Release Date: May 30, 2020
The Southwest Conference on Language Teaching, which represents nine states, has conferred Alegría Ribadeneira, Associate Professor, Director of World Languages and Assistant Chair for English and World Languages at Colorado State University Pueblo, the 2020 Post-Secondary Excellence in Teaching Award.
Candidates for this prestigious award came from California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Utah and Nevada. The award recognizes significant contributions to the teaching of Second Languages and to the profession with notable influence on students and community. The selection committee commended Ribadeneira on her extraordinary dedication and innovation in language teaching, and was impressed by her commitment to her students and colleagues.
This recognition is significant to CSU Pueblo as it acknowledges Ribadeneira’s work with Heritage Language Teaching. Ribadeneira’s research focuses on best teaching practices that help grow language proficiency in classrooms that mix students who have learned Spanish at home and students who have learned Spanish in a classroom setting.
“Exploring new innovative ways to help students develop their language skills is one of my favorite things,” said Ribadeneira. “I want students to be inspired by the projects and tasks I design for them. If they find joy in learning and develop useful skills in the process, I know they will become self-motivated, lifelong learners who can adapt even in an uncertain world.”
CSU Pueblo excels as an institution for this type of study because of the number of students who bring Spanish from home. Dr. Ribadeneira’s students tackle issues of language and identity while participating in project-based learning. Students’ latest project completed in the spring semester was a food and society webpage where, among other things, Ribadeneira’s students wrote a cookbook, a regional food guide, and children’s stories. You can visit the website here.
“Helping students develop their bilingual, bicultural superpowers is my greatest joy,” said Ribadeneira
Ribadeneira was set to receive her award during the April SWCOLT conference to be held in Disneyland. Due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was cancelled and Ribadeneira instead celebrated at home watching her favorite Disney movies.
This post-secondary excellence in teaching awards comes after Ribadeneira was awarded the 2020 Colorado Excellence in Teaching award in February.
“Students who can be of service to society across languages and cultures are extraordinary. They can have a positive, lasting impact on twice as many lives, effectively making the world a better place,” said Ribadeneira.