Mario Saborido Beltrán

Tutor in Spanish Language and Culture

Qualifications

PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. 2019 – 2024. Project title: Students' Language Beliefs and Attitudes towards Dialectal Varieties of European Spanish: The Case of Ceceo, Seseo and Distinción, supervised by Dr Carlos Soler Montes and Dr Iona Macintyre.

Project summary: This research project arises from the need to surface and understand attitudinal factors in teaching and learning Spanish as a foreign language. Its main aim is to analyse the language beliefs held by present-day university students in the United Kingdom towards European dialectal varieties of Spanish and the phonetic variation phenomena of ceceo, seseo and distinción of /s/ and /θ/ sounds. Focussing on affective and cognitive criteria, social status, and personal characteristics, this study has adapted the methodology primarily developed in the Project for the study of beliefs and attitudes towards the varieties of Spanish in the XXI century (PRECAVES-XXI) (2013). The results that I present build upon PRECAVES-XXI to reveal problematic language ideologies and discriminatory attitudes towards some European varieties and certain associated linguistic phenomena. Finally, I conclude with a reflection on the impact that this research project may have on the teaching and learning of Spanish, both within the context of UK Higher Education and internationally.

MScR in Applied Linguistics in teaching Spanish as a foreign language at the Antonio de Nebrija University (Spain). 2016 – 2018. Final dissertation: El acto de habla de disculpa en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de ELE: una unidad didáctica en línea, supervised by Dr Carlos Soler Montes.

  • Visiting postgraduate research visit at the University of Edinburgh. January – March 2018. Research period on the acquisition of the speech act of apologising in Spanish as a foreign language.

Undergraduate degree in English Studies at the University of Granada (Spain). 2012 – 2016. Year abroad: University of East Anglia. 2014 – 2015. Final dissertation: A Corpus-Based Study of Compound Words in General English and in Official EU Documents, supervised by Dr Jesús Fernández Domínguez.

Accreditation courses for DELE examiners at Instituto Cervantes. Mario is an examiner for the DELE official Spanish exams (all levels).

  • DELE examiner at the University of Strathclyde. November 2019, 2021 and 2023.

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Reviewer, Association for the Teaching of Spanish in Higher Education in the United Kingdom (ELEUK).
  • External reviewer, Revista Internacional de Lenguas Extranjeras (RILE) / International Journal of Foreign Languages.

Undergraduate teaching

Tutor in Spanish Language and Culture at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, the University of Edinburgh, 2018 – Present.

Academic year 2023/2024:

Semester 1

  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; written and spoken language.
  • Spanish Language 2: written and spoken language.
  • Spanish Year Abroad online language learning course.
  • Oral for Spanish.

Semester 2

  • Spanish 1A: history, literature and culture seminars; and spoken language.
  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; written and spoken language.
  • Spanish Language 2: written and spoken language.
  • Spanish Year Abroad online language learning course.

Academic year 2022/2023

  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; and spoken language.

Academic year 2021/2022:

  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; written and spoken language.
  • Spanish Year Abroad online language learning course.

Academic year 2020/2021:

  • Spanish 1A: history, literature and culture seminars.
  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; written and spoken language.

Academic year 2019/2020:

  • Foundation Spanish language 1.
  • Spanish 1B: history, literature and culture seminars; and written language.

Academic year 2018/2019:

  • Foundation Spanish language 2 and 3.
  • Spanish 1B: written language.

Other teaching responsibilities:

Tutor of “Geographies of Spanish: Linguistic and Cultural Variation in the Hispanic World” at Instituto Cervantes, April – May 2022. This explores diverse varieties of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures. The main differences and similarities of the Hispanic culture is deepened in order to better understand the origin of our traditions and thus establish points of convergence on both sides of the Atlantic. https://gestionportales.cervantes.es/formacen/FichaIC.aspx?CodCurso=1668

Lecturer of Spanish at the Modern Language Centre, King's College London, October 2021 – June 2023.

  • Short courses. Spanish language: Level 1, 2 and 3.

Tutor in Spanish at Instituto Cervantes London (all levels), April 2021 – November 2022.

