Xavier Llovet Vilà

Xavier Llovet Vilà
Lecturer Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
  • Address
    Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
    Columbia University
    409 Casa Hispánica, 612 West 116 Street, NY 10027
  • Office Hours
    Tuesdays and Thursdays 1.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Email


Xavier Llovet Vilà (PhD in Spanish Didactics from the University of Bergen, Norway, and MA in the Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain) joined the Latin American and Iberian Cultures Department in 2016. He holds an ample international teaching experience. He previously taught at Barnard College, the University of Belize, the University of Bergen, and the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH). He has also collaborated with Instituto Cervantes Stockholm, Sweden, and Gyldendal Agency publishing house, Norway. In addition, he has also been awarded several international in-service teacher training grants.

Over the past years his research interest has mainly focused on language teacher cognition. His empirical doctoral research shows that, in articulating the bases of their teaching, teachers provided evidence of the ways in which their prior beliefs about language teaching and learning from schooling and professional teaching experiences powerfully influenced the extent to which they implemented curriculum mandates. This work highlights the need to both reconsider the design of pre-service SSFL teacher training programs and to provide continuous teacher development opportunities for in-service SSFL teachers.

Academic Statement

As a language educator with experience in a variety of social, cultural, geographical and educational contexts, I have always strived to facilitate and promote the development of my students’ communicative competence in both general and academic purposes. However, the teaching and learning of Spanish is a complex and multifaceted process and it requires the active involvement of the student. The learner-centered approach adopted attempts to encourage the learning through the language rather than about the language, especially in the context of New York where Spanish is a language of communication also outside the classroom.

The nature and processes of language learning require working with a variety of tasks, language skills, and general and specific competences that respond to the diversity of learning/cognitive styles within students. The involvement of the student in his or her own learning process is regarded as an indispensable tool for language learning development, and thereby, language learning awareness and autonomy.

The socio-constructivist perspective simply based on the meaningful interaction among students in the language learning process is not enough. Collaboration amongst students, students and the teacher, and also amongst colleagues is essential. Cognitive development and critical thinking does not only take place on the student’s side but also on the educator’s one. Awareness, reflection and further action on one’s own cognition (and practice) as a language teacher has become the focus of my recent research. In this sense, professional development is constantly challenged by tightly binding my research and practice.