Acquiring the ability to speak and understand a language other than one's own, and gaining insight into the artistic and cultural heritage of other peoples of the world, are an integral part of a liberal arts education. The Department’s basic communication-oriented courses enable students to use spoken and written Spanish and give them some knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural history. Advanced-level courses in literature, linguistics, and culture give students an understanding and appreciation of the language, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic peoples. Specifically, the Spanish Department’s curriculum, co-curricular activities and study abroad are designed to meet these goals:
Study Abroad offers beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish students an ideal opportunity to progress more quickly in Spanish while immersing themselves in Hispanic culture. Our Language and Culture Programs in Seville, Spain and Cuernavaca, Mexico (alternating fall semesters) are designed specifically for beginning and intermediate students looking to improve their Spanish, and to complete the foreign language requirement, and other Gettysburg Curriculum goals. Students in their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year may participate, but must have a “C” average overall, and in previous Spanish classes. Students earn a maximum of 4 credits, including between 1 and 4 language classes (equivalent to Spanish 103 through 202). Choices for the remaining classes are literature and civilization, and frequently business, non-lab science, art and other classes offered in both Spanish and English, which may satisfy requirements in the Gettysburg College curriculum. A Gettysburg College professor leads students on an initial orientation tour of Spain or Mexico and teaches one or more courses in the program. Students live with families. As a part of their study abroad experience, students participate in several orientation meetings at the College before leaving. Upon students' return, Gettysburg College provides a series of reintegration meetings. These pre- and post-travel sessions enhance students' experiences.
A greater variety of programs in Spanish-speaking countries is available to advanced students. College affiliations with the following programs facilitate the process: in Argentina located in the cities of Buenos Aires and Mendoza (IFSA-Butler); in Mexico in Merida, Yucatan (IFSA-Butler); in Spain in the cities of Salamanca (IES) and Seville (IUS). Possibilities for study abroad exist in most Spanish-speaking countries.
The Spanish Department offers multiple opportunities for students to continue or initiate their contact with the Hispanic language and cultures while studying on campus. The Spanish Assistant organizes trips to Hispanic activities, Spanish language movies, discussions of current events, Spanish Club activities, and more. Students have the opportunity to interact with native speakers of Spanish through service learning components of their Spanish classes. Students tutor Hispanic children in after school programs, teach English to adult Spanish speakers, and help in various local non-profit, government, and church based agencies that provide services to the local Hispanic population.
In addition, Spanish majors, minors and native speakers have the opportunity to live in La Casa Hispana -- a residence for students with special interest in the Spanish language and in Hispanic Cultures. During certain hours of the day, the students only speak Spanish. The students also organize cultural activities that involve the college and the surrounding community. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to develop their language skills and to live with peers who share their academic and extracurricular interests.
Courses in the department provide sound preparation for graduate study, teaching, or careers in government, business, or social work. The department works cooperatively with the Education Department in the preparation of Spanish teachers. Since the largest minority group in the United States is Spanish speaking, it is increasingly important to know Spanish and understand Hispanic cultures.
Course Requirements for the Spanish Major
Spanish majors study a combination of language, linguistics, culture and literature. All students begin in the general Spanish major. As a junior or senior, after having taken both Spanish 331 and Spanish 345, a student may continue in the non-specialized major or may declare a concentration in Literary and Cultural Studies or in Spanish Linguistics. The Spanish major includes 11 classes distributed as follows:
Spanish 301 – Spanish Composition, Conversation & Culture: Topics - A grade of “C” or better in 301 is a prerequisite for all upper level courses.
2 Cultural Perspective Courses: Chosen from Span 310-321 (Topics in Hispanic Literature or Linguistics), Span 306 (Cultural Topics: Spain) or 307 (Cultural Topics: Latin America), and courses abroad. At least one cultural perspective course must be at the 310-321 level.
Spanish 331 (Hispanic Linguistics Today: An Introduction): Prerequisite for advanced linguistics classes (380-389).
Spanish 345 (The Pleasure of the Text): Prerequisite for advanced literary and cultural studies classes (Span 350-379).
3 advanced literary and cultural-studies classes (350-379), advanced linguistics classes (380-389), or a combination of advanced literary and cultural-studies and linguistics classes: At this level, students who are juniors or seniors and who have completed both Spanish 331 and Spanish 345 may choose to declare a Spanish Linguistics Concentration or a Spanish Literary and Cultural-Studies Concentration; those who don’t prefer either option continue in the non-specialized Spanish major. Students declaring a concentration must take 3 advanced classes in the area of their concentration.
Spanish 400 (Seminar): Students electing the linguistics concentration or the literary and cultural studies concentration enroll in the seminar corresponding to their specialization. Those with a non-specialized major consult their advisors and the instructors before choosing their seminar.
2 Electives: Any Spanish course at the 300 level, or above, taken at Gettysburg or equivalent taken abroad. One approved course in a related area may be taken in English or another language, including Portuguese 105 or 205.
The Spanish major includes, as can be seen above, 11 courses above the 300 level. Five of these courses, including 301, 345, 400, and at least two other classes 350 or above, must be taken at Gettysburg College. In addition, Spanish majors must spend one semester studying abroad in a program approved by the department. (Students with extensive previous experience living or studying abroad may petition the department to be exempted from this requirement.) None of these 11 courses can be taken S/U.
Course Requirements for the Spanish Minor
Spanish minors complete Spanish 301 (which must be taken at Gettysburg) and 5 other classes at the 250 level or above. Students must take 3 courses at Gettysburg, with the exception that up to 4 courses may be taken at approved Study Abroad programs. In the latter case, only 2 of the 6 courses must be taken at Gettysburg. None of these 6 courses can be taken S/U.
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