Nicki Benson is the founder of Esperanza Education, the facilitator of the Spanish for Social Justice Teacher Network, and a Board member of CoDevelopment Canada. Her most recent contracts with Kwi Awt Stelmexw and the Aboriginal Education branch of the Ministry of Education have focussed on Indigenous language revitalization initiatives in British Columbia. She has previously completed major projects with UNICEF-Peru and Innovations for Poverty Action.
Languages: English, Spanish (and currently learning hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓)
Expertise: Education Research, Education Policy, Curriculum & Program Development, Spanish Language Education, English Language Education, Social Justice Education, Spanish-English Translation.
Language Education Consulting: Nicki has developed and supported language education programs for a wide variety of learners and contexts. She offers consulting services for program planning, curriculum development, community engagement, and organizational support. Her recent projects have focussed on strategic language planning with Indigenous communities working to revitalize and strengthen the use of their languages.
Education Research: Nicki has extensive experience in education research, and has managed large-scale projects involving surveys, interviews, workshops, reports, and presentations with and for a variety of audiences including governments, policy-makers, and community stakeholders. These projects have kept her up-to-date with education issues and innovations globally, and she is always looking for new opportunities to use her analytical skills to support progressive education initiatives.
Spanish Language Lessons: One-on-one or small-group Spanish lessons tailored to the goals and interests of the student/s. Having lived and traveled in several Spanish-speaking countries, Nicki’s knowledge of different dialects and cultures, combined with over 15 years of Spanish study, makes her uniquely qualified to help students navigate the joys and challenges of learning Spanish.
English Language Lessons for Spanish Speakers: One-on-one or small-group English lessons tailored to the goals and interests of the student/s. With Nicki’s knowledge of Spanish and experience in several Spanish-speaking countries, she has an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by Spanish-speaking learners of English.
Spanish-English Translation: Translation from Spanish to English of all kinds of media including written, audio, and video files, with great attention to the context and flow of the original source. Ample experience translating NGO program reports and communications.
Editing and Proofreading: Editing and Proofreading of English documents such as essays, websites, and organizational documents, ensuring that they are clear, coherent, and free of grammatical errors.
Language teaching for social justice: AIM, TPRS, and traditional language programs
Vancouver School Board – Modern Languages Professional Development Conference (Vancouver BC, January 2013)
Creating local, teacher-to-teacher social justice networks
The 5th Annual Northwest Conference on Teaching for Social Justice: Rethinking Our Classrooms, Organizing for Better Schools (Presented with Carina Soderlund. Portland OR, October 2012)
How Spanish teachers are teaching for social justice and you can too
The British Columbia Association of Teachers of Modern Languages Conference: Steps into the Future (Burnaby BC, October 2011)
Social justice in the language classroom
The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers Conference: Languages Without Borders (Montreal PQ, April 2011)
Social justice and language education
Vancouver School Board – Modern Languages Professional Development Conference (Vancouver BC, February 2011)
Towards a framework for social justice in the world language classroom
The University of British Columbia – Investigating Our Practices Conference (Vancouver BC, 2010)
Benson, N. (2013). Social justice in the language classroom and beyond. In E.L. Brown, E.V. Dvoretskaya & P.Gibbons (Eds.). International advances in education: global initiatives for equity and social justice. Vol. 7. Communication and language. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing.
Benson, N. (2012, May). Social justice in the language classroom. The Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers Magazine: Réflexions 31(2), 17-18.
Benson, N. (2011). Teaching for social justice in the high school Spanish classroom: Perspectives and practices (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/33462