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College of Liberal and Fine Arts

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Spanish Faculty Attend UNAM Conference

September 23, 2014

UTSA was well represented at the recent XVI Encuentro de Profesores de Español a no Nativo Hablantes conference sponsored by Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) San Antonio.  The annual meeting focuses on improving Spanish teaching and learning techniques for educators. Dr. Whitney Chappell, Dr. Mark Rushforth, Dr. Ninfa Kohler, Tess Ladd-Hill, Anne Lohezic, Gilberta Turner, Juanita Campos, Elizabeth Olvera, Lilian Cano, and Consuelo Madiedo, all from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at UTSA, were in attendance to hone their teaching skills.

At the conference Dr. Chappell led a workshop entitled "La enseñanza de rasgos fonéticos y diferencias dialectales en el aula." In her presentation, she introduced several innovative pedagogical methods to introduce non-native speakers to differences between the English and Spanish sound systems in lower-level Spanish classes and to present more advanced students with explicit phonetic interventions to increase their understanding and awareness of dialectal diversity. These strategies enable instructors to quell common phonetic errors early in the students' learning trajectory, on the one hand, and later prepare these students for contact with nonstandard varieties of Spanish, on the other. In addition to improving students' pronunciation, these techniques can also increase students' knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world and advance their comprehension and social/pragmatic competence when they study abroad.

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers a Spanish major, a Spanish minor, a linguistics minor, a master of arts in Spanish, and a graduate certificate in translation and interpreting studies.

 

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