Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes

Elizabeth  Naranjo Hayes

PhD Romance Languages Program


Elizabeth Naranjo Hayes recently moved to Tuscaloosa from Columbus GA to pursue her PhD in Romance Languages: Spanish Linguistics and French at the University of Alabama.

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Elizabeth’s family immigrated from Northern Italy and France to Mexico, and her parents immigrated to the US, so she is a native speaker of both Spanish and English, a near-native speaker of French, and is proficient in all of the rest of the Romance Languages.

She attended high school in Les Clayes sous Bois, France during 11th grade and absolutely connected with the language and culture of her ancestry.  She speaks in French at home with her son, and in Spanish at home with her daughters.  Her husband is a true Southerner who has picked up a bit of her languages throughout the years.

She taught at San Diego State University, where she earned her Master’s Degree in Spanish Sociolinguistics, then she joined the US Army and became a commissioned Army Officer.

After serving her country for a few years, she became the Director of a small k-12 accredited private school in Bonita CA (San Diego County), until her husband joined the Army and they were stationed in his hometown of Columbus, Georgia.

She taught at Columbus State University the seven years they were in Georgia, where she served as the Faculty Advisor for CHispA (CSU Hispanic Association), the Goizueta Scholarship Chair and Advisor, and was the CSU Liaison for the Muscogee County Hispanic Outreach Committee.

While in Columbus GA, she also taught at Georgia Military College’s online and Columbus campuses, where she served on the GMC President’s Faculty Advisory Council and also as a college recruitment advisor and Hispanic outreach officer.   She still currently teaches at GMC Online.

In addition, she taught at the largest college on US Army Fort Benning: Central Texas College, serving her fellow Soldiers, Veterans, and their dependents.  Her proficiency in 19 languages was highly utilized as the sole interpreter for the Federal Court in the Middle District of GA for several years.

Her mission is life is to create bridges across cultures through shared language, and she believes that the world will be a better place if everyone will learn just one more language and is then able to talk to someone they otherwise never would have talked to.

Pursuing her PhD in Romance Languages is a lifelong dream of hers, and she is ecstatic to be able to do so at the University of Alabama!  She enjoys Latin music, dancing, cooking, swimming, and having fun, but most of all she loves sharing her passion for language and culture with others.  Her husband is currently a graduate student at UA as well.  They have a baby kitten named “Chiquita” who loves to wear her tiny “Roll Tide” cheerleader dress!


PhD Romance Languages                The University of Alabama (in progress)

US Army Commission                      School of Infantry, Fort Benning GA 2007

MA Spanish Linguistics                   San Diego State University 2005

BA Spanish & French Lang & Lit  San Diego State Univ 2003

AA French                                           San Diego Mesa College 2001

AA Liberal Studies                            San Diego Mesa College 1998

French                                                 University of California at Berkeley (med wdl)


Organized and led “Breaking down Stereotypes” CSU Mini diversity conference, a televised event by Loretta Rose Show, on 6 Apr 2018 that was open to the community

Full hour interview on “Loretta Rose Show” on access to higher education, and on undoing negative stereotypes, televised 6 Feb 2018

Foreign Languages Judge (Spanish and French expert): Ledger-Enquirer Newspaper Page One Scholarship Mar 2017, Mar 2018

One of “Los 20 Hispanos Más Influyentes de Columbus GA, Ft. Benning GA y Phenix City AL” [20 most influential Hispanics] by The Courier /Eco Latino 3 Jan 2018 edition

Wrote “My Thoughts of DACA and Dreamers: Insight from a CSU Professor” published by The Saber Magazine pgs 13-14 in 3 Oct 2017 edition, and published by The Courier / Eco Latino pg 4 of the 3 Jan 2018 edition

Panel Member:  Loretta Rose Show “How do Women build each other up?” televised on 8 Nov 2017

Keynote speaker: Columbus State University Office of Diversity Latin Heritage event 21 Sept 2017

Presenter: “Bringing the World and Its Cultures to Columbus State University: Interactive Learning with Multimedia and Realia” for CSU’s We Solve it! Faculty Symposium 10 Aug 2016

Interviewed on CCGTV Show on behalf of Columbus State University on “Latino access to higher education” televised on 27 July 2016

Guest Speaker: “Yes, you can go to college!” at Early College High School, Columbus GA, on 9 Aug 2016

Guest Speaker: “Why learning Spanish is vital to your future” at Shaw High School, Columbus GA, 10 May 2016

Judge: Chattahoochee Valley Foreign Language Fair (French and Spanish) March 2013, 2014, 2016

Teaching Interests

Spring 2019

SPAN 101-09 MWF 12-12:50pm

SPAN 101-12 MWF 1-1:50pm

Fall 2018

SPAN 102 MWF 8am – 8:50am

SPAN 102 MWF 9am – 9:50am


SPA 101, 102, 201, 202 at Georgia Military College *currently teaching there online


SPAN 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002 at Columbus State University, Columbus GA

SPAN 1411, 1412 at Central Texas College, Fort Benning GA

Spanish 101, 102, 201, 202 at San Diego State University, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego City College, San Diego CA

The University of Alabama: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=2439165

Columbus State University, GA: http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1696338

Research Interests

I am slightly obsessed with Spanish sociolinguistics: the intersection of society, language, and culture.  When you give the language to the people, what do they do with it? I am fascinated by the way Latin evolved into the Romance Languages of today, and by the similarities and differences just within spoken Spanish!

I am interested in seeing whether there is a leveling of Spanish pronunciation and slang in top popular Latin music across typical Spanish variants due to the global interconnectedness of artists and listeners, or if there is further differentiation with Spanish speakers holding to the variants of their country of origin.

I am also curious to research the current state of evolution of the Spanish of American born bilingual children of Spanish-speaking immigrant parents to the US.  I want to see if there is a new variant forming across traditional Spanish variants since there is such an intermingling of different Spanish speaking ancestries, or if there is more differentiation among the variants in order to hold to the national pride of their country of ancestry.

As far as second language acquisition, I have always wanted to research my own particular twist on teaching to see why my students seem to learn Spanish so quickly and seemingly effortlessly: I believe there is a left-right brain connection to second language acquisition when you use popular Latin music, relevant pictures, and movement.  I teach with top 10 songs in the Spanish speaking world, and we learn using pictures relevant to the student’s lives to put vocabulary and grammar into a context, and it always makes a marked difference.  I would like to pursue this in research.