Teaching to Teach: Preparing the Future Language Teacher

Cristina Sanz (Spanish and Portuguese) · Round 5

Project PI Cristina Sanz, Professor and Director of the Intensive, SFS and Barcelona Spanish Programs, noted that in her twenty years of experience teaching the graduate and undergraduate teacher education courses in the Spanish & Portuguese department, the most productive moments for students are the reports and follow-up discussions on the teaching observations each student in the course completes. However, with about 20-40 teachers in training (between grads and undergrads) observing two instructors per semester, the program has reached its capacity in providing this powerful type of learning experience. Sanz’ project thus seeks to “flip the classroom” by developing video lessons capturing crucial moments of language teaching and learning, making these materials available for students to use freed of the constraints of in-person classroom observation.

This project will create 20-minute video lessons that cover very concrete but crucial aspects of language teaching, such as provision of feedback, seating arrangements, different approaches to grammar explanation, vocabulary, and the four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening comprehension). The purpose is to broaden future teachers' exposure to pedagogical decisions and to foster reflection on what works and what does not work and for whom, depending on learning styles and individual differences. An essential part of the lessons is a viewer's guide that accompanies the audiovisual materials.

Beyond use in the 500- and 300-level teaching methods course in the Spanish department, by making these materials available online, Georgetown could make a significant contribution to the professional development of the cadre of present and future language teachers in the US and abroad.