Spotlight on Pedro Pascual Villanueva, our new Assistant Professor of American Sign Language

The Fries Center for Global Studies and Department of Less Commonly Taught Languages is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor of American Sign Language, Pedro Pascual Villanueva!

A teacher at heart, Pascual’s lifelong career focuses on sign language teaching, as both L1 and L2. Pascual strives to keep abreast of the best practices in teaching languages and to follow the latest developments in the study of deaf cultures and sign languages. He is working on a phonological writing system for sign languages that is practical to use in everyday life, as opposed to the notation systems used for the analysis and research of sign languages. He is also interested in sign language etymology.

After graduating from the Universidad de Deusto in Spain with a Master’s in Computer Engineering, Pascual participated in research projects on advanced technology at Cerfacs in France. At the request of parents of deaf children, a multidisciplinary team, including Pascual, designed an innovative bilingual high school program for Deaf students in Toulouse, France, which is still operating since its creation in 1995. He also became a teacher in this pioneering program for a few years. This educational endeavor captivated Pascual, redirecting his career to the teaching of sign languages.

Pascual married an American fellow teacher in 2008 and moved to Connecticut. Thanks to living and working in Spain, France, and the United States, he is fluent in six languages: Spanish, French, English, and the Spanish, French, and American Sign Languages. He also has meaningful insights into the cultures of the three countries and their respective deaf communities. Before his appointment as Assistant Professor of the Practice in American Sign Language at Wesleyan University in 2022, Pascual taught American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at the University of Connecticut, Central Connecticut State University, Quinnipiac University, and Northwestern Connecticut Community College.

A learner at heart, Pascual continually seeks to learn about languages and cultures by traveling, reading, and connecting with local communities. He also loves science fiction because it satisfies his curiosity about different topics including society, history, politics, science, and technology. He and his spouse enjoy spending quality time with their family and walking on trails, along with the occasional fine dining.

Visit Professor Pascual Villanueva’s Faculty page here.

If you would like to get in touch with Professor Pascual Villanueva, you may send him an email at