Spanish professor earns master's degree

Kristin McDonald, an instructor in Spanish at Northwestern College, has completed a Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages (MATL) degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In lieu of a thesis, McDonald completed a professional portfolio documenting her proficiency in language teaching in regards to the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium standards. These core teaching standards outline the common principles and foundations of teaching practice that cut across all subject areas and grade levels to improve student achievement.

McDonald’s portfolio included work completed throughout her three-and–a-half years in the MATL program in the areas of linguistics, sociolinguistics, Spanish grammar, literature and film.

“The MATL program put a great deal of emphasis on the creation of curricula that we could directly implement into our own teaching,” says McDonald. “It allowed me to reflect on my years of teaching, consider my current teaching methods and challenge myself to assess how students learn language, tweaking my teaching methods to coincide with the ways students learn best.”

Prior to joining Northwestern’s faculty in 2005, McDonald taught Spanish at both the high school and college levels. She has studied in both Spain and Mexico, participated in short-term mission trips to Latin America, and serves as the faculty adviser for the student-led Spanish chapels that are held twice a month. She previously earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University and a bachelor’s degree at Central College.