Carmen Álvarez-Mayo

Lecturer in Spanish, University of York

Carmen is a linguist, a philologist and an experienced Spanish language teacher, who has taught a great variety of courses covering a wide ability range of students, from complete beginners to advanced level (C2). She is a qualified teacher of both Spanish and English as a foreign language with over 20 years of teaching experience.

During the 2013/14 academic year Carmen designed, developed and coordinated TANGO (Themed Autonomous Navigation Global Opus), a long distance collaborative e-learning project. TANGO was piloted between February and May 2014. Using TANGO our students in York practised and learnt Spanish while they discovered Asturias, the Spanish Northern region where Carmen is from, learning about its main cities and their traditions, were introduced to Spanish political geography, learnt about Spanish food, pop and alternative music, hobbies, art, film, literature and festivals, etc. Similarly, in return, students at the University of Oviedo (Asturias) discovered Yorkshire and its cities, British political geography, traditions, etc. Students in both countries following the themes presented in each task, studied and researched a variety of topics, as well as being exposed to new vocabulary and expressions. They discussed what they had discovered with their partners and shared opinions and experiences. Furthermore, they helped one another clarifying any issues they encountered in a student led learning partnership.

The following academic year, 2014/15 Carmen presented TANGO at the Area 8 MFL Conference 2015, celebrated in Ampleforth College on 6th of March 2015; at the Languages in the Globalised World (LGW) Conference, an international conference celebrated at Leeds Beckett University on 27th-28th May; at the Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University (#InnoConf15) Conference: Enhancing Participation and Collaboration, which took place at the University of Nottingham (University Park Campus) on 19th June; and, at EDULEARN15, the 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, celebrated in Barcelona on 6th-8th July 2015.

With the support of her Department, Carmen brought to the University of York the 6th Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University (#InnoConf16): Enhancing Employability, which she co-organised with a colleague and was held at the UoY Exhibition Centre in June 2016, promoting language learning and fostering innovation and the dissemination of good practice. From August 2016, in collaboration with two other HE language professionals, Angela Gallagher-Brett, the Head of Learning and Teaching Development at SOAS and Franck Michel, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, Carmen led the production of a peer-reviewed volume that includes a selection of papers from the InnoConf16 and was published in May 2017.

Carmen worked at Instituto Cervantes during seven years where she taught over 4,500 hours. In 2005 she was part of the Manchester Instituto Cervantes team who worked side by side with every other Instituto Cervantes around the world in order to adapt the complete academic curriculum of the Spanish Institution to the European Language Portfolio (ELP) levels. She has also played a key role in the design and development of the Spanish Programme for the University of York Language and Linguistic Science department. As a voice over actor she has collaborated with various British organisations, such as: Greenwich Observatory, the National Portrait Gallery and St Martin’s-in-the-Fields. She has been recording Spanish AQA exams since 1999; and, has a wide and varied experience in translation.

Carmen’s academic background and her ample experience both as a learner and a teacher of foreign languages have given her a sound understanding of the learning process. In 2004 she studied an online course at the Universidad de La Rioja, as well as completing the Instituto Cervantes’s AVE course qualifying her as a distance learning Spanish tutor. This, her experience as a web and graphic designer, and her creative mind have influenced her to cultivate an interest in the design and development of teaching materials in digital formats (e-portfolio: https://padlet.com/carmen_alvarez1/mayo). She has been actively involved in the use, development and promotion of the Yorkshare VLE since 2008, is a member of the University of York Learning and Teaching Forum Committe, a Certified Member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and an approved UNILANG External Examiner.

She is an inquisitive person with vast eclectic interests and tastes, and a thirst for knowledge. Carmen completed her PhD dissertation in Spanish Literature and Non-Verbal Communication in 1998, a field which has come into its own within academic fields in the new millennium.

Carmen is a socially aware woman, committed to striving for improvement at every level both professionally and personally and is a member of the UoY Language and Linguistics department Athena Swan committee. She supports Sands, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan charities. She is a spirited sportswoman, was a volunteer in the 2012 London Olympics, and has a keen interest in music, literature, art and film.

Experience

  • –present
    Associate Lecturer in Spanish, University of York