Tutor of “Geographies of Spanish: Linguistic and Cultural Variation in the Hispanic World” at Instituto Cervantes, May – June 2020. https://cfp.cervantes.es/actividades_formativas/cursos/cursos_cervantes/CFP542-20.htm

Tutor in Spanish at the University of Granada (Spain), November 2019. 

Undergraduate teaching (Erasmus+ programme). 

  • Language A level 3 (Spanish). BA in Translation and Interpreting.
  •  Andalusian Spanish. BA in Hispanic Studies.

Tutor in Spanish (Adult Education Programme) at the City of Edinburgh Council, September 2019 – August 2020. His major tasks include planning, preparing, delivering and evaluating adult education courses, supporting learners to develop their knowledge and skills in Spanish.

Tutor in Spanish at JESIE-Instituto Nebrija (Nanjing, China), March – June 2017.

Tutor in Spanish at Collège Marseilleveyre (Marseille, France), January – March 2017.

Spanish language assistant at the University of East Anglia, 2014 – 2015.

 

Current research interests

Mario’s research interests encompass various topics within the fields of Spanish language and Hispanic linguistics, such as phonetics and phonology, sociolinguistics, dialectology, pragmatics, the history of language and Spanish language teaching.

Project activity

The Edinburgh Spanish Learner Corpus. Data-driven language learning and teaching, supported by the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML). Academic year 2020/2021 - Present: The aim of this project is to promote and encourage language learning by facilitating transition between secondary and HE, and between the various university Spanish language courses, stages (Prehonours, Honours, Year Abroad, Final oral exams) and programmes. For that, we will develop an audio-visual language learner corpus with 20 short videos of students to illustrate 10 proficiency levels in Spanish: A1/A1+, A2/A2+, B1/B1+, B2/B2+, C1 and C2. The corpus will be available through an open access website and will include two videos per level in Spanish, transcriptions, descriptors, and transition pathways to and between the university programmes. This data-driven project will enhance student experience, and support widening participation, by illustrating progression in language learning, helping students to measure themselves against standardised reference samples, gain confidence and motivation to continue learning and engage in international mobility. It will also be useful to teachers and programmes administrators.

DELC e-learning project. Academic year 2018/2019 - Present: Participation in the DELC e-learning project with Dr Emmanuelle Lacore-Martin and Dr Carlos Soler Montes. Mario is responsible for migrating all Learn tests for DELC; marking online activities of Spanish 1B, Spanish language 2 and the final essays of the Year Abroad online Spanish language learning course; and working as an instructional designer.

 

Conference details

Congreso internacional Investigando las hablas andaluzas. Participation in the 3rd Congreso internacional Investigando las hablas andaluzas at the University of Eichstätt (Germany), from the 11th to 12th October 2024. Presentation title: Percepciones y creencias de estudiantes universitarios de ELE británicos sobre el español hablado en Andalucía: el caso del ceceo. 

Congreso ASELE 2023. Participation in the 33º Congreso Internacional de la Asociación para la Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera at the University of Burgos, from the 29th August to 2nd September 2023. Presentation title: Prejuicio lingüístico y jerarquías dialectales del español europeo: datos de aprendientes de ELE en contextos anglófonos. 

ELEUK 2023 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching. Participation in the ELEUK 2023 Conference at the University of Leeds, from the 22nd to 23rd June 2023. Presentation title: Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas por parte de hablantes no nativos de español en el contexto educativo del Reino Unido.

Hispanic? Sociolinguistics at a Crossroads. Participation in the 10th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics and 8th Biennial Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society at the University of Liverpool, from the 8th to 9th June 2023. Presentation title: Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas de estudiantes universitarios de ELE británicos hacia las variedades europeas de la lengua española.

24th Association of University Language Communities in the UK and Ireland (AULC) Annual Conference 2023. Languages for All in Higher Education: Inclusion, Diversity, and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning, from the 27th to 28th April 2023. Presentation title: Students' Language Beliefs and Attitudes at The University of Edinburgh: The Case of the Dialectal Varieties of European Spanish. 

AHGBI 68th Annual Conference 2023 at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, from the 17th to 18th and 21st April 2023. Presentation title: Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas hacia las variedades del español de España: perspectivas de estudiantes de ELE anglófonos.

