Iowa World
Language Association

Christina Cortez

I have a passion for helping other world language teachers and advocating for our profession. My love of languages started when I began studying Spanish my sophomore year of high school. During my senior year I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Mexico on a missions trip and my life was forever changed. When I started college in the fall I was assigned to my first field experience opportunity. I had the privilege to be in a HS Spanish classroom and an ESL classroom with ELL learners. I saw how hard the ELL students worked to learn English and how learning another language opened doors for them. It was in that moment that I knew my calling was to spend my life helping others learn languages. This desire to help others led me to the University of Northern Iowa where I graduated with a B.A. in both TESOL/ Spanish teaching. This is my 13th year of teaching ESL and Spanish. In my current position I have had the opportunity to work with K-12 ESL students as well as Spanish language learning students in grades K-12. In my classroom I have a passion for connecting and building community with students while fostering a love for the target language and culture.  

In addition to sharing my love of languages with my students, I love connecting with other teachers. Through mentoring local student and practicum teachers and presenting at conferences I have been able to connect with so many others who share the same passion for language learning. After presenting at the IWLA conference, I desired to be more involved in IWLA and began serving on the IWLA grant committee. I have witnessed what an awesome job our current and past presidents have done in advancing initiatives such as the Seal of Biliteracy and world language competencies in our state. I hope to continue these efforts growing our membership, connecting IWLA teachers year-round, creating more professional development opportunities, and striving to help advocate for Iowa world language teachers.   

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