What attracted you to the Department of Modern & Classical Languages and the MA in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish and Bilingual/Multicultural Education?
The number of linguistics-related courses is something that really drew me to this program, on top of a strong faculty with impressive resumes in the fields of both linguistics and Spanish language and culture. Specifically, Heritage Language Education and Applied Linguistics and Society exposed me to an array of theories based in linguistics, sociology, anthropology, and education, and additionally introduced me to research methodologies such as discourse analysis which I am eager to employ in my thesis as I conclude my program in the spring of 2022.
Why did you decide to add the Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education?
I was thrilled to find out about this certificate program and I am excited to be part of its inaugural class. As my interests involve Spanish and Spanish education in the U.S., having a solid foundation in Teaching Spanish for Heritage Learners will complement my MA degree tremendously. Its inherent focus on critical antiracist approaches to teaching this unique student group is especially appealing within the current sociopolitical climate of the U.S. and I feel great pride knowing that Mason is among the first universities to offer such a program.
What are your primary academic and/or research interests?
I’ve developed a strong interest in investigating attitudes toward and perceptions of Spanish in the United States as ever-increasing numbers of Spanish speakers in this country position it in a unique way when compared to other languages commonly taught or spoken here. I hope to produce research that can shift perspectives and linguistic ideologies in such a way as to posit Spanish as a domestic language in the U.S. Upon completing this program, I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in Linguistics (location TBD!) so that I can continue research and collaborate with others in the field to affect a positive change in the ways we value language variety and diversity.
Do you have any advice for prospective students in the program?
My advice for incoming and/or prospective graduate students is to take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn. You should be here because of a passion for what you’re studying and an intrinsic desire to master it, whether you plan on continuing in academia or going into the workforce. With authentic passion you will be amazed by the things you can learn and accomplish, bolstered by the support of the incredible faculty of the MCL department.