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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 9, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Schwieter on SP200: Study Abroad (Spain)
Dr. Schwieter on SP200: Study Abroad (Spain)


Faculty of Arts

Dr. John Schwieter named 2012 Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar

Jan 9/12

Dr. John W. Schwieter, associate professor of Spanish and linguistics and undergraduate officer for Spanish in the Department of Languages and Literatures, has been named the 2012 Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar. This annual award honours a full-time faculty member who integrates explicitly and creatively the profession’s twin functions of scholarly research and teaching and who has made successful efforts to identify and develop the pedagogical means by which this integration can be especially well achieved.

Dr. Schwieter holds a BA in Spanish and MSEd in Bilingual/ESL Education (Western Illinois University) and a PhD in Spanish Language and Linguistics (Florida State University). Dedicated to a lifetime of learning and professional development, he is also a full-time MBA candidate (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire). His research interests include psycholinguistics, second language acquisition, bilingualism, and language teaching and learning. Since his hire in 2007, he has published one book and has three forthcoming books under contract. He has also published or has forthcoming 18 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and five book reviews. He has made 17 international conference presentations (along with 11 more under review and in preparation) and has visited over 40 countries. Dr. Michael Carroll, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, stated that Dr. Schwieter’s colleagues “praise him for his dedication as an instructor, his diligence as a scholar, and his generosity as a colleague. His students characterize him as inspiring, passionate, and approachable, and they emphasize his admirable patience whenever dealing with student problems and queries.”

As the director of the Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition Research Laboratory, Dr. Schwieter enjoys working with and training undergraduate and graduate research assistants. Many of these students subsequently pursue graduate studies in languages, linguistics, speech language pathology, or psychology. One research assistant stated, “facilitating linguistics experiments and collecting data has given me invaluable experience that will not only increase the probability of being accepted into a graduate program, but of being hired for further research in a related field later on.” Visit the Lab's website

He consistently receives excellent teaching evaluations, averaging 6.6 on the university’s 7.0-point scale and his curricular developments are extensive. One of these includes the creation of an annual study abroad course in which he leads students on an international immersion experience in a Spanish-speaking country. This very successful intensive course, SP200*: Study Abroad, has resulted in several new international partnerships in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Spain. More than 70 Laurier students have participated in the SP200* program. One student stated, “it was an amazing three weeks, it was the best choice I ever made and would love relive the wonderful moments again,” while another student reflected, “every single moment we as students spent learning together abroad taught us something about ourselves, which makes us better students, ready to be the leaders of tomorrow and inspire the lives of others.”  Visit the SP200* website

Other evidence of his teaching effectiveness is clear in his SP451: Stylistics and Professional Writing seminar in which he guides students through a developmental process of creating full-length professional and marketable magazines in Spanish. One student stated, “in all my years, this has been one of the best learning experiences; it’s great to see a professor who cares and is so involved with the students’ learning.” Samples of these magazines can be found on the SP451 website

For more information about the Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar Award can be found here.

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