Juan Carlos Rocha Osornio

Juan Carlos Rocha Osornio

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Teaching Stream

Department of Spanish & Portuguese

“I have been incorporating community-engaged learning to my Spanish as a Foreign Language courses since 2017. I first started doing this to an already existing course (Advanced Spanish, SPA320Y), in order to have my students practice their language skills in a meaningful way with members of the Spanish-speaking community of Toronto. Since then, more than 60 students have had the opportunity to meet and interact with native speakers while collaborating in exciting projects such as the organization of a film festival through the Consulate of Argentina, the making of artisanal chocolate through ChocoSol Traders, a Toronto-based social enterprise; Collective 65, a non-profit photography and art school in Toronto for seniors; and Latin@s en Toronto, a non-profit organization focused on social justice, sustainable development and the enhancement of human rights. After seeing how successful community-engaged learning was for learning Spanish, I decided to create a specific course titled Advanced Spanish Through Community-Engaged Learning (SPA120Y) in 2019, which again proved to be beneficial to my students. Overall, both courses have helped me delve deeply into experiential learning to offer the best language-learning experience while contributing to further developing strong ties with the community.”

Juan Carlos Rocha Osornio

SPA120Y: Accelerated Spanish Through Community-Engaged Learning

This course is a combination of SPA100Y1 and SPA220Y1. It is designed for students with prior knowledge of Spanish, but whose level is not appropriate to enroll in SPA220Y1. The focus is on the fundamentals of Spanish grammar and cultural understanding through community-engaged learning. CEL will be achieved by partnering students with local community organizations whose focus is on the Spanish-speaking population of Toronto and the GTA, thus supporting and encouraging the practice of Spanish for real-world purposes. Course activities will integrate a holistic communicative and action-oriented approach ranging from listening and reading comprehension, oral expression, and development of writing skills. In the first weeks, we will review the basics of Spanish for beginners (A1-A2), and then we will get into more complex grammatical structures and acquisition of vocabulary at the A2 and B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Students who successfully complete this course are eligible to continue their studies of Spanish at the advanced level (SPA320Y1).

SPA320Y: Advanced Spanish

This course of Spanish as a Foreign Language is designed for students who have successfully completed a second-level university course (SPA 120Y, SPA220Y, or equivalent). The goal of SPA 320Y is to improve students’ oral and written proficiency in Spanish, with an emphasis on vocabulary, cultural acquisition, and grammar control. The course combines lecture classes and tutorials. It thus seeks to develop further students’ communication skills through exposure to a wide variety of styles and registers in Spanish. Students will review complex aspects of Spanish grammar, expand their vocabulary, and increase their reading, written, listening, and oral proficiency. Tutorial sessions will support vocabulary practice and emphasize oral and written expression and listening skills based on the reading of authentic literary and journalistic texts and watching videos. All classes will be conducted in Spanish.