New Spanish course being offered to heritage speakers

Are you someone who can understand Spanish when it is spoken but you can’t seem to speak it or write it very well yourself? Perhaps your abuelos only spoke to you in Spanish while you responded to them in English? Or perhaps you are the child of immigrants and your parents have relied on you in the past to translate and interpret between Spanish and English. In any of these cases, it’s possible that you may want to develop your academic skills in the Spanish language and learn how to use it in a formal or professional capacity.

A new class is being offered this Fall 2024, Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SPAN203) is a course designed for heritage speakers of Spanish. A heritage learner is someone raised in a family where a minority language is spoken, who has a cultural connection with the language, and who is bilingual to some degree in the minority language. Many heritage speakers’ dominant language is English, but grew up speaking Spanish or were exposed to Spanish and/or Hispanic culture during their childhood. Because they acquired the heritage language in a natural context, usually within the home environment, heritage speakers tend to be more familiar with the colloquial variety of the language than with formal registers, which are normally learned in academic settings. This class will help students who identify as Spanish heritage speakers effectively build on the language skills they already have, and learn how to use their Spanish in a professional and academic capacity. The course will focus on various topics such as grammar, spelling, phonetics, metalinguistic awareness, along with understanding and reflecting on the differing uses of the Spanish language and the varied cultures of the Caribbean, Central America, Spain, South America and the United States. This class will also focus on heritage speaker identity and bicultural issues.

This class will be taught by Alessandra Parry and will meet Mon/Wed/Fri 11:40am-12:30pm. Consultation with the professor is encouraged upon course enrollment to determine level of bilingualism.