Peggy A. Durbala, MA

Peggy DurbalaVisiting Assistant Professor of Spanish

Office Location: Eckhart Hall 408
Phone Number: 630-844-6509
Email Address:

Teaching Philosophy
“Quien habla dos idiomas vale por dos.” “A man who can speak two languages is worth two men.” (Napoleon Hill). In today’s global society, it is an enormous asset to be able to speak more than one language, and my goal is to make this skill achievable for each and every student in my classroom. In my classes, students practice communicating interpretively (listening and reading), interpersonally (speaking and writing), and presentationally (speaking and writing), allowing them to successfully integrate all language skills for communicating in Spanish far beyond the walls of the classroom. Just as there is diversity in learning styles, so should there be diversity in teaching methods; therefore, I strive to include a wide variety of engaging activities in each of my lessons. I also strive to make my classroom one where students feel mutually respected as well as comfortable enough to risk making the errors that are inevitable as we acquire a new language. In addition to achieving communicative proficiency in Spanish, students also learn about the cultural products, practices and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world, and they use Spanish to make connections with other disciplines. I feel that being bilingual is a great advantage and a fanstastic gift, and knowing that I play a part in helping my students receive this gift makes me feel truly blessed.

MA, Spanish Language and Literature, Northern Illinois University
BA, Spanish Business and Translation, Northern Illinois University

Areas of Specialization:
Oral proficiency (ACTFL Certified Oral Proficiency Interview Tester and Rater)
Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages K-12
Study Abroad Supervision
Illinois Professional Educator License, K-12 Spanish
ACTFL AAPPL (ACTFL Assessment of Progress toward Proficiency in Languages) Rater
College Board AP (Advanced Placement) Test Reader

Courses Taught
SPN 1120, SPN 1220, SPN 2200, SPN 2300, SPN 3200, SPN 3450, SPN 3500, SPN 3620, SPN 3650, SPN 3800, SPN 3820, SPN 3880, IDS 1200, IDS 1610, IDS 2020

Highlights of Publications, Honors and Professional Contributions
Lichtman, K. & Durbala, P. “Developing Teacher Candidates’ Oral Proficiency Through Self-Assessment.” Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Chicago, March 11, 2017.

Durbala, P. & Lichtman, K. “Self-Assessment and Development of Teacher

Candidates’ Oral Proficiency.” ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Annual Convention, Boston, November 19, 2016.

Lichtman, K., Durbala, P., & Barbe, K. “Developing language teachers’ oral proficiency: Applied Spanish Conversation and beyond.” CARLA (Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition) Ninth International Conference on Language Teacher Education, University of Minnesota, May 15, 2015.

Member: American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

Member: Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL)

Ten Basic Units for Middle School Spanish. Teacher’s Discovery, Inc., 2006.
Ten Basic Units for Middle School French. Teacher’s Discovery, Inc., 2007.
Spanish for the Nutrition Professional, Second Edition. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2009.
In progress: Spanish for the Nutrition Professional, Third Edition. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Highlights of Campus Involvement
Freshman Open Houses: Foreign Language and Spanish Teacher Licensure
Involvement Fair
Study Abroad Fair
Educators Rising Club