I am writing to recommend Magdalena Baranowska, a highly qualified Spanish language instructor who is currently a Visiting Teaching Associate (from Salamanca, Spain) in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Brown University. I have served as Magda’s supervisor in Intermediate Spanish II and observed one of her Spanish language classes. I am also supervising Magda in her work as a writing tutor for our introductory Spanish and Latin American literature courses this semester. I have worked closely with Magda throughout the current academic year and feel confident in my assessment of her strengths and abilities.
Magda prepares her language classes carefully and readily communicates her enthusiasm for all aspects of Hispanic culture. She typically prepares a logical sequence of activities designed to promote and develop communication skills in Spanish while maintaining student interest and involvement. Never content to simply follow a text or a prescribed curriculum, Magda works to achieve a balance of grammar review, skills development, and class discussion. For the class that I observed, Magda prepared a power-point with several activities to guide her students’ discussion of the film Diarios de moto, scaffolding the exercises carefully in order to include vocabulary review, structured and less structured preterite/imperfect review, and finally more open-ended activities for which students were required to fill in information gaps and negotiate meaning. Students were lively and fully engaged throughout the 80-minute class period.
Student evaluations of Magda’s classes give testimony to her talent and dedication, making allusions to her ability to establish a productive and comfortable classroom dynamic and provide all students with the support they need. For her work as a writing tutor and consultant, Magda has provided students with careful written guidelines and she has established a modus operandi that works smoothly and efficiently for over 40 students who meet with her regularly to review their essay drafts. She has been an invaluable asset for our advanced level Spanish students, helping them to structure and support their written arguments and to become aware of grammatical issues that impede their ability to communicate clearly.
I know Magdalena Baranowska as a pleasant, hard-working, and responsible young woman who now understands and comfortably navigates the U.S. educational system. Magda will be an asset to any department or program fortunate enough to hire her, and I am pleased to offer my enthusiastic recommendation.