Mr Diego Soto Hernando
Associate Lecturer in Hispanic Studies (E&S)
Diego holds a BA Honours in English Studies from the University of Valladolid (Spain), in which he earned the Extraordinary Achievement Award for University Studies (Premio Extraordinario). He soon developed an interest in language teaching, taking a Master's Degree in Language Teaching Methodology. Currently specialized in teaching Spanish, he holds a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and a Master's Degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. Diego is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Diego is Accredited Examiner at all levels for the DELE Examinations by Instituto Cervantes. He has been member of DELE Exam Boards at Instituto Cervantes in Spain, the University of Exeter, Cardiff University and the University of Latvia. He also collaborates sporadically in marking and moderation duties with Cambridge Assessment and IBO International Baccalaureate.
Diego has taught Spanish at Higher Education institutions for over 10 years within undergraduate specialist programmes, Institution-Wide Language Programmes and University Language Centres. He gained a Fulbright Scholarship in 2010-2011 for a Teaching Assistantship at Bard College (New York), where he returned as Visiting Instructor in 2013-2014. He has also taught at Cardiff University (Wales), Instituto Cervantes London, Instituto Cervantes New York, the University of Stirling (Scotland), the National University of Ireland in Galway, the University of Limerick (Ireland), Universidad Nebrija (Madrid, Spain), the University of Valladolid (Spain) and English Perfect Szkoła Języków Obcych (Olsztyn, Poland).
In the summer months, Diego teaches intensive language courses at Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (Santander, Spain).
Diego's research interests lie in the fields of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Pronunciation Skills in the Language Classroom. In relation to the latter, he has delivered a number of workshops on methodology and current trends in teaching pronunciation at teacher-training events, including the International Congress for Teachers of Spanish in Barcelona (Encuentro Práctico de Barcelona), the Annual Conference of the Association of University Language Centres, the Language Learning and Teaching Conference, the ELE-UK Annual Conference and UK Lingua.
More recently, in June 2018, he delivered the workshop “Implementing Pronunciation Skills in our Language Classes: Reflecting on the Materials Available" at InnoConf 2018, organised by the University of Liverpool.
External impact and engagement
On an annual basis, Diego acts as Guest Lecturer at the University of Barcelona within their BA in Hispanic Studies and their MA in Teaching Spanish in Professional Contexts.
Over his career, Diego has taught and coordinated Spanish language courses and modules at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as specific module components (oral classes, culture seminars and language labs).
At Exeter, he teaches a range of Spanish language modules at all levels for the Hispanic Studies Unit and the Foreign Language Centre. Within both disciplines, Diego makes a significant contribution to curriculum development, designing teaching and assessment materials, including e-tests. In the year 2016-17, he designed from scratch and coordinated the newly created FLC module Spanish in the Workplace. In 2017-18 he was Module Convenor for Spanish Intermediate Fast-Track.
Teaching awards and nominations
- Nominated by students for the Teaching Awards 2016, 2017 & 2018 in the category 'Best Lecturer'. University of Exeter.
- Nominated by students for the Enriching Student Life Awards 2016 in the category 'Most Effective Teacher'. Cardiff University.
- Shortlisted for the Teaching Excellence Awards 2015 in the categories 'Teaching Excellence' and 'Most Inspiring Tutor'. University of Stirling.