Workshop examines the use of literature in teaching Spanish


Above: Participants at a workshop organized by York’s Spanish Resource Centre

Toronto’s Spanish-speaking teaching community was given some new tools for teaching Spanish as a second language, thanks to workshops organized by York’s Spanish Resource Centre. The centre organized three brainstorming and motivational workshops in November and December on La literatura como vehículo en el aula de E/LE Literature as a tool in teaching Spanish as a second language. Sessions were held at University of Toronto’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese in Victoria College.

The opening workshop focused on the use of poetic material for teaching Spanish. Speaker Elena Escudero proposed a revision of the teaching material and official curriculum regarding the use of poetry as a tool in the teaching of second languages. Escudero is currently a teaching assistant at the Toronto French School and is working on a PhD thesis about Canadian poetry.

In the second session, University of Trent lecturer Teresa Vázquez introduced drama techniques to enhance dynamics in Spanish classes. Vázquez is collaborating on a regular basis with York’s Spanish Resource Centre.

The last workshop was presented by Wendolyn Lozano – a law graduate from Universidad Iberoamericana de México and a promoter of creative writing workshops. Lozano described the different narrative elements that are unique to the short story. Participants were then asked to write short stories in Spanish, modelled on prior texts.

“The active participation of the attendants in this fall workshop revealed the tremendous interest and presence of Spanish language in Ontario,” said Ramona Diaconescu, Spanish Resource Centre assistant.