do I teach?
immediate response is to state that I love
teaching. But my purpose is
clear: I teach for the sake of learning. Educating
students is my duty
and my satisfaction as a professor, but students
are not alone in this
process: I, too, learn a great deal through
colleagues, my students and I form a learning
community which provides
more than collaboration, sharing, and acquisition
of knowledge. As one
of my students told me a few years ago, "Beyond
all you taught me, what
I most appreciate is that you gave me confidence
in myself." Her commentary
aptly explains my reason for teaching.
many Concordia students, this student was the
first member of her family
to attend university. I am proud to be part of an
institution whose main
objective is to make higher education accessible
to thousands of students
who might otherwise not be able to study at
university. I enthusiastically
adhere to Concordia University's mission:
excellence is meaningless unless
it serves the common good of society.
What do I teach?
teach Hispanic literary and cultural studies and
language at intermediate
and advanced undergraduate levels. As a leading
world language, Spanish
can be used in a vast range of social, cultural,
and economic activities.
In addition to teaching proficiency, my teaching
allows students to enter
diverse realms of Latin American cultures and
modes of inquiry.
a language is obviously much more than to
assimilate a series of grammar
rules, oral and written skills, and good
pronunciation. I believe that
my teaching of Spanish as a written and spoken
language, along with Latin
American literary and cultural studies, allows my
students an entry into
the different realms of Latin American cultures,
inaccessible to those
who do not function in the language and who are
not aware of cultural differences.
How do I teach?
the case of language or Grammar courses, learning
is focused on a variety
of strategies which encourage students to
participate actively in the process
of learning (reading of recent articles and texts
from different sources;
listening of a variety of authentic spoken texts;
role-playing; pair work,
team work, and group discussion, etc.).
culture and literature courses, I vary my
strategies depending on multiple
factors, especially class size and students' more
or less homogeneous background.
I frequently use the following strategies:
introductory meta-narrative and objectives:
just as in my research, as
a teacher I create an unresolved "problem" or
heuristic device that the
students and I are to deal with during the
diverse detailed activities and parameters,
oral and written, to ensure
that prior to class the students read the
texts and respond to them actively
(prereading, homework, possibility of in-class
to concrete classroom methods, I endeavour to
enhance the effectiveness
of the course and the aim to foster independent,
critical thinkers by developing
and implementing online course materials which
facilitate the active construction
of knowledge by the students themselves. (I keep
an online site for each
course which is constantly updated after every
an optimal balance (depending on particular
circumstances) of lecture,
small-group open discussion, debate, oral
presentations, and multi-media,
visual, or audio demonstrations (technology
classroom techniques such as
PowerPoint and Internet demonstrations to
support a lecture or discussion).
my passion for teaching, I am always keen to
acquire new techniques and
skills to enhance my teaching and to continue the
process of discovery
with my students.
What do I teach for?
teaching ideal is to create a dialogic atmosphere
in which all students
feel involved and responsible for their own
success. Through my exchanges
inside and outside of class, I encourage students
to think independently
and critically, to express themselves with
clarity, precision, and style,
to master generalized and specialized knowledge in
contexts that have relevance
to the world, and to develop a commitment to
life-long learning and self-development.