Águeda Formoso Mayán

As a language instructor, I want my students to see Spanish as a key that can open incredible possibilities and places to them. At the same time, I hope to show students that Spanish is not merely a series of grammatical rules and vocabulary to memorize, but a living, breathing language that will allow them to interact with actual people and places that they would never have been able to before.


Assistant Professor of Spanish

Educational Background

  • M.A., Northern Illinois University – Dekalb, IL
  • B.A., Dominican University – Riverforest, IL

Year Joined Franklin



Besides general courses in Spanish language, I teach a course on the history of Spain. This class focuses on the process of decolonization, the social and cultural changes of the early twentieth century, the Spanish Civil War, the rise of regional nationalisms, the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and the transition to democracy. I also teach language through the visual arts using artwork from numerous Spanish artists and cinema as a base for instruction. During Immersive Term I take students to Guatemala for a course in coffee and chocolate where students learn about fair trade and practices of sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. These students experience firsthand how to cultivate, harvest, and roast coffee and chocolate.

Why do you take students abroad?

I take students to Guatemala because travel changes you. I see my students progressively cultivating knowledge, skills and behaviors that support them in becoming active and informed global citizens. You are more about others than yourself when you come home, which is true for both the students and myself.

As a department we want not only to teach about culture but also have students experience it first-hand. Going abroad to Guatemala offers students a chance to learn about the country’s language, culture, society and economy. It presents a chance at learning to value other people’s customs and ideals which helps our students become independent, mature citizens of this world.

What does study abroad do for your CV and post-graduation prospects?

Franklin College allows students to participate in many abroad trips, thereby constantly building their CV and setting them apart. Whether it is being immersed in a language program or taking a class on fair trade while in Guatemala the students both increase proficiency in the target language and enhance social competence by confronting challenges beyond their familiar environment.
Like future employers, graduate school admissions boards look very highly on study abroad experiences and for candidates who will bring a unique aspect to their university or company. A student coming back from the abroad programs that Franklin College offers displays increased awareness of cultural diversity and demonstrates that they aren’t afraid to seek out new challenges. Those who have studied abroad show just how committed they are to their education and that they have the curiosity and educational acumen to be a leaders.

What Students Say

She is passionate about helping us learn the language
I appreciate how we are able to speak the language often with each other in class. – confidential classroom survey

Mayan simplifies lessons and moves at a good pace that promotes better understanding of material. Presentation of the material works well and the professor does a great job at trying to explain difficult concepts. – confidential classroom survey

I really enjoyed her casual teaching manner and lots of examples from Spain. I love learning about her culture. She does an amazing job at giving real-life examples. She has always answered questions whenever they arose and explained concepts in a way for me to understand the topic. I have learned a lot. I can tell s he enjoys teaching. – confidential classroom survey

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Northern Illinois University Outstanding Woman Award.

Center for Latino and Latin American Studies Pepsi Grant

About Me…

I love to explore new things and to share my passion of exploration with others.   In the last few years I have scuba dived with friends in Honduras, explored a coffee and chocolate plantation with students in Guatemala, biked the Camino de Santiago… twice, mountain biked the Alps, surfed in Costa Rica and helped take a boat up the Mississippi river from Iuka Mississippi to Chicago, IL. I am a certified Yoga Teacher and Pilates instructor, a USA cycling coach, and most recently a certified International Mountain Bike Association coach.