María Fernández-Toro is Director of Languages and Senior Lecturer in Spanish at the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics. She joined the Open University in April 2007 after seventeen years as a lecturer in Spanish at Newcastle University, where she co-ordinated a university-wide programme offering French, Spanish and German modules for non-language degrees.
Since joining the Open University, she has worked on the development of several OU Spanish courses, contributing as an author to a number of OU Spanish course books, AV materials and and e-learning resources. More recently she was in charge of the production team for the core introductory module L161 Exploring languages and cultures and is now chairing the module's first presentation. She also authored the Hairy Bikers OpenLearn resource on Intercultural Communication, in collaboration with the Open Media Unit and the BBC.
Her main research interests are assessment and feedback in language learning, independent learning and learner motivation. More recently María has been exploring new research directions in intercultural studies with special attention to multilingual singing. Her publications include the book D.I.Y Techniques for Language learners (London: CILT, 2001; with F.R. Jones), which also illustrates her own approach to teaching and learning.
María Fernández-Toro has research interests in two main areas:
Maria was Project Director for the e-Feedback Evaluation Project (eFeP), an evaluation of spoken and written e-feedback on language assignments. This project was externally funded as part of the JISC Assessment and Feedback Programme. Her paper entitled Eliciting students’ voices through screencast assisted ‘feedback on feedback’, which was one of the outputs for this project received the EDEN 2013 Best Research Paper Award.
Following her work in the design and production of the new module L161 Exploring languages and cultures, Maria was also engaged in an internal scholarship project to evaluate and promote the integration of employability skills in the Languages curriculum. As a member of the MAGICC project team, her contribution focused on developing and evaluating self-assessment resources for intercultural competencies and skills in academic and professional contexts.
She is currently developing a new research strand in intercultural studies that focuses on the relationship between multilingual singing and translanguaging, intercultural competence and intercultural citizenship..
As Director of Languages, María leads the French, Spanish and German teams for Diploma, BA, and MA level qualifications. She has been working in British Universities since 1989 and has taught French and Spanish at all levels, both as a core degree subject and as an optional module.
She was Module Team Chair during the production of the core introductory module L161 Exploring languages and cultures, to which she also contributed as an author and block coordinator. María is currently chairing the module in its second presentation.
As a member of the Spanish team, she also wrote and coordinated several units for the Spanish module L314 A Buen Puerto when this module was revised for the 2012 online edition, and contributed to the production team for the e-leaning editions of L204 Viento en Popa and L194 Portales.
In 2012 she produced an OpenLearn resource on Intercultural Communication, consisting of a collection of online multimedia articles based on the BBC Hairy Bikers series Bakeation.
She is currently a research supervisor for EdD and PhD students and is willing to consider postgraduate research proposals in any of her research areas, including assessment and feedback, distance and self-directed learning, language learning, language and music, and intercultural competence.
|Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)||Centre||Faculty of Education and Language Studies|