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Dr Patricia Romero de Mills PhD

Senior Teaching Fellow

Dr Patricia Romero de Mills's photo

Dr Patricia Romero de Mills is a Lecturer in Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton.

I completed a degree in Philosophy and Hispanic Literature (Laurate) at the University of Guanajuato (UG), Mexico, where my experience teaching at higher education began as tutor of both English and Spanish as foreign languages. My involvement in the languages department at UG expanded to the area of Language Teacher Education, which gave me the opportunity to collaborate with novice language teachers with whom I shared my own teaching philosophy and practice through a series of seminars and workshops of my own design. By 2001 I was also appointed as a Teacher Educator for the Escuela Normal Superior de Guanajuato (a Government teacher training college) training primary and secondary teachers of English, who would be appointed to teach in some of the most deprived areas of the Guanajuato State. In 2008 I was awarded a PhD in Applied Linguistics by the University of Southampton for my thesis The Development of Criticality amongst Students of Spanish, in which I looked at the different components of Modern Languages degree programmes at higher education (e.g. language classes, content classes, the Year Abroad) and the impact of these elements on the intellectual growth of undergraduate students of languages.

Research interests

My main research interests are centred on pedagogical and philosophical issues concerning teaching and learning in higher education. I am particularly committed to identify and apply effective teaching and learning techniques to integrate creativity, criticality and self-reflection into the Modern Languages and Linguistics curriculum. Likewise, my research into the contribution of a compulsory period of residence abroad to our languages degrees has opened invaluable opportunities for me to observe the development of undergraduate students as language specialists and critical beings. This area has also inspired me to pay special attention to the impact of mental health challenges on students' learning experiences and academic performance. 

Recent Conference papers

2021 "Reflections on the purposeful management of the emotional contagion spread through social media amongst undergraduate students spending a year abroad." 2021 Year Abroad Annual Conference. Keele University. Online.

2021 "Translating challenges into opportunities: An illustration of a simple, and low-tech but effective solution to hands-on language learning." CHEP Fringe Festival 2021. University of Southampton. Online.

2021 "A Virtual Year Abroad. Becoming a global citizen in times of COVID." AdvanceHE Teaching and Learning Conference. Online.

2018 "Beyond "the best year of my life": Articulating the gains and benefits of the year abroad to future employers". Patricia Romero de Mills & A. Campbell. 2018 Year Abroad Annual Conference. Newcastle University. Newcastle, UK.

2017 “Ways of Seeing: Using Photography as a Pedagogical Tool to Promote Intercultural Awareness amongst Modern Languages Students Living Abroad.” P. Romero de Mills & T. Campbell. BERA Annual Conference. Brighton, UK.

2015 “Ethnographic Encounters Project Conference” Guest speaker for the round table entitled: “Ethnography, Intercultural Learning and Residence Abroad”, and leader of the “Overcoming Culture Shock and Encouraging Ethnography” workshop. University of Southampton.

2015 “Life after a Year Spent Abroad: Were you ready? Residence Abroad Guidance Resources for Students and Staff in Higher Education.” P. Romero de Mills & R. Mitchell. The European Association of International Education (EAIE) conference 2015. Glasgow.

2014 “Promoting intercultural learning among Anglophone students during residence abroad”. P. Romero de Mills; Tracy-Ventura, N. & R. Mitchell. Language Futures. Reshaping Languages in Higher Education Conference 2014. Centre for Language Linguistics and Area Studies. Southampton

2013 LANG-SNAP Colloquium: “The Influence of Social Networks, Personality and Placement Type on Language Learning during Residence Abroad”. R. Mitchell, P. Romero de Mills, McManus, K.; Richard L. & Tracy-Ventura, N. Residence Abroad, Social Networks and Second Language Learning Conference. University of Southampton.

2012 Social Networking Colloquium: “The role of social networking and social interaction in promoting language learning during residence abroad”. British Association of Applied Linguistics Annual Conference. P. Romero de Mills; Tracy-Ventura, N. & R. Mitchell. University of Southampton.

2012 “Language Assistantships and Student Exchange: a comparison of students’ linguistic development during different residence abroad programmes”. P. Romero de Mills; Tracy-Ventura, N. & R. Mitchell. Language Futures. Languages in Higher Education conference 2012 Centre for Language Linguistics and Area Studies. University of Edinburgh. (July, 2012)

2009 “Gap Year or Sandwich Degree? The place of the Year Abroad in a Modern Languages degree”. Higher Education Research Group. University of Southampton.

2009 "The Ab initio teaching experience at the University of Southampton". Teaching Languages Ab Initio. Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS). London.

2006 ‘The development of Modern Languages Students as Critical Beings. The Contribution of the Year Abroad’. Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), Annual Conference. Brighton, UK

2006 ‘The Development of Bilingual Critical Skills among Language Undergraduates. The Contribution of Content Classes”. British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), Annual conference. Cork, Ireland

2003 ‘The Role of Cognitive Psychology in Language Teaching’. Mexican Association of Teachers of English (MEXTESOL), Annual Conference. Guanajuato, Mexico

2001 ‘Visual aids in the EFL Classroom’ Mexican Association of Teachers of English (MEXTESOL), Annual Conference. Guanajuato, Mexico

Research project(s)

Languages and social networks abroad (LANG-SNAP)

Social networks, target language interaction, and second language acquisition during the year abroad.

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Book Chapter

My teaching and student supervision at the University of Southampton has spanned to UG, PGT and PGR levels. As a tutor of Spanish in the undergraduate programmes I have designed and delivered language courses for all seven levels of proficiency we offer, for both language specialists and students from across faculties. My contribution to the PGT and PGR programmes has involved lecturing on areas such as Teacher Education and Communicative Teaching as well as supervision of research-based dissertations, both online and face-to-face.

I am the module lead for the three modules dedicated to the Year Abroad in MLL: LANG2010 (pre-departure), LANG3005 (third-year module) and LANG3011 (Study Abroad re-entry).

Various aspects of my approach to teaching and learning have been recognised by students over the years. In 2013 I won the SUSU Excellence in Teaching Award in the category "Best Innovative Teaching". In 2019 I was the Faculty winner for the SUSU Award "Best Response to Feedback", and I have also been the Faculty winner for "Best Pastoral Support" twice, once in 2018 and again in 2020. In 2019 I was nominated for a VC Award for the category "Best Student Experience".

Dr Patricia Romero de Mills
Avenue Campus
SO17 1BF

Room Number : 65/3049

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