Lee Hosts Foreign Language Scholar

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2022
  • Morgan Varner, Lee University
 Dr. Pilar Mendez-Rivera presents “Why Learn a Foreign Language?”
Dr. Pilar Mendez-Rivera presents “Why Learn a Foreign Language?”

Lee University’s Spanish program in the Language and Literature Department hosted Dr. Pilar Mendez-Rivera, professor of foreign language education from Colombia,  South America, to address Lee’s foreign language faculty and students.  

Dr. Mendez’s talk, “Why Learn a Foreign Language?” highlighted the benefits of multilingualism, provided psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics perspectives, and explored the language and culture interface for market competition.  

Dr. Mendez positioned herself as an English language learner and also introduced some other learners’ testimonies to bring to the surface struggles – but also lessons and gains – to work on their identities and be witnesses of the care for others as a practice that values difference as an opportunity to embrace solidarity, the quest for mutual comprehension, respect, and real sensitive-context communication. 

“I was blown away by Dr. Mendez's lecture,” said Peyton Laylock, senior Spanish major. “Her passion for languages was clear, and this encouraged me in my studies. I can see in my own life and in the lives of my peers the benefits of language learning which Dr. Mendez addressed. Her ‘openness to the other’ was clear, and I see this quality in Lee's foreign language programs.” 

Dr. Mendez holds a Doctor of Philosophy in education from Santo Tomás University and a postdoctorate research certificate in education from CENID, Mexico (Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones para el Desarrollo Docentea). She also received her master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Instituto Caro y Cuervo and her bachelor’s degree in education in modern languages from Universidad del Atlántico.  

Dr. Mendez is a full-time professor at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas in Bogotá, Colombia, specializing in English language teaching. She currently is a member of the Research Committee of the School of Education and studies teachers’ struggles, resistance practices, and subjectivity. 

She has shared her research and teaching experience in Mexico, Hawaii, United Kingdom, Lima, Colombia, and others. An avid writer, Dr. Mendez has written works distributed worldwide. She has 11 scholarly articles published, co-authored four books, and wrote two of her own. 

For more information about Lee’s foreign language and TESOL programs, visit www.leeuniversity.edu/academics/arts-sciences/lang-lit/



 

Dr. Mendez speaking to foreign language faculty and students in the Vest Building Lecture Hall
Dr. Mendez speaking to foreign language faculty and students in the Vest Building Lecture Hall
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