Why Aprendo

 

Having the 21st century Princeton student in mind and considering the significant amount of technical and pedagogical challenges that we faced when using traditional textbooks, we created Aprendo, a custom-made digital textbook that provides effective ways to support students’ acquisition of the language, while being exposed to the type of content knowledge that enhances their critical thinking and creativity. As an interactive and flexible online language-learning platform, Aprendo was specially tailored for Princeton University students enrolled in beginner and intermediate Spanish classes (SPA 101-SPA 107).

  • The learning materials developed in Aprendo promote a learner-centered approach with an emphasis on discourse analysis, intercultural competence, social interaction, critical thinking skills, and the development of learner autonomy. Also, having a digital format:
    Is ideal for delivering multimedia content.
  • Allows us to implement a flipped-classroom model.
  • Maximizes student-centered learning, self-monitoring and correction.
  • Creates the opportunity to modify, improve, and adjust course materials.
  • Promotes interactive teaching and learning.

For more information about the methodological implications of Aprendo, view this document.

To learn more about Aprendo and the recent debate about the college textbook market, read this Daily Princetonian article here.

 

Project Staff

Adriana Merino

Adriana Merino holds a Ph.D. in Foreign Languages and Linguistics (UNED, Spain), and a Master’s degree in Linguistics with a specialization in Discourse Analysis (UNC, Argentina) Before joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Princeton University she taught and coordinated various Spanish courses, and developed ELT/ Spanish language programs and instructional materials. Her teaching experience also includes Applied Linguistics, Methodology, Discourse Analysis, and training courses for teachers. Her research interests involve (interlanguage) pragmatics; intercultural competence development in study abroad experiences; L2 oral interaction and comprehension; and the use of ICT resources to enhance learning. She has authored a teacher’s resource manual, and a number of articles on language teaching, discourse analysis, and pragmatics. As member of the Aprendo project, Adriana has created several materials for the SPA 101, SPA 102, and SPA 103 sites. She is currently the SPA 101-102 Coordinator. Contact: amerino@princeton.edu


Andie Faber

Andie Faber received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Second Language Acquisition with a Certificate in Cognitive Science. Her current research focuses on gender agreement in native, second language, and heritage language Spanish speakers incorporating theories of feature reassembly and Multiple Grammars in Second Language Acquisition. She spent a year at the Universidad de Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain teaching English and conducting research on the mass noun agreement feature in Asturian, a minority Romance language found in the region. She has also studied in Salamanca, Spain and worked with a Mayan community in Santa María de Jesús, Guatemala. In 2015 she spent three weeks conducting research on second language learners of Spanish in Rio de Janeiro and Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Before starting at Princeton in the fall of 2016, she taught Spanish language classes and Introduction to Language Acquisition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Spanish classes at Westfield State University and English classes in Oviedo, Spain and Honolulu, Hawai’i. After joining the Aprendo project in 2017, Andie has created several materials for the SPA 103 site. She is currently the SPA 103 Coordinator. Contact: afaber@princeton.edu


Le Anne Spino-Seijas


Le Anne Spino-Seijas received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Second Language Studies. She specializes in technology-enhanced language learning, creating flipped language classes that help students improve their language proficiency. Le Anne worked as Spanish lecturer at Princeton University from 2015 until 2018. She is currently Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Rhode Island. As member of the Aprendo project in 2016, Le Anne created several materials for the SPA 103 site. Contact: spino@uri.edu

Anais Holgado-Lage

Anais Holgado Lage (Ph.D. University of Salamanca 2014) started working at Princeton University in the fall of 2015. Her research focuses on Spanish linguistics, specifically Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis, with an emphasis on Discourse Markers and the process of learning them in Spanish as a Second Language. She has also published articles on Sociolinguistics and Spanish in a virtual setting. She is currently working on individual Discourse Markers and their diatopic differences in use throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Before arriving at Princeton, Anais was a professor at Wake Forest University, where she taught a variety of courses in Spanish language and literature. As member of the Aprendo project, Anais has created several materials for the SPA 107 site. She is currently the SPA 107 Coordinator. Contact: anaish@princeton.edu


