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Martina Bex is the Founder of The Comprehensible Classroom, whose curricula and training materials have been helping language teachers implement proficiency-oriented, comprehension-based language programs with confidence since 2010. Martina is internationally recognized for her leadership and expertise in the world language teaching profession as a teacher trainer and curriculum developer. A Spanish teacher by trade with experience in public and private schools and at the university level, Martina balances her work for The Comprehensible Classroom with the needs of her five young children, for whom she is the full-time caregiver. Martina has been published in The Language Educator and presents regularly at state, regional and national conferences in addition to consulting with individual districts and organizations. In 2019 she launched the Garbanzo App, an interactive library of stories in Spanish designed specifically with language classes in mind.
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I try to find a balance between teaching and research.
I teach courses on German as a second language, intercultural communication, foreign/second language pedagogy and research methodology. My approach starts with the student assisting her or him understanding language in terms of concepts, ideas, customs and behaviors. As of 2016, we have a brand new language program offering a strong integration of language to culture, guiding the student to comfortably communicate with native speakers, providing exchange opportunities as well as the opportunity to take the A and B level exams of the Common European Framework that are necessary to work and study in the European Union.
In regards to graduate studies, I have worked with several students in the area of second/foreign language acquisition as either supervisor, second reader or external reader at the Master’s and Ph.D. level. If you are thinking about graduate studies at UVic and have an interest in second/foreign language acquisition, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Graduate courses, I have developed are ‘New Media in Second Language Acquisition,’ ‘Intercultural Communication and Foreign Language Acquisition’, as well as ‘Language, Memory, and Identity.”
Together with my colleague Dr. Catherine Caws, I founded the Digital Language Learning Lab. It was funded with help of a CFI grant. Research carried out in the lab focuses on the interaction of learners with technology.
In research, my long-term project is in the area of psycholinguistics pursuing the question of how words are processed into long-term memory when learning another language. For this project, large data sets are collected from hundreds of learners at the beginner’s level. The project was funded by SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada). The practical application lies in the development of an online vocabulary program.