Dr Jesús Villalta-Lora
Senior Lecturer in Spanish & Catalan Education
I received my Degree and Masters in Classical Arabic from Complutense University in Madrid.
Before arriving at Kings, I was awarded a number of scholarships for academic excellence (including Harvard University, Department of Comparative Literature; Copenhagen University, Carsten Niebuhr Center for Multi-Cultural Heritage; Institut Bourguiba des Langues Vivantes, Tunisia).
On returning to Europe, I completed a PGCE in Spanish with French at Birmingham University.
I’ve been teaching at KCL for more than a decade, and I also completed my PhD on Comparative Catalan Poetry here. It was the first thesis written and defended in Catalan in the history of the College.
I gained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy from the King’s Academy in 2020.
In addition to teaching Spanish, from the year of my arrival at KCL to 2023, I supervised and coordinated the Catalan Curriculum.
Lastly, I have acted as a Principal Senior Examiner for the Catalan Comparative Literature Paper at the International Baccalaureate.
- Catalan and Spanish contemporary poetry, art and cinema
- Language teaching methods and approaches
- Technology-enhanced learning (TEL)
- Endangered and minority languages
My teaching career started at La Manouba University in Tunisia, where I was appointed as a Lector in Spanish by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), based on academic achievement.
Once at King's, I received a Teaching Excellence Award (former King’s Education Award) in 2010, becoming the first teacher of the Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies Department to obtain this recognition. Also, I was shortlisted in the ‘Inclusive Education’ category in 2022 and I have been a nominee eight times (seven consecutively) in different categories (e.g. ‘Innovation in Teaching’).
I have been invited to give multiple workshops and seminars, for instance on language teaching strategies for Masters students of Linguistics from the University of Valencia (Spain); on how to use Art in a language class for Newly Qualified Teachers of Spanish in the UK; and on how to interpret literary content considering several academic approaches to learning for ‘agrégation’ students at the University of Bordeaux (France), since my book on the multi-awarded Minorcan poet Ponç Pons was included in the 2018 Humanities syllabus for the ‘agrégation’ examination.