As a language teacher, my philosophy reflects my attitudes and practices as a language learner. This relies primarily on exposing my students to comprehensible input that is both interesting and serves a communicative function, using meaningful content from across the Spanish-speaking world. In this way, I believe that we can organically and inductively acquire the language, which can be later refined through more targeted and explicit grammatical focusing.
Secondly, I approach language learning and teaching from a position of additive bilingualism, informed by translanguaging theory. My goal as the instructor of the named language “Spanish” is to help my heritage students become confident in the linguistic abilities they already possess, empowering and validating them as competent speakers of the home dialect. Simultaneously, I seek to help expand their register and metalinguistic awareness, exposing them to a more “formal” Spanish, along with the political and social baggage that comes along with this construct.
Finally, my students reflect a range of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, which I would like to advocate for and promote in an environment of tolerance and understanding. Furthermore, I seek to deconstruct hierarchical and oppressive learning environments, stressing the fact that my students bring just as much to the table as I do, if not more. What's more, I highlight the fact that their worth is not defined by their labor; Instead, they carry inherent value as human beings, who deserve respect and understanding.
In sum, my ultimate wish is to emphasize the beauty in every language variety, to deconstruct the myth of a “correct” language, and to provide as inclusive, productive, and sociolinguistically-informed learning environment as possible.