Robert Davis

Romance Languages | 541-346-0956

Courses: SPAN 238, 324, 424 

In my courses you will: 

  • Make connections to lived experiences and real-world challenges.  
  • Learn with and from peers.  
  • Interact during exciting, participatory class meetings.  
  • Develop a significant project that will challenge you and make you proud.  
  • Understand what it means to be at a research university with the chance to gain new knowledge.  
  • Explore new perspectives.   

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because:

  • I am a Williams Fellow.  

In what ways are you working to make your teaching inclusive? 

I strive to personalize course material so that students can see the connections between research disciplines and their own experience. My classes include extensive pair and group work so that students can form a learning community. 

What do you do in terms of professional engagement with the teaching and learning culture on campus or nationally? 

My research focuses on second and heritage language learning, with an emphasis on interculturality and cross-cultural communication. I have attended numerous workshops and given many presentations on these topics. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is to help other teachers learn how to engage with their students, and I constantly learn new perspectives myself from colleagues and students. 

In what ways was your teaching in this course research-led—informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission?

My courses on topics of Hispanic linguistics are based on the most recent research in language and culture learning, which points out the importance of learners’ agency and identity in the learning process. I specifically address students’ metacognitive growth by including reflections on their developmental process. 

Who or what led you to your academic discipline?  

I was fortunate to receive a scholarship for study abroad when I was an undergraduate, and it changed my life. I've spent my entire career studying Iberian languages and getting to know its peoples and cultures. The generosity that allowed me to find this path inspires me constantly to seek out opportunities for my students; I try to do whatever I can to open doors for them.  

What is your proudest professional achievement? 

My proudest professional achievement is the design and creation of an immersion program for learning Spanish language and cultures. The key was recruiting the best and most passionate teachers I could find and giving them the freedom to exercise their talents. We were all on the same page in terms of doing whatever we could to give the students the best possible experience, and it was magic.  

What's your favorite TED Talk? 

My favorite TED talks are those by Brené Brown, on the topic of vulnerability. She inspires me to be an authentic human being while carrying out my professional role as professor and teacher trainer.