"We're All In!" An Interactive Storyboard of Student Engagement Principles, Experiences and Pathways

When and Where

Friday, March 04, 2022 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Online, Zoom


Brianne Orr Álvarez


In collaboration with CASTAD 2022, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese is pleased to present the keynote lecture for this year's conference, titled "We're All In!" An Interactive Storyboard of Student Engagement Principles, Experiences and Pathways", by Dr. Brianne Orr Álvarez.

About the Presentation
Student engagement and intellectual development are the cornerstones to student and instructor motivation, effectiveness, and ultimately excellence at all levels of the university curriculum, and in any teaching and learning context. Nevertheless, many of us struggle to envision and implement student-centered teaching and learning strategies, particularly as we move toward the uncertainty of university-level language instruction in a post-pandemic era. This talk will engage the audience in a three-part exercise of defining, experiencing, and enhancing student engagement pathways across the Spanish curriculum, culminating in a collaborative reflection on what happens when students partner with instructors to directly shape the teaching and learning experience from beginner Spanish language to more advanced literature and culture courses, to extracurricular opportunities.

About the Presenter
Brianne Orr Álvarez is Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies (FHIS), Director of the Spanish Language Program and founding Director of the FHIS Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia. In her different capacities, Dr. Orr aims to enhance the undergraduate learning experience through curriculum design and renewal, peer-peer extracurricular language support and development, and projects that build the foundations for intercultural competence in and for additional language and bilingual learners.

Brianne’s role in the FHIS Department focuses on undergraduate student engagement and intellectual growth in and outside of the classroom.  She teaches across the undergraduate Spanish language curriculum and coordinates Beginner’s Spanish I & II (Spanish 101 and 102), which positions her to work directly with students during their first year at UBC and to see them through the Spanish major and minor programs.  Brianne also teaches literature and culture classes in Spanish and in English (i.e., Spanish 280) that grapple with different aspects of the Hispanic context, with a particular focus on Latin American resistance literature.  This course also introduces a new way of conceiving of “student engagement” in the classroom through a student-led activity called “The Assembly.”

Beyond FHIS, Brianne has also taught in the Arts One Program, a theme-based pre-disciplinary writing-intensive program for first year students, and she is a Faculty Fellow for Jump Start, UBC’s orientation program for incoming first-year students.

Brianne is the Director of the Spanish Language Program and founding Director of the FHIS Learning Centre. The Centre, established in 2015, offers students enrolled in FHIS courses the opportunity to work closely with volunteer peer tutors on core language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), and communicative and (inter)cultural competencies, in a safe and encouraging learning environment.  In addition to these roles, Brianne chairs the TA Training and Mentorship Program.  In this capacity, she has designed a dynamic program and corresponding commendation, focused on essential TA skills for additional language and literature classrooms, professional development and leadership opportunities, and peer mentorship.

Contact Information


Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Canadian Spanish Teaching Assistant Dialogues (CASTAD)