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Professor Antônio Roberto Monteiro Simões, Ph.D.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - Department of Spanish & Portuguese
Associate Professor
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2638
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7590

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1987, in Ibero-Romance Linguistics. I have been working on the Phonetics and Phonology of Spanish and Portuguese since I came to the University of Kansas. My current work focuses on the speech prosody of Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, in a project that views language as a dynamic system. Before joining the University of Kansas in 1989, I taught at the University of Texas at Austin from 1987 to 1989. I have been a tenured faculty member of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence, since 1996. I have also taught in other universities in the US and abroad.

I have studied at Central College, Pella, Iowa (B.A., 1976); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (M.A., 1979); and at the Institut de phonétique, Université de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, France, where I completed my D.E.A. in 1980. I continued working on my doctoral research at the Institut de phonétique for over three years. After those three years, I went to the University of Texas at Austin, where I completed my doctoral work.

In general, I teach courses in Hispanic Linguistics. On occasions, I direct and teach at KU’s programs abroad in Brazil, Florianópolis and Vitória; in Spain, in Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona; and in Argentina, in Buenos Aires during regular academic year and summer. In addition, I have taught during the summer at Middlebury College’s Portuguese School, in Vermont, and as a Visiting Distinguished Professor at the US Military Academy, in West Point, NY. I have developed projects with the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES), in Vitória, Brazil, where I have also taught courses in Spanish and Portuguese Linguistics. In fall 2013, I was in Qingdao, China, at the Ocean University of China, working on language prosody, as part of my sabbatical work.

I have authored a number of books and articles and I have received a number of awards for teaching and research. The the US Department of Education gave me an award in 1999 to develop teaching and testing tools for Portuguese. Among other innovative products of this project, I developed the first Computerized Adaptive Test (CAT) for Portuguese.

In addition to my regular publications, I have other works that can be accessed for free downloads. Feel free to view them in the links below.

Literary exercises: http://www.simoes.dept.ku.edu/

Scholarly works: http://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/browse?type=author&value=Sim%C3%B5es... and https://languages.ku.edu/portuguese.

My complete biography and a cv are available at https://spanport.ku.edu/ant%C3%B4nio-r-m-sim%C3%B5es


My courses at KU are mostly in Hispanic Linguistics, Phonetics and Phonology of Spanish. I have had an interest in theoretical and applied studies in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), since I was a graduate student in the US and Europe. In order to understand teaching and learning processes, I still sit in College classrooms, especially in foreign language classrooms, in classes of my interest. In other words, in addition to being a teacher and a researcher I am still a successful language learner.

Although I am well aware of SLA research, I do not have a particular cognitive banner. I simply use good sense. In fact, my teaching is essentially based on the idea that teaching is not saying and learning is not listening.

The ancient belief that we learn by teaching permeates all of my teachings. This can be attested in how my students typically teach in my courses. They present and write about topics that we deal with. I assist them in this process that replicates what we teachers usually do in our research: study a topic of significance in our field, produce and collect data for analysis, present the results in a congress and then submit our study for publication.

I am flexible. I take into account students different needs, and make my best effort to relate to their aspirations. For instance, students who are not good performers in examinations, I leave them the option of discussing the topics of exams in my office. Likewise, students who refrain from participating during class discussions, they know that they can see me outside class in lieu of speaking in class.

I limit classroom activities to a maximum of 20 minutes each. Classroom activities are conducted with additional materials, such as videos, specialized software, newspapers and other visual aids. Given the rich cultural features of these realia, I coach them to identify new cultural features in them, in addition to exploring the linguistic aspects of these materials.

My assessment of how I achieve my teaching goals honors their efforts and progress. I evaluate their efforts and progress on a one-to-one basis and through examinations. My examinations reflect in a 100% what my students accomplish in class. Their research project papers also show me how well or not I achieved my goals.

