The Spanish Program

The Spanish department is aligned with the university’s mission to provide intellectually challenging undergraduate and graduate programs that meet both individual student needs and the needs of the broader community. The Spanish program emphasizes a holistic approach to the undergraduate experience, encourages and supports the educational aspirations of underrepresented student populations and helps expose students to new ideas and developments within the Hispanic world through close interaction with faculty and through the development of innovative, interdisciplinary courses. The Spanish department also works to improve the effectiveness of elementary and secondary education through undergraduate and graduate teacher education and in-service programs. The mission of the Spanish department is to provide all students with opportunities to learn and reflect about diverse cultural perspectives, practices, and products while, at the same time, developing students' communicative abilities in Spanish and preparing students to succeed in professional programs that apply this knowledge.

Specifically, the Spanish program is designed to help students demonstrate an integrated understanding and proficiency in the areas outlined in our departmental mission. Our specific learning objectives are outlined below.

Learning Objectives for the Spanish Program

The Spanish program is designed to help students achieve the following learning objectives in ways aligned with all five of the Standards of Foreign Language Learning (see mission statement) and with current models of communicative and interactive competence that include discourse, actional, strategic, linguistic, and sociocultural components of language use:

  • engage in interactions with speakers of Spanish for a variety of purposes and in a variety of contexts, using socially and culturally appropriate forms for participating in conversations, establishing relationships with others, providing and obtaining information, expressing feelings and emotions, and expressing opinions.
  • understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics and manifest growing awareness of the social and cultural influences shaping the production and use of knowledge in the Spanish-speaking world
  • present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of academic and non-academic topics.

Each language learning stage of our Spanish program has a specific set of objectives that we expect our students to meet in ways that are aligned with these interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational learning objectives of the Spanish program. These objectives are detailed in the course syllabi.