Teaching and learning are activities to which I am deeply committed. As I see it, the key to education is the opening of the mind and the contact of different opinions and points of view as the root of analysis and dialogue. Therefore, dissolving barriers between cultures, languages and individuals is my first objective in the classroom. I think that the transmission of knowledge is never enough if it does not come accompanied by a desire to break down divisions and a hope of creating a common language in which to speak together. So, even when I believe that written and oral arguments are fundamental for communication, I try my best to serve the further purpose of opening my students' minds. My multi-cultural personal experience lies underneath this principle.
In my teaching, I seek to bridge the gap between language learning and literature; from my point of view, the two are inseparable. I think that it is very important to encourage students to read from the very beginning of their learning. Beginning and intermediate students can be given short, easy, authentic texts early on, from which they can develop a liking for the literature written in a different language, together with the cultural elements that it implies. Likewise, students of literature, or those who are in a more advanced stage of their learning, should continue to work on building their vocabulary and understanding nuances in the language, as well as solidifying their grasp of grammatical structures.
Whenever possible, language and literature study should allow students to connect to a larger community. For this reason, I encourage my students to reach outside the classroom and try to give them assignments that would make them realize that their knowledge of Spanish is not only good enough for the classroom, but also for talking to other people around them and for learning about other cultures that are not that far away any more. Also, I find that the study of literature puts them in a position to understand cultures of the past and to reflect about issues that may still find an echo in the present world.
“Religion, idolatry and conquest: from medieval Spain to the New World”; Literature and culture in Early Modern Spain; “Magic, sorcery and witchcraft: from La Celestina to Cervantes;” Introduction to Spanish and Latin-American literature; Latin American colonial culture and literature; Spanish Language and Culture courses.