Laura Aguilar García

Lecturer of Spanish
New Cabell Hall 418
Office Hours:
Wednesday 11:00am-12:00pm & Friday 2:00pm-3:00pm and by appt

Education

M.A., TESOL and Spanish, West Virginia University (2014)

B.A., English literature and linguistics, University of Murcia (Spain) (2012)

Research Interests

  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Teaching Spanish as a second language
  • Teaching English to speakers of other languages

Teaching Philosophy

I maintain a strong dedication to teaching languages in part because I like to teach, and in part because I feel very comfortable in the teaching environment. Since I was a child, I knew that language would be a very important part of my life. As a teacher, my goal is to prepare the students for the process of acquiring a language, as well as guiding and helping them to achieve success. For me, teaching is the connection that you create between you and your students. I believe that a good teacher should be the one who acts as a facilitator not as an authority, the one who provides the knowledge in the most suitable ways, not the inaccessible prominent figure who knows everything, in short, the one who guides and helps the students in the process of learning. In my opinion, learning is not the act of reading and memorizing the content of the book. Specifically, learning a language is a difficult process that goes beyond studying. As children learn languages without implicit instruction, teachers cannot assume that studying from books will lead to understanding and acquiring knowledge. A good teacher should be aware of the different students’ learning styles. I am familiar with different teaching methods, and I always use the one who best addresses the students’ necessities. I believe that each teaching method has weaknesses and good points, and in my opinion, the combination of the strengths of each one works very well when teaching languages. I also provide in my classes a variety of different activities in order to address different learning styles, as well as to keep my students motivated. A good classroom environment is very important for me. After many years not only as a teacher, but also as a second language learner, my experience in the field of second language acquisition tells me that I know what learning a language involves. Perhaps that is why students feel always that I am a very close teacher, and that I really understand their problems in terms of language acquisition.

Teaching

University of Virginia (2014-present)

Spanish 1060: a four-credit accelerated introductory level hybrid course designed to provide a thorough foundation in all the language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Spanish 2020: this is a flipped class, which means that students learn grammar and vocabulary at home, and class time is devoted to meaningful, authentic, and communicative practice. Class is conducted in Spanish only. Students use an e-portfolio to submit work and engage in collaborative learning.

University of West Virginia (2012-2014)

Spanish 101: is the first in the initial series of Spanish courses, and it is designed for students who have had no previous Spanish instruction.

Spanish 200: intensive course, it is the third and forth in the initial series of Spanish courses, and it is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish 101 and 102, or its equivalent.

Professional Organizations

National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi

  • Active member of Zeta Zeta Chapter (University of Virginia)
  • Member of Delta Tau Chapter (University of West Virginia)

Housing and residence life

2016 – present - Faculty liaison at Casa Bolivar

Casa Bolivar houses about two dozen students, providing them with an atmosphere to improve their Spanish and to earn one academic credit in the process. Casa Bolívar is open to all upper class undergraduates. For more information on the Spanish House, please refer to the Spanish House website or our Facebook page.

La Casa Bolívar is located on Jefferson Park Avenue, between la Maison Française, and the Shea House.