L2 | phonetics & phonology | speech learning

For several years I worked to develop a new form of cultural
tourism, one that would create the opportunity for real learning
and inter-cultural experiences for people over the age of 55
years. The project, called the
Travel Learning  Network, grew
out of my longstanding interest in what is called "successful aging"
in the gerontological literature.
I thank UAB for the support it provided to me and those who worked with me at the
Biocommunication Research Laboratory. I was very fortunate to have ended up in the
basement of a Rehabilitation Hospital located in the Heart of Dixie because it afforded
me the opportunity to slowly work through so many important research questions. (See
"About me".).
The home page of Jim Flege
tree on a hillside outside of Tuscania (VT) Italy
a church located in Tuscania (VT) Italy
cows grazing in a field outside of Tuscania (VT) Italy
Above: Medieval
churches in Tuscania
What I'm doing now
Dear visitor,
Santa Maria della Pace, Tuscania (VT) Italy
I created this site in 2006 when I retired from the University of Alabama in Birmingham
(UAB) and moved to Italy. I didn't have a secretary anymore who could respond to
reprint requests, and I felt obligated to make available the research we carried out
using funds provided by NIH.  
This site provides a way for me to maintain contact with colleagues and to meet young
researchers who have entered the field since 2006. It is dedicated with affection and
gratitude to all students of second language (L2) acquisition, no matter what their age
or career status, especially those working at the "phonetic" end of the phonetics-
phonology continuum.
When I first arrived in Italy I spent a great deal of time hiking in the sparsely populated
countryside around Tuscania, which is located about an hour north of Rome. I soon
developed an abiding interest in the remarkable system of consular roads created by
the Romans.
Above: Exploring the
countryside around
and Florence. Despite that, the local economy continues to sag and many young
people are unemployed. I am a member of the Board of Directors of a local civic group
Assotuscania which is working to help Tuscania develop its cultural, social and
economic resources.
Above: Our
neighborhood in
Tuscania is a popular
site of hit-and-run
Spring 2004, a field outside Tuscania (VT) Italy
tourists from a cruise ship in Via della Torretta, Tuscania
I have recently joined with others to found the Tuscania Photographic Society. The aim of
the new society is to promote  the photographic arts in and around Tuscania, and to help
young people develop careers in photography. The TPS will offer classes, host exhibitions,
and encourage photographers from abroad to conduct photo seminars here in Tuscania.
tourists in Tuscania enjoy a splendid panorama, including the City Hall (Comune)
tourist taking a picture of a fountain in Tuscania
rooftops, Tuscania, central Italy
Tuscania is incredibly beautiful and boasts
cultural resources that are rare even for
Italy. It was recently cited by
CNN as one of
the 12 most interesting "alternative"
destinations for visitors to Italy after Rome
You can download research reports from this site that are based on findings obtained
at my lab a UAB. Most of our published research deals with the phonetic and
phonological underpinnings of bilingualism and second language (L2) speech learning.
(A small amount of work deals with the lexicon and morphosyntax.) Click on "Research"
above to download PDF versions of journal articles, chapters, and conference
presentations.  Much of this work was carried out within the framework of the Speech
Learning Model which was formally launched in 1995 after 15 years of preliminary work.
One consular highway built by the Romans, the Via Clodia, passed through
Tuscania. Another, the Via Cassia, passed just east of Tuscania. This video show a
stretch of the Cassia that is still in use after more than two thousand years.
an apartment for sale in Largo della Pace, Tuscania. It shares courtyard of a former Fransican monastery with Boscolo Etoile Academy
I got involved in a rennovation project when I noticed an
abandoned property in one corner of a former monastery that was
built by followers of St. Francis of Assisi soon after he visited
Tuscania in 1222. Most of the complex is today occupied by a
famous school for chefs, the
Boscolo Etoile Academy. We
repaired the roof and did a few other things to stabilize the
property, but never got around to finishing the project. We've
decided to sell it, so please plass this on if you know of someone
interested. For more info:
After years of looking, we finally managed to
acquire a small piece of land just outside the
walls of Tuscania. For the first few months I
labored to clear the land, which had been
abandoned for 35 years. By now I've planted two
vegetable gardens and a dozen fruit trees, plus a
variety of flowering shrubs and plants. A lot
remains to be done over the coming years but, in
the meantime we already enjoying he freshest of
I remain interested in developments in the field of second language (L2) speech
learning, especially research focusing on phonetic aspects. This research area is
rapidly  expanding in terms of number of researchers as well as the scientific quality of
the work being done.