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Posts under tag: Pedagogy

May 29, 2014

Sayo Murcia Awarded for Excellence in Pedagogy

Congratulations to Sayo Murcia, Senior Instructor of Spanish for winning the prestigious Thomas F. Herman Achievement Award for Excellence in Pedagogy.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 UO President Michael Gottfredson (along with a large group of fellow faculty members, family, and friends) surprised Mrs. Murcia with the award during her Spanish 320 class.  You can watch a video of the ‘surprise award ceremony’ below.

April 17, 2014

Davis and Middlebrook lead sessions on language pedagogy in Huelva, Spain

Davis and Middlebrook with Univ. Huelva students

Davis and Middlebrook with Univ. Huelva students

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.huelva

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.

Prof. Middlebrook with student

Prof. Middlebrook with student

The University of Huelva ( 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.

April 9, 2012

Holguín Mendoza and Barnett Integrate Social Networking into the Language Classroom

Assistant Professor of Spanish Claudia Holguín Mendoza, coordinator of the Spanish heritage language program and Dr. C. Brian Barnett, second-year French supervisor both integrated Facebook (FB) recently into their courses.

In the fall, Holguín Mendoza along with the others teaching SPAN 308: Bilingual Communities (Instructors of Spanish Amy Costales & Liliana Darwin-López and Senior Instructor & Head Undergraduate Advisor Kelley León-Howarth) created ¨Español in Eugene.¨ This FB group was created so that all sections of SPAN 308 could be connected and to share relevant information, such as articles, music, as well as extra activities for students to complete.  In addition, the group’s administrators advertised relevant events within the local community such as a public reading of the books banned in Arizona.   The 308 teaching team had many ideas and found FB to be a great platform to share amongst themselves as well as with the students.

¨Español in Eugene¨ was created as a FB group as Holguín Mendoza and the other instructors wanted an environment semi-private where outsiders could not see the postings, but open enough to share ideas and make comments. The 308 team is considering making FB a part of the syllabus and find that by using it during a class shows students a more practical aspect of FB.  Another benefit has been the addition of faculty and graduate students from the U of O and other institutions (e.g., Western Illinois University & the University of Arizona).  These new members have been contributing ideas through posts as well as receiving inspiration from this FB group.

Barnett wanted to create an environment that would help show the relevance of studying French within the United States and would allow students the opportunity to interact with Francophones living in the US, Canada, and Caribbean.  Therefore, he created the FB group “Franco-Amérique : Université d’Oregon” for FR 399 Héritages Francophones aux États-Unis.  He then invited both students and several Francophone contacts to join and encouraged both to participate actively with open-ended discussions questions and simple polls that he posted throughout the term. Students also had a chance to Skype live with a few of the FB group members who lived outside of Eugene (e.g., Grégoire Chabot, a Franco-Américain author from Maine), read additional articles, and listen to music relevant to the topics covered in class.

FB was not only used as a medium for students to interact with French speakers, but it also provided Barnett as a way to share students’ work with a larger francophone audience, such as Plus jamais invisibles (‘No longer invisible’), a news program highlighting various francophone communities  in the United States.

Both Holguín Mendoza and Barnett agree that FB has provided students an excellent way of using social-networking sites to make connections outside of the classroom and are hoping to integrate them in future courses.