SPS Faculty Collaborate for Remote Conference

Submitted by Marilis Mediavilla on
Jorge González, Inma Raneda, and Antonio Rueda

COVID-19 is preventing us from having in-person classes, meetings, and conferences. However, our SPS faculty keeps actively engaged in promoting and sharing their knowledge within our community in different ways. The Washington Association for Language Teaching (WAFLT) was held virtually this year, and three of our SPS faculty members collaborated to deliver a joint presentation at the October 2020 Conference: ¨Apart, But Together.¨

Jorge González, Associate Teaching Professor; Inma Raneda, Teaching Professor; and, Antonio Rueda, Associate Teaching Professor, joined efforts and enthusiasm to present their study and experiences about the topic: Theoretical and Practical Uses of Corpora in the Spanish Classroom.

Read below some of their insights and experiences from the event.


 What was your presentation about? Why did you choose this topic? Is it relevant to your daily teaching content?

 ¨The title of our presentation at the 2020 WAFLT Virtual Conference, “Apart, but Together”, was Theoretical and Practical Uses of Corpora in the Spanish Classroom.  We chose this topic in order to provide Spanish teachers with the necessary tools to familiarize themselves with the main features of the various dialects of Spanish, and the notion that all variations of Spanish are equally as legitimate and respectable.  We think that it is relevant to make teachers of Spanish aware of the responsibility to inculcate this notion in their students.  With this goal in mind, we discussed different factors that influence dialectal variations like social status, context, and geography, among others.  Finally, various online resources like corpora and dictionaries were presented, which allow teachers to learn more about the unique characteristics of the different dialects of Spanish.¨


  1. How was the online presenting experience different from an in-person conference? How did you approach the changes to format or content for the online presentation?

¨The online presentation was very different from what we are used to in the sense that it was recorded.  The new format was challenging, since we had to adapt to the lack of spontaneous interaction with our audience, which can feel limiting.  However, throughout the day of the conference and several days thereafter, we had the opportunity to engage in very rich discussions with the teachers who watched our presentation and posted questions and comments for us.¨

  1. Can you elaborate on how you prepared as a team to present online? Any advantages or disadvantages you would like to tell our readers?

¨The preparation of this presentation required a great amount of work and coordination among us presenters.  This was a challenge given the fact that in–person presentations we have done in the past did not require as much preparation time.  However, a great advantage was the fact that our presentation was more tightly structured and succinct.  On the other hand, this is not the first time we have done an online presentation.  We actually had the privilege to present a shorter video at the 16th UW Annual Teaching and Learning symposium in the spring of this year.  Since this presentation was briefer, it was a perfect way to prepare ourselves for the WAFLT Conference.¨


What was/were the most useful thing/s you learned while preparing and/or presenting online? What was the biggest challenge?

¨The most useful thing we learned was teamwork, which entailed different stages.  For example, the planning stage required the three of us to keep in mind the common goal of the presentation throughout the whole process, and to avoid repetitions and redundancies.  The biggest challenge was that, given the complexity of our topic, when we recorded our individual parts, we became aware that they were too long for the time allotted to us.  This necessitated very meticulous and skillful video editing work and a clear global picture of the presentation at all times.  Needless to say, this experience was very valuable and satisfactory.¨

Content for this article provided by Jorge González, Inma Raneda, and Antonio Rueda.