Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy and Language: University of Texas at San Antonio
I began teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to middle and high schoolers at Colegio Nacional “San Martin de Porres” in San Gregorio, Lima, Peru, in 1982. In 1991, I was part of the English for Secondary Schools (ESS) project, which run by the Peruvian Ministry of Education and The British Council. My main task was to train EFL teachers nationwide. Preparing in-service teachers made me realize that as an educator I could provoke more impact than as a classroom teacher. After finishing my period with the project, I obtained a tenure-track position at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Educacion. I initially taught the “Culture and Civilization of English speaking countries” course. I later focus on the EFL methods course. I simultaneously worked as a language instructor at Asociación Cultural Peruano–Británica (ACPB) to practice what I preached. When preparing teachers, I sometimes did not have answers for some of their questions so I decided to broaden my academic horizons.
I came to the United States to study an M.A. in Spanish Literature and to teach Spanish at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, in 2002. Teaching my primary language provided me with an opportunity to view my language with another lens. It also made me question why so few language learners achieve full proficiency in a foreign/second language. Eager to have answers to my questions, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Culture, Literacy and Language at the University of Texas at San Antonio. At UTSA, I prepared English as a second language (ESL) teachers. The transition from the EFL to the ESL preparation field forced me to reframe some of the beliefs I had mistakenly held. My doctoral studies provided me with a sound rationale to interweave the three areas (culture, literacy and language) to better understand the language learning process, and particularly the learning process for English Language learners (ELLs) in the US.
In September of 2009, I joined Western Oregon University (WOU). I am currently preparing ESOL/bilingual teachers. I teach courses which focus on culture and the effect it has on ELLs’ language learning processes. As a teacher and educator, I would like to continue contributing to the language fields (EFL/ESL/bilingual) here in the US, in Peru, or in any other country. My research interests are primarily: teacher candidates’ beliefs, bicultural/bilingual practices, identity, teacher development, and autonomy.
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