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Malinda Blair O'Leary. Associate Professor of Spanish
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University Hall 3121
(205) 996-4766

Research and Teaching Interests: Second Language Acquisition, Language Education, Languages for Specific Purposes

Office Hours: By appointment

  • BA, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • MA.Ed, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • PhD, The University of Alabama

From an early age I enjoyed friendships with many folks speaking many different languages. This experience led me to study languages and in particular Spanish. The process of language acquisition and the new perspectives glimpsed through the lens of other languages has always been fascinating to me; thus I made a career out of what I love. Though my degrees may indicate that I have never left the state of Alabama, as a student I studied abroad a number of times (La Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and La Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain) and as a professional I make regular travel a keen part of my efforts to continually enrich my teaching through experiences, relationships and resources from abroad.

Bringing the world to my classes of all levels is of utmost importance. Music, film, current events, and native speakers of Spanish from all over the world help bring the world to UAB. Beyond learning Spanish, it is my hope that the experience will help my students develop the ability to see multiple perspectives and get to know cultures beyond their own.

I thoroughly enjoy teaching the introductory and intermediate Spanish courses that give students their first experiences with the language learning process. In addition to these courses I have been offering Intermediate Spanish for the Professions and Business Spanish for the Spanish for Specific Purposes (SSP) Certificate Program. My classes tend to be blended formats of in-class discussion, online enrichment, and meaningful real-life contexts for applying the language. I have recently enjoyed re-developing my SSP courses into wholly online courses. Though the language learning experience may be different from face-to-face discussions in the classroom, it is my hope that students can see that world is still at their fingertips even if perched only at their personal computer.

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  • Recent Courses
    • SPA 101: Introductory Spanish I
    • SPA 102: Introductory Spanish II
    • SPA 201: Intermediate Spanish I
    • SPA 202: Intermediate Spanish II
    • SPA 206: Intermediate Spanish for the Professions (on campus & online formats)
    • SPA 210: Conversation and Culture
    • Quality Matters logo. SPA 313: Business Spanish (The QM logo recognizes that this course meets Quality Matters review standards.)
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies
    • Recipient, Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers 2010 Outstanding Teacher (Post-Secondary) Award
    • Vice President, The Alabama World Languages Association
    • Member, American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
    • Member, The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages