I have been involved in language teaching for over 20 years, delivering instruction from kindergarten to post-graduate students in Argentina, to Cabinet Ministers in the UK, and delegations of EU interpreters in Belgium. I have designed curricular programs and developed instructional materials for the European Union, the UK Defense Ministry, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), Pearson Education, and a large number of governmental and private organizations.
I have been working in US universities since August 2014, teaching from elementary to advanced Spanish levels as well as advanced Spanish conversation and writing courses both at George Washington University and American University. In both institutions I have delivered content rich task-based courses that promote students’ intercultural awareness and advance their communicative skills. In GWU, I developed a semester-long meta-cognitive scheme that was implemented Program-wide and aims to develop students’ cognitive strategies and engagement through strategy building tasks, intercultural development activities and self-reflection instances from a ludic standpoint. This initiative won a Grant for Experimentation in Teaching (GET), and was submitted also to the Peer Review for Excellence in Teaching (PRET) project with the purpose of refining the it and having the chance to look closely into its effect. The data collected provided insight into student motivation and gave way to a research interest that was presented at the 98th AATSP Annual Conference in Miami and GWU Teaching Day Poster Session.
I have also developed an innovative syllabus for intensive elementary Spanish that modified the once available 8-credit, 4-times-a-week structure to an easier to handle 6-credit, 3-times-a-week one and gave interested students the chance to minor in Spanish even if they started their college experience with no previous knowledge of the subject. Six sections of this course were offered in the Fall 2017 and 3 sections in Spring 2018, and it is operating at full capacity. In order to enhance this course, I also designed a complementary 12-week conversation unit for the complete beginner sections.
With the purpose of shedding some light into the controversial topic of the use of the first language (L1) in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), I partnered with a colleague to conduct two semester long interventions. Assessment of this project was facilitated by two Nick of Time Microgrants. The study was presented at the GWU Teaching Day Poster Session and the American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference in Chicago.
I am the coordinator of Intensive Elementary Spanish and Intermediate Spanish II levels. This implies taking care of the day-to-day running of courses as well as designing a variety of teaching and assessment materials in line with the long-term goals and pedagogic approach of the Program, in addition to managing and developing a group of instructors in areas of TBI, teaching and assessment. I am also in charge of the Spanish Language Program tutoring services, including selecting potential language practice partners, interviewing and training them; organizing writing clinics and advanced tutoring services, and putting together workshops. Apart from this, I am part of the organizing committee of the innovative Combined BA-MEd in Spanish Teaching program in collaboration with GSEHD, and share responsibility for the Spanish Language Study Abroad crediting process with a team of colleagues. I also volunteer in the Teaching Day Organizing Committee, an initiative steered by the University Teaching and Learning Center (UTLC).
I am currently co-authoring the 4th edition of the Spanish textbook Gente, adopted by the Spanish Language Program at GWU for elementary and intermediate levels. I am also reviewing and developing all ancillary materials and developing a whole suit of task-based testing program for this textbook.