[Faculty] Pilar Llada Cienfuegos


Philosophy of Teaching

Pilar Llada Cienfuegos

Hispanic Philology

  •  Master's Degree in Teacher Training: Secondary and Upper Secondary Education,Vocational Training and Language Teaching

Complutense University

  Degree in Hispanic Studies: Spanish Language and Literature

Complutense University

  Spanish Teacher Training Course ELE

Complutense Center for Teaching Spanish

  Certificate official DELE examiner

Cervantes Institute

  

Teaching Spanish is my life. I have been told that I am a “born teacher,” but this isnot the case. If anything, I was born a learner, and along the way I learned how toteach. In fact, my teaching style and techniques are evolving daily as I learnthrough professional development, by studying my peers, and most importantly bylistening to my students. To me, a large part of teaching is figuring out how peoplelearn. I am passionate about education because I am a constant learner myself.

  

With more than four years teaching Spanish Language, Literature, History and HispanicCulture to Spanish-speaking students and foreign students, in different educational centers inSpain, I believe that a key element in the foreign language classroom is keeping the studentsmotivated. My personal style of teaching brings enthusiasm, cultural elements, andtechnology into the classroom to increase learning motivation. I teach with a contagious smileand open personality that helps me to interact with my students as I guide them through theirlearning process. Teaching my native Spanish language enables me to draw upon my ownculture and personal experience as a foreign language learner as I teach my students toeffectively communicate with me in my own language and, perhaps more importantly, to gainan appreciation for another language and culture.

  

My objective as a teacher is to motivate my students toward a level of independence wherethey develop a desire to learn and think for themselves. To reach this end, I rely upon manyactivities that involve a total physical response (TPR) by the students. Instead of just readingabout salsa and listening to the music, my students dance the steps and sing the songs,engaging in the action as they learn both Spanish language skills and elements ofHispanic/Latino culture. Through this type of active participation, students learn and formtheir own opinions and base of knowledge. I define my approach to teaching foreign languageas rationalistic since I encourage critical thinking and a desire among my students tocommunicate.

  

In my quest to develop independent thinkers, I also strive to promote cross-cultural awarenessand appreciation. A native of Spain, I try to bring as much of my culture into the classroom aspossible. I believe that effective teachers understand what knowledge their students alreadyhave, and find a way to tap into that knowledge and build upon it everyday. To me,technology is one of the most important tools an effective teacher can use in the classroom toaddress different learning styles, to create a productive learning environment, and to increasestudent motivation.

  

I believe that my enthusiastic, cultural-technological approach to teaching Spanish enablesstudents to acquire language skills in a manner that keeps them interested and motivated,and requires their own critical thinking of discussion points which makes their learning theirown. The results I have seen in my students are quite positive.