Whether teaching a lower-level or upper-level Spanish course, my approach to teaching Spanish has three main foci: engagement, relevance, and culture. In order for students to learn, they need to be engaged with the materials. I employ a multitude of materials that students can use to enhance their learning that goes beyond only reading from a textbook. By using videos, audio, and short stories to learn from, students are able to see the language used in a variety of contexts which keeps them interested in learning. While providing students with additional materials, I also make sure to learn about their interests so that I can teach them "me-specific" vocabulary. It is important that students not only have knowledge of common vocabulary but also vocabulary that they are likely to use when engaging with Spanish speakers. I believe that including vocabulary that is relevant to the students further increases their engagement and in turn their proficiency in the language. Finally, culture is a huge component of any language and I believe it should be seamlessly included alongside grammar instruction. By including culture into language instruction, students gain insight into idiomatic expressions, customs, and other culture-specific topics that will enrich their language learning experience.
Whether in the classroom or online, I believe technology plays a vital role in improving teaching and learning. For additional practice outside of the classroom, I enjoy using web-based applications that allow students to interact with one another via video or voice-chats. This allows students to continue practicing what they have learned and to receive feedback. By constantly participating in communicative activities, students will be able to use their language skills in real-world situations and become proficient Spanish speakers.
Undergraduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Bachelor in Arts, Spanish
Graduate Degree: Northern Illinois University - Master of Arts, Spanish
I enjoy cooking, reading, doing arts and crafts projects, and traveling to other countries.