Under the spotlight Dario Banegas, Lecturer in TESOL

Dario Banegas staff profile headshot 300x400Dario Banegas recently joined the School of Education as a Lecturer in TESOL and Intercultural Communication. Here, we get to know Dario a little better and explore his background and research interests. 

Tell us a little bit about your career so far...
I graduated as a teacher of English in Argentina, and after ten years of teaching, I completed MA and PhD studies in English language teaching at the University of Warwick. Then, I continued teaching secondary school learners and pre-service teachers until I joined the University last October. In Argentina, I was also a curriculum developer for the government in my region. That role provided me with the opportunity to work with teachers on their professional development and on English language teaching at institutional and policy levels. Throughout my career, I've always been interested in the integration of curriculum content and English language learning, and I have been privileged to explore this interest with students and teachers across educational levels in South America.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
I don't think I have one moment in particular. My career journey has just been wonderful! I am happy, in fact proud, that I can still call myself a teacher-researcher after more than 15 years of working as a teacher of English and teacher education in secondary and higher education in Argentina and other countries. I guess a moment has become memorable when I see that a project, a publication, a change in practice has been possible because of working with others, because of concerted efforts with teachers in the field.

What sparked your interest in Education?
Since I was a child, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. What drove me into Education is the possibility of enabling others to become their best version, the possibility of facilitating learning in a systematic and social environment. Education is the key to human development, not only in an instrumental sense, but in a formative and holistic sense. 

What is your role within the school?
I am a lecturer in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). I teach in the MSc TESOL and Intercultural Communication programme.

What current trends do you see influencing your field?
TESOL has become less obsessed with linguistic accuracy only at the level of form. There's more focus on meaning, on interaction, on intercultural communicative competence, on the integration of curriculum content and language learning, on technologies for language learning. In addition, the field is becoming more concerned with issues such as identity, diversity, inclusion, teacher education, and local pedagogies. In other words, the field is creating links with other disciplines within Education in order to "humanise" language teaching and respect and value local knowledge. 

Tell us about any research you are currently involved in.
I am currently involved in research projects that examine how to improve English language teacher education. On the one hand, I'm exploring how student-teachers, i.e. future teachers of English, can strengthen their professional knowledge and identity through writing for publication. On the other hand, I'm examining how in-service teachers can exercise agency, autonomy, and develop professionally by their engagement in teacher research. These projects are being carried out with colleagues based in Argentina and Colombia. In both cases, the aim is to make formal English language teacher education meaningful, context-responsive, and sustainable. Also, I seek to help educators in the Global South contribute to local knowledge generation and knowledge democracy. The University of Strathclyde has become the place from which I can promote knowledge flow for and from the Global South.

What initially attracted you to the University of Strathclyde?
I love Glasgow! It's a vibrant city, full of life, and quiet at the same time. I felt attracted to the University because I noted freedom, collegiality, and opportunities for professional and personal growth in a friendly environment. I think I can contribute to the university drawing on my expertise and experience in South America, and we can all thrive together in a manner that is meaningful and sustainable.

You can keep up-to-date with Dario's research here:

Research Gate profile
https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/content-knowledge-in-english-language-teacher-education-9781350084629/ 
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315659824/chapters/10.4324/9781315659824-38
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09585176.2019.1646145