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:
Outcomes for the Major:
- Language Competence: Students will have the necessary communication skills to succeed academically in a Spanish speaking country.
- Textual Competence: Students will be able to research and analyze literary, filmic, and cultural texts with attention to relevant social, artistic, political, historical, economic and linguistic issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
- Cultural Understanding: Students will be able to comprehend and analyze linguistic, social, artistic, political, historical, and economic issues related to the Hispanic world in general, and especially those cultural issues related to the country in which they studied.
Outcomes for the Minor:
- Language Competence: Students will attain sufficient written and oral proficiency in Spanish to research, discuss, and write about topics relevant to Spanish-speaking countries.
- Textual Competence: Students will be able to analyze texts in Spanish with attention to relevant social, artistic, political, historical, economic, and linguistic issues.
- Cultural Understanding: Students will be able to comprehend and analyze linguistic, social, artistic, political, historical, and economic issues related to the Hispanic world.
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, Spanish language movies, facilitates 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.
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.