate Fellowships, 1989, 1990
  • Search Committee, Director of International Programs, 1987-88
  • Research Council, 1986-1988
  • Committee on Committees, 1983-86
  • Chair, Council on Teaching, 1984-85; and member, 1983-1986


  • Selection Committee for Latin American National Resource Centers, Department of Education, Washington DC, 1993, 1990, and 1999.
  • Consultant for University of Georgia curriculum improvement grant, 1996.
  • Promotion reviews: City University of New York 1993; University of Texas at Austin, 1991.
  • Reviewer, Hispanic Linguistics, 1996-1998; Modern Language Journal, 1993-1996; Editorial Board, Polylingua, 1991-1993.
  • Reviews: Portuguese textbook by Lathrop and Dias, 1991; Portuguese textbook by Simões. 1991; Prentice Hall advanced Spanish syntax textbook 1990; University of Texas Press, book on Portuguese sociolinguistics, 1990.
  • Committees for National Portuguese Placement Test and second year Portuguese text, University of Texas at Austin, ALCANCE Project, 1989-91
  • Organizer, Spanish in the United States Conference, 1987, Iowa City, Iowa
Research areas
  • Portuguese
Ph.D. in Modern and Classical Languages, University of New Mexico, 1977, M.A. in Latin American Studies, University of Arizona, 1969, B.A. Spanish Major, Art Minor, University of California, Berkeley, 1965

457 Phillips Hall (PH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States