Catalina Méndez Vallejo

Catalina Méndez Vallejo received a dual PhD in Linguistics and Hispanic Linguistics from Indiana University in 2009. While she specializes in syntax, she has also conducted research on the effects of prosody in requests and Spanish word order, sociolinguistic variation in Spanish future tenses, and socio-pragmatic change in discourse markers and forms of address.  She is currently working on the semantic and pragmatic features of the Focalizing Ser structure in Spanish. As Aprendo project coordinator, Catalina has worked in the SPA 101-107 course sequence and has created several materials for the SPA 101, SPA 102, and SPA 103 sites. Contact: dvallejo@princeton.edu


Sylvia Zetterstrand

Sylvia Zetterstand holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Harvard University and she worked at Princeton from 2011 until 2019. Before coming to Princeton, she taught Spanish language and culture courses at Harvard College, the Harvard Extension School, and the College of William & Mary. Although Prof. Zetterstrand’s dissertation is on theoretical phonology, she has geared her professional and academic career towards the fields of Foreign Language Pedagogy and Translation. Prof. Zetterstrand is certified as a judiciary interpreter by the U.S. Federal Government and has worked extensively in the interpreting field. As Aprendo project coordinator, Sylvia worked in the SPA 101-107 course sequence and created several materials for the SPA 107 sites. Since January 2019, Sylvia works as Official Court Interpreter for the District of Puerto Rico.


Ben Johnston

Ben Johnston works with faculty and students across the University to facilitate the integration of digital platforms and implementation of technology tools into coursework. Formerly Manager of the Humanities Resource Center and Humanities Computing Specialist in the Center for Digital Humanities, Ben has filled many roles at Princeton in support of technology and education during his 10 years at the University. Prior to Princeton, Ben worked at Bryn Mawr College and at Columbia University. He holds an undergraduate degree from Earlham College and a Master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. As Senior Educational Technologist, Ben has developed the Aprendo sites and provides technical support for faculty and students. Contact: benj@princeton.edu


 

People who made significant contributions to the project

Faculty

Monserrat Bores – Princeton University. Participation in audio recordings for listening exercises (2017-2018).

Carolina Chaves-O’Flynn – Princeton University. Participation in video recordings for listening exercises (2018).

Paloma Moscardó-Vallés – Princeton University. Participation in audio recordings for listening exercises (2018).

Brandon Waybright – George Fox University. Website design (2016).

 

Princeton University McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning

Daniel Claro – Technical support for audio recordings used in listening exercises (2017).
Janet Temos – Technical support, website reviewer (2016-2018).

 

Princeton University Broadcasting Center

Dave Hopkins – Technical support for video recordings used in audiovisual exercises (2018).
Daniel Quiyu – Technical support for audio and video recordings used in audiovisual exercises (2018).

 

Princeton University Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Students

Mauricio Acuña – Participation in audio recordings used in listening exercises (2017).
Luisa Barraza Caballero – Content editor (2017).
Ingrid Brioso Rieumont – Participation in audio recordings used in listening exercises (2017).
Verónica Carchedi – Content editor (2018).
Berta del Río Alcalá – Content editor (2018).
Miguel Domínguez – Participation in audio and video recordings used in listening exercises (2017, 2018).
Charles Hankin – Content editor (2017). Participation in video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).
Juan Diego Pérez – Content editor (2017).

 

Princeton University Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Joe Abbate – Grad. Plasma Physics – Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).

Patricia Beltrán-Cortez -’19. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).

Raphaella Hull – ’16. Website reviewer (2016).

Rita Keazer – ’20. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).

Chitra Kumar – ’19. Website reviewer (2016).
John Marshall – ’20. Website reviewer (2016).
Kelly McCabe – ’18. Website reviewer (2016).

Daniel Pallares Bello – ’20. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).

Edgar Preciado – ’18. Website reviewer (2016).

Kate Reed – ’19. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).
Daniel Shepard – ’19. Website reviewer (2016).

Giselle Uribe – ’20. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).
Danielle Victoriano – ’19. Website reviewer (2016).

Colin Yost – ’19. Video recordings used in listening exercises (2018).

 

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to the Office of the Dean of the College for awarding us the 250th Anniversary Fund for Innovation in Undergraduate Education, and to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese for their trust and continuous support.