22 March, 2021
One of the great virtues of the implementation of digital media for education is to be able to simultaneously connect distant geographical areas, even when they do not share the same language. Such was the case of the collaboration that the Center for Mexican Studies UNAM-United Kingdom had the pleasure of facilitating between the Faculty of Higher Studies of Acatlán, through its English Teaching programme and the Metropolitan University of Manchester. The dynamic of these sessions consisted of presentations by academics from both entities followed by a question and answer section.
In the first of the three sessions, we had Verónica Martínez Sánchez, pedagogue, designer and online tutor from FES Acatlán. She explained the advantages of the implementation of what she called inverted classroom, which is a tool that emerged to address the current health emergency. An inverted classroom, explained Verónica Martínez, consists of virtual classes for students. While the customary classroom format through Zoom turned out to be exhausting and chaotic for students after a while, Google Classroom served as a better tool for implementing remote teaching methods. This tool allowed for interactive presentations. However, the teaching format also used Zoom to answer questions and individual or collaborative activities as well as extracurricular activities of a socio-emotional nature. These tools have shown benefits that can be continued even after the pandemic is over.
This reinforces the importance of implementing inverted classrooms, which refer to doing at home what is traditionally done in class and vice versa. This has to be done with the purpose of benefiting from the fact that the contents are presented in various forms and media, attending to different modes of student learning. They also allow giving a more personalized advice and thus, class time is used to clarify doubts. Under this model, the teacher’s role is to diagnose students’ difficulties and offer solutions, and then the student becomes responsible for her own learning.
To continue this fruitful exchange of ideas, Dr. Carmen Herrera, from Manchester Metropolitan University, who is a member of the Film and language association and director of the Film languages and media in Education research group, shared a presentation on the use of filmographic resources within the classroom of language learning. Herrera explained the advantages that the implementation of these media gives us, such as the control it provides to teachers, the creativity that it stimulates in students, and the possibility of creating didactic material due to the multimodal nature of films.
In the second session, which took place on March 24, Mariana Velázquez Nava (FES Acatlán) addressed the issue of Translation and Apostille: Its importance in international documents. This presentation provided a broad overview and advice regarding the importance of translating legal documents. On the other hand, Karl McLaughlin, professor at Manchester Metropolitan University, gave a conference on the translation of news and the media. In his presentation, McLaughlin addressed the cultural, stylistic and convention differences that a translator faces when his work is carried out in different countries and languages.
To conclude, the last session had as its central axis the theme of Nahuatl as a vehicle for evangelization during the colonization period. Dr. María Del Pilar Isabel Máynez Vidal, from FES Acatlán, explored the centrality that the translation of a vast diversity of material had for the conversion of the local population to Christianity by the Spanish. In the case of Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr. Rob Drummond spoke to us about the intrinsic relationship that exists between language and identity. In this way, the three days of exchange strengthened an international experience and contributed to the training of students for a global context. This experience turned out to be very valuable and both parties, FES Acatlán in Mexico and Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, made use of these new tools that have been extremely valuable since the beginning of the health emergency and that undoubtedly have come to stay.