October 21, 2016
This weeks Alumni Spotlight is dedicated to Aaron Salinger, an 09' MA Spanish Graduate. Aaron has just received tenure as a Spanish Professor at Mt. San Antonio College in California. From what he learned at UNM, Aaron has accentuated the need for a placement program at Mt. San Antonio after teaching all levels of second language Spanish as well as Spanish as a Heritage Language. Currently, he and colleagues have spent the last few semesters trying to implement a digital survey similar to Dr. Damián Wilson's placement evaluation. He conveys the need to place students in the proper program and says "It is important for heritage learning students to be in classes that teach language and culture from their perspective." He adds that by separating the different groups of Spanish learning students, both groups benefit. Second Language students would benefit from being in a class where they are allowed to learn at their own pace while the Heritage learners use knowledge they already know as a base for additional learning. Although the placement survey is still being modified, it is a substantial step towards creating Spanish programs that can accommodate the various Spanish learning students need. Congratulations on your many accomplishments and the ones yet to come, Aaron!