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Spanish Language Courses and Classes Overview

Spanish language courses can prepare students for jobs as Spanish teachers, interpreters or translators. Courses can be completed alone or as part of a full degree program in Spanish or another field of study.

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Essential Information

Spanish language courses are available to students who would like to learn a foreign language or satisfy a school's foreign language requirement. Some are available as non-credit personal enrichment courses, while others