Davis and Middlebrook lead sessions on language pedagogy in Huelva, Spain
Professor of Spanish Robert Davis and Associate Professor of Spanish Leah Middlebrook travelled to Huelva, Spain, between UO’s winter and spring terms to participate in the University of Huelva Master’s program in language teaching (Máster Oficial Literatura Europea y Enseñaza de Lenguas).
These invigorating, productive visits introduce RL faculty to students from Spain, from Europe and from as far away as China in a series of intensive sessions held over the course of two weeks. Davis presents recent research in second-language teaching and learning, and Middlebrook demonstrates how poetry enhances a content-based language curriculum.
They also have an opportunity to get to know the students during informal conversations that take place, not around the water-cooler, but around the all-important hallway coffee-vending machine. “Time ‘on the ground’ abroad is vital,” Middlebrook says. “There’s no substitute. In talking and listening to the international students in the UHU Master’s Program, we gain insight into higher education around the globe.” “I have such respect for the dedicated, avid students. It’s truly a privilege to meet and work with them,” Davis adds, “and we always come back with new ideas to enhance our courses in Eugene.”
Davis and Middlebrook have participated either jointly or individually in the UHU Master’s program for the past six years, but the connection with Huelva does not end with our faculty contribution to coursework in Spain. Since 2008, a graduate student from UHU has been accepted into the UO Master’s program in Spanish with a Graduate Teaching Fellowship. This stream of outstanding students has enriched our graduate program and our teaching staff, allowing UO undergraduates to meet Spaniards and learn directly about Andalusian culture.
The University of Huelva (http://www.uhu.es) is located in the extreme southwest corner of Spain. The province has a long history, predating the Roman empire, and is famous for being the launching point for the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas.