Active Learning Methodologies in Linguistics: Experience from Spain

Dr. Juan Pablo Mora, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sevilla in Spain, will give a lecture on Tuesday 20 September at 4-5 pm. The lecture is entitled „Teaching Introduction to Linguistics using active learning methodologies: an experience from the University of Sevilla“. The event will take place in room 102 in Gimli at the Univerity of Iceland. All are welcome.

In this talk, Dr. Juan Pablo Mora, University of Sevilla, will present his current practice of teaching a Survey of Linguistics course to first year students using active learning methodologies where students become the main protagonists and active participants in class. Linguistic knowledge is constructed by the students via collaborative projects and engaging academic activities through which they have to find their own answers to challenging questions central to contemporary linguistics. Class time is devoted to solving linguistic problems and exercises, answering doubts and questions, student-led discussion and students' presentations of the results of their projects. The students are the ones who talk most of the time in class. This is different from the traditional class where the teacher presents most of the content of the subject in class in the format of lectures which are complemented by practical seminars. Among the projects the students carry out collaboratively in groups there are two action-research/service-learning projects involving the revitalization of Spanish Sign Language and the revitalization of the endangered Mixtecan language from Mexico with the help of social media (ndatiaku tu'un savi project). Other projects involve taking an introductory Chinese class to apply the concepts learnt in class, the creation of an artificial language, or carrying out research to learn about a topic in order to teach about it to the rest of the class (learning by teaching). Evaluation is carried out by means of in-class observation, peer evaluation and written portfolios where the students present the evidence and results of their work during the semester. The portfolio includes a class diary where the student reflects on what and how it was learnt in every session of the class. The results so far have been quite satisfactory both for the students and the teacher.

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