Spanish assistant professor publishes in online journal

Oct 15, 2012 | General News, Liberal Arts

Dr. Anne Reynolds-Case, a Louisiana Tech assistant professor of Spanish, has published an article in the online journal “Arizona Working Papers in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching.”
The article, titled “Exploring the Different Ways Spanish Instructors Use the Pronoun We in the Classroom,” examines various ways Spanish instructors use the first personal plural pronoun in the classroom.
“I did a study to find out what sort of language Spanish instructors use in the classroom,” Reynolds-Case said. “We use ‘we’ and talk about different groups of people.”
The findings reveal that instructors use the pronoun “we” to soften imperatives, to protect students’ image, to refer to themselves and their students, and to refer to themselves and an outside group of people.
“The way instructors use ‘we’ can create a stronger bond with students, or it can be used to distance themselves from students,” she said.
In analyzing the latter two uses of the pronoun “we,” Reynolds-Case compares them to the choice in Spanish between using second person “tú” and “usted” based on whether the speaker feels a connection or solidarity with the listeners.
“I think it will make teachers more aware of how they address students, but it is not meant to change anything,” she said.
Written by Austin Vining