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PHILOSOPHY OF TEACHING

One of the most rewarding experiences in this profession for me is to see my students becoming successful users of the language with an appreciation for the cultural differences and the possibilities that a foreign language opens. Many of my students who start my courses at SPAN 202, as part of their language requirement, find a renew interest for the language and decide to further their students, completing the Spanish Language Certificate and in many cases switching or adding Spanish as their major. I do not think I can take full credit for this interest, but as a language teacher I believe in bringing to the language classroom the best experience possible for students, allowing them to grow as language speakers as well as individuals, and providing them with opportunities to find their identities and goals. 

I believe that students can be successful learners of a foreign language with an appropriate methodology, such as task-based, communicative language teaching, and the correct pedagogical tools (provision of feedback, motivation, interactional opportunities for negotiation of meaning, and fostering of individual learning styles). I emphasize a communicative approach in a student-centered class setting that helps develop competence in all the four areas of learning: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.  This approach places the students at the center of the learning process, considering their psycholinguistic constrains and their specific needs for the language as a priority.  I also believe in the principle of learning by doing, and in providing students with tools that would help them become citizens of a technological world in which digital literacy will be an essential component of their full education. In my language courses I employ different forms of technology as part of the learning process (WebCT, LAULIMA, computer-mediated communication tools, multimedia authoring tools…) which creates an environment in which the students learn precious skills through the target language, bringing new, essential, and exciting aspects of language learning to the classroom.


COURSES TAUGHT

Dept. of Languages and Lit. of Europe and the Americas, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (1994-currently). I have taught a t the dept. of LLEA for 20 years. During this time I have taught a variety of courses:

  • First and second year Spanish language
  • First year intensive Spanish language
  • Third year conversation
  • Third year grammar and composition
  • Commercial Spanish
  • Phonetics and pronunciation
  • Fourth year structure of Spanish
  • Spanish Pragmatics
  • Spanish Pedagogic Grammar Teaching
  • Semminar in Spanish SLA
  • Seminar in Computer-mediated Interersonal Communications (in English)

Filología Inglesa (English Studies). University of Sevilla, Spain (2009) - As an exchange professor at the University of Sevilla I taught 5th year 'Análisis Pragmático' (Pragmatics) and 3rd year 'Fonética contrastiva' (Contrastive Phonetics)

Dept. of Second Language Studies (SLS), UH Manoa. I have also taught two classes for the SLS department, here at UH.

  • SLS 418 Instructional Media
  • SLS 680P Second Language Pedagogy: Integrating Technology into Language Instruction

On-line Instructor for the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures.

I developed the first online course for the college of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures (LLL455 Methods for Language Teachers). This course was designed to serve students from the LLL College as well as in-service teachers from the state of Hawai‘i, especially those on neighbor islands with less access to Manoa courses. The course was developed as part of an Instructor Award for Innovating Teaching, and in collaboration with the Language Learning Center.  For this project we also received a No-child Left Behind $13,000 Federal Grant for the development, implementation, and assessment of the course. My role in this project was that of curriculum developer and course instructor. I designed and developed all the content for the course, which was then transformed into the online platform with a tech support research assistant. I have been the course instructor since 2003, updating and modifying the course every semester according to students’ needs and their recommendations and end-of-the-course evaluations.

Instructor of Technology in Language Teaching for the MA TESOL and Foreign Language Teaching Program of the University of Canberra, Australia, with University of Education, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). An intensive two week course for future TESOL teachers for which I developed the curriculum and was the course instructor (January 2008)

I am also fortunate to work with the East-West Center in their Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project (http://bruneiusprogramme.org/) educating teacher trainers from a diversity of ASEAN countries in the uses of innovative technologies for the teaching of English.