AHGBI 67th Annual Conference 2022 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), School of Advanced Study, University of London, from the 11th to 13th April 2022. Presentation title: Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas en la clase universitaria de ELE en el Reino Unido.

ELEUK 2021 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching. Participation in the online ELEUK 2021 Conference, from the 9th to 11th June 2021. Presentation title: Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas de estudiantes universitarios de ELE en Reino Unido hacia las variedades dialectales del español europeo: ceceo, seseo y distinción.

Visions of Contemporary Spain: An inter-disciplinary Postgraduate & ECR Symposium at Cardiff University, from the 21st to 22nd January 2021. Presentation title: A Study of Ceceo Variation in The Endless Trench (2019).

Transnational Perspectives on the Study of Spanish in Society. Participation in the 9th International Conference of Hispanic Linguistics and 7th Biennial Meeting of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society at the University of Edinburgh, from the 5th to 6th September 2019. Presentation title: Los límites del ceceo en España y Latinoamérica.

ELEUK 2019 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching. Participation in the ELEUK 2019 Conference at the University of Edinburgh, from the 13th to 14th June 2019. Presentation title: El acto de habla de disculpa en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de ELE: una unidad didáctica en línea.

Publications:

Saborido Beltrán, M. (2024). Actitudes lingüísticas en el ámbito de la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de la variación. In Soler Montes, Carlos; Herrera Jiménez, Francisco José (Eds), Variación lingüística en el aula de español: La diversidad de la lengua. Barcelona: Difusión.

Saborido Beltrán, M. (2022). Creencias y actitudes lingüísticas de estudiantes universitarios de ELE en Reino Unido hacia las variedades dialectales del español europeo: ceceo, seseo y distinción. In Soler Montes, Carlos; Díaz-Bravo, Rocío; Colomer i Domínguez, Vicens (Eds), Avances investigadores y pedagógicos sobre la enseñanza del español: aportes desde el contexto universitario británico (pp. 109-128). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2022.58.1402

Saborido Beltrán, M. (2020). El acto de habla de disculpa en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de ELE: una unidad didáctica en línea. In Lallana, Amparo; Hernández Martín, Lourdes; Fuertes Gutiérrez, Mara (Eds), Five years of ELEUK conferences: a selection of short papers from 2019 (pp. 41-51). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2020.41.1074

Conference Organiser:

34º Congreso Internacional de la Asociación para la Enseñanza del Español como Lengua Extranjera (ASELE) at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, the University of Edinburgh, from the 16th to 20th July 2024. 

International Conference on Tense, Aspect and Modality in L2 (TAML2) at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, the University of Edinburgh, from the 27th to 28th October 2023.

ELEUK 2021 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching.

Transnational Perspectives on the Study of Spanish in Society.

ELEUK 2019 Conference: Research and Practice in Spanish Language Teaching.

Seminar Organiser:

DELC Research Seminar Series 2019-20: Regional Languages beyond the Iberian Peninsula.

Webinars:

ProfedeELE. Participation in an online webinar on the 23rd May 2024. Title: La variación lingüística y sus aplicaciones a la enseñanza de ELE. https://mas.profedeele.es/formacion-la-variacion-linguistica-y-sus-aplicaciones-a-la-ensenanza-de-ele-por-mario-saborido

Press:

Saborido Beltrán, Mario. (2020). El ceceo llega a Edimburgo. Diario de Jerez. https://www.diariodejerez.es/jerez/valor-ceceo_0_1483052149.html

Grants:

AHGBI PGR Conference Award (2022-23): Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland.

AHGBI Conference Award for Postgrads and Early-Career Academics (2022-23): Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland.

AHGBI Conference Award for Postgrads and Early-Career Academics (2021-22): Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland.

HISPANEX Grant (2021): Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte. Gobierno de España funded his PhD project on linguistic beliefs and attitudes towards the dialectal varieties of peninsular Spanish.

SRUK/CERU Travel Grant 2020: Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom.

AHGBI Conference Award for Graduate Students (2019-20): Association of Hispanists of Great Britain & Ireland.