The organization is commonly known as its Spanish acronym, AEPE — the Asociación Europea de Profesores de Español — and is composed of Spanish teachers from almost 40 countries.
Herrera-Cárdenas was selected to be the United States representative after attending the association’s annual summer conference.
“Since I was in Spain for the summer, I attended the AEPE conference, and I was very interested in the organization,” Herrera-Cárdenas said. “I was interested in how Spanish was taught in Europe.”
One of the AEPE’s main objectives is to promote Spanish culture and language development in all countries.
At the organization’s annual summer conference in Spain, Herrera-Cárdenas will share what he has learned about teaching and will also learn from teachers from other countries.
From Bucaramanga, Colombia, Herrera-Cárdenas earned a bachelor of arts in language teaching and a master’s degree in pedagogy from Universidad de Santander in Colombia.
Additionally, he earned a master’s degree in Hispanic literature and Latin American studies with an emphasis in film and human rights.
His students, including junior Miranda Christ, vouch for his dedication to the language and teaching.
Christ took his Spanish grammar class through the IU Honors Program.
“Professor Herrera-Cárdenas’s enthusiasm for the subject was evident in his lectures,” Christ said. “As a result of the class, I feel that I am a more confident Spanish speaker and writer.”
Herrera-Cárdenas said he employs several strategies to aid students in learning the material.
“I invite people to my classes from different countries that are native speakers,” he said. “That way, my students can listen to different accents and also learn about the culture in these countries.”
Herrera-Cárdenas has his hands in other projects that enable students to further their grasp of Spanish.
These activities range from faculty adviser for the Groupo de Teatro VIDA, organizer of the IU Spanish and Portugese Song Festival and host of the radio program “Un Cafecito Con ...” on WFHB 91.3 FM.
In addition to holding other positions on local, statewide and national committees, Herrera-Cárdenas has won awards including the Student Choice Award for Outstanding Faculty in 2011, the Trustee’s Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2011.
Herrera-Cárdenas has a lot on his plate, but said when he’s doing things he loves, the timing will work out.
“I think, personally, it goes well with my personality,” he said. “I always want to be
However, he also said he credits much of his success to his fellow members of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
With this support, he said he will take everything he’s learned from his time at IU to Europe next summer, where he will discuss his ideas with other Spanish teachers at the AEPE conference.
One idea he said he’s sure to bring is his love of teaching.
“It’s a big passion for me,” Herrera-Cárdenas said. “Spanish is important for life.”
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