Sara Finney

Sara  Finney

PhD


Biography

Sara Finney was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. After studying abroad in Spain, living in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico for almost two years, and working in both the private and non-profit sectors, she went on to complete a Master of Arts in Romance Languages with an emphasis in Spanish at the University of Alabama. Sara is currently in her final year of the doctoral program in romance languages focusing on Spanish applied linguistics. She is working on completing her dissertation, which centers on providing learners with an immersion experience inside the intermediate classroom through participation in a competitive role-immersion simulation. This content-based pedagogy prompts learners to grapple with moral, economic, and political dilemmas in Spanish through the lens of alternate cultural identities.

Education

MA, Romance Languages, The University of Alabama

BS, Computer Information Systems and International Relations, Indiana University

TEFL Certificate, International Teacher Training Organization, Guadalajara, México

Presentations

Finney, S. (2018). Bringing community to the classroom: Transforming learners through empathy. Paper submitted for presentation at the annual Alabama World Languages Conference (AWLA), Mobile, AL

Finney, S. (2017). Cultural immersion in the intermediate classroom: Closing the language-content gap. Paper presented at the annual American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), Chicago, IL.

Finney, S. (2017). Embodied global simulations: An instructional model for a post-modern era.  Paper presented at the annual University of Alabama Language Conference (UALC), Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2017). Adapting to a globalized educational landscape: Preparing educators, preparing learners. Paper presented at the annual Tenth International Conference on Language Teacher Education, Los Angeles, CA.

Finney S. (2016). Deep learning through role-immersion: A complexity theory perspective. Paper presented at the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Orlando, FL.

Finney S. (2016). Igniting learner imagination with cultural characters. Paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), Charlotte, NC.

Finney S. (2016). Discovering and uncovering: Using strategic cultural games to promote learner engagement. Paper presented at the Alabama World Languages Conference (AWLA), Troy, AL.

Finney, S. (2015). Bringing culture to life: Role-immersion games in the Spanish classroom. Paper presented at the annual American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Convention (ACTFL), San Diego, CA.

Finney, S. (2015). How do I win? Creating autonomous learning environments using role-playing pedagogy. Paper presented at the annual Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Atlanta, GA.

Finney, S. (2015). The Effects of Globalization on the Teaching and Learning of English. Paper presented at the annual Fourth International Congress of English Teachers, Bogotá, Colombia.

Finney, S. (2015). Game-based pedagogy: Re-conceptualizing foreign language learning. Paper presented at the annual University of Alabama Language Conference (UALC), Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2014). What factors influence students’ decisions to continue studying a foreign language: An analysis of student motivation to study Spanish past the minimum requirement. Paper presented at the annual University of Alabama Language Conference (UALC), Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2014). Teacher factors affecting students’ attitudes toward the Spanish-language classroom. Paper presented at the annual Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL), Myrtle Beach, SC.

Finney, S. (2014). Introduction to ANOVA statistical models. Invited Lecturer – Quantitative Methods in Spanish Linguistics Graduate Seminar, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2012). Task-based instruction and its effects on vocabulary retention. Paper presented at the annual University of Alabama Language Conference (UALC), Tuscaloosa, AL.

Teaching Interests

SP 101 – Introductory Spanish I

SP 101 – Introductory Spanish I Online

SP 102 – Introductory Spanish II

SP 102 – Introductory Spanish II Online

SP 103 – Intensive Review Intro Spanish

SP 201 – Intermediate Spanish I

SP 202 – Intermediate Spanish II

SP 353 – Spanish Conversation

Research Interests

Experiential learning, content-based learning, empathy, learner agency, role-immersion, role-play, global simulations