Teo Valdés has been involved in language education for nearly fifteen years. He has taught Spanish in K-12 schools, universities, and language summer immersion camps. He has also taught English to speakers of other languages here in the US and abroad. Currently a doctoral student at American University, Teo’s dissertation focuses on the educational needs of heritage Spanish speakers. Thanks to the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, he was easily able to enroll in SPAN 502 Hispanic Sociolinguistics at Mason and have it count towards his degree at American .
“I needed to take an elective to fulfill the requirements of my EdD program and I got super excited when I saw that a Spanish sociolinguistics course was being offered at Mason. The course was exactly what I was looking for. I explored ideas related to the history of Spanish in the US and deepened my understanding of language ideologies that affect us and our students every day. It was also great to take a critical look at public policy and language education in the second half of the course!”
Teo originally only planned to take this one course at Mason to fulfill the elective requirement at AU, but he is now hoping to complete the Spanish Heritage Language Graduate Certificate at some time in the future.
After he finishes his doctorate in education, Teo intends to continue conducting research into the ways schools and universities can better meet the needs of heritage language learners. He plans to teach Spanish at the university level and would also like to be involved in licensure programs and professional development for world language teachers.