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Faculty Publications

McKillop Library supports and promotes the scholarship and research of faculty through its faculty lecture series and through this virtual and ongoing display of recent faculty publications. The display of faculty publications is updated biannually.

James G. Mitchell, Ph.D.

James G. Mitchell, Ph.D.

Professor | Modern Languages

James G. Mitchell, Ph.D. graduated from Goucher College (Towson, MD) in 1996 with degrees in biochemistry and French. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Romance Studies with a specialization in Second Language Acquisition from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in 2001. Since 2001, he has been employed as a professor at a variety of institutions from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges. Since 2006, he has been at Salve Regina University where he is currently Professor of French, Italian, and Linguistics. His overarching research specialization is second language acquisition, specifically aspects of classroom acquisition and second language pedagogy.

Featured Spring 2021

Watching in Tongues

Multilingualism on American Television in the 21st Century

James G. Mitchell 

Summary:   This book explores ideas and issues related to second language (L2) speakers and L2 use as portrayed on American television. It examines many examples of television depictions of L2 speakers and L2 use collected in the first decades of the 21st century. The book is divided into four three-chapter sections:


  • “Humor and Homicide” looks at two aspects of the inclusion of L2 speakers and L2 use on television: L2 use or speakers depicted to create humor in various ways, especially through miscommunication or misunderstanding, and L2 knowledge used to solve crimes in the detective/police procedural genre.
  • “Language Learning” explores how both adult and child language acquisition is represented and misrepresented on American television, with analysis of realistic vs. non-realistic depictions.
  • “Subtitles and Stereotypes” explores the ways in which L2 speakers are often negatively depicted on television, their portrayal based on stereotypes.
  • “Language Attitudes and Mediation” evaluates depictions of second languages used as tools of mediation in both historical and satirical terms as well as the feelings these portrayals engender in viewers.

In short, this work asks questions that have not previously been posed about L2 use on television, and it provides answers that not only shed light on issues of the representation of language learning and language use, but also constitute a lens through which American society as a whole might be understood.

MLA Citation

Mitchell, James G. Watching in Tongues: Multilingualism on American Television in the 21st Century. Vernon Press, 2020.


McKillop Library Main Collection:   PN1992.8.M85 M58 2020