Teaching Interests

  • Spanish and Portuguese Applied Linguistics
  • Phonology and Phonetics
  • Hispanic Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition SLA
  • Language prosody
  • Intonation
  • Rhythm
  • Stress
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese


As a phonetician, I want to understand how human languages function. The research strategy that can lead me to this understanding is the view that language is a dynamic system. In a dynamic system, I exclude the view that language is modular or linear. I do not dissociate any part of our human body and mind, actions or reactions, in my studies of human communication. Everything in our body and mind must be accounted in the production and comprehension of non-idealized speech, i.e. all body gestures work together with linguistic gestures; mind and brain are not dissociated during human communication. This is my view of language.

The “window” that I use to access human languages processes is my work with the Spanish and Portuguese languages. The typological proximity of these two languages and their regional and social varieties provide the richest continuum reservoir of synchronic phenomena that can shed light into how human languages work and how they change, how they evolve.

My current research focus on speech prosody as part of a dynamic system reflects this view. I study Spanish and Portuguese prosody because they hold together a universe, a linguistic continuum that contains a reservoir of most linguistic phenomena at the physical (Phonetics) and abstract (Phonology) levels.

Therefore, in my current research work I study and transcribe speech prosody of varieties of non-idealized recordings of Spanish and Portuguese. The next step in this process will be the comparison of my studies and prosodic transcriptions of Spanish and Portuguese with my studies and transcriptions of Mandarin Chinese. I want to compare how my findings in Spanish and Portuguese coincide or differ from a very different language like Chinese.

In addition to my scholarly work, I also enjoy writing prose and poetry in Portuguese, English and Spanish. I have a strong background in literary analysis, developed mostly during my M.A. degree program at the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, but before that academic period, I already wrote short stories and poetry, in Brazil.

Research Interests

  • Language prosody
  • Intonation
  • Rhythm
  • Spanish and Portuguese Applied Linguistics, Phonology and Phonetics
  • Speech instrumentation
  • Dynamic linguistic systems
  • Literary exercises of Roberto Monteiro
  • Open A.R.M.S
  • Short-stories
  • Poetry
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese.


I continue my role as the department assessment specialist through FLORS, a function that is very important for the Department and the University. My work with FLORS is to perform a variety of language assessments for undergraduate and graduate students, in Portuguese, Spanish and sometimes in French.

My e-production can also be considered a service to the world community, given that my materials have been downloaded regularly by many users in different countries, which documents an interest for my production on a global scale. I make these materials available for free, following the global tendency to make learning free for all (MOOC). To access these materials, please visit these pages:




I have a long record of student advising, since my first job as teacher at the University of Texas, at Austin, then at KU and Middlebury College during summers. My role as a supervisor and coordinator of lower division courses helped me to maintain valuable experience with undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, in these campuses. In my first years at KU, first as a Visiting Assistant Professor and then a tenure-track Assistant Professor, I single-handed the Basic and Intermediate language programs for years, while teaching three different classes, nine hours per week, every semester. Currently my main mentoring is limited to 10-15 undergraduate advisees at KU, but I do use the accumulated experience that I had as an undergraduate and graduate advisor to help my students to succeed academically and in their future careers. My work as a scholar relates to my mentoring in the sense that it follows a carefully crafted plan. This plan is reflected in my ways of mentoring my students inside and outside the classroom and impacting on their lives.

Selected Presentations

Simoes, A., Ashby, S. & . (02/16/2012 - 02/18/2012). Patterns of learning among Spanish Speakers of Portuguese, paper reviewed and updated. Current Approaches to Spanish and Portuguese Second Language Phonology. University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA. Available Here

Simoes, A. & Ashby, S. (03/10/2011 - 03/12/2011). Patterns of learning among Spanish Speakers of Portuguese. IV Simpósio sobre o Ensino de Português para Falantes de Espanhol / IV Symposium on the Teaching of Portuguese for Spanish Speakers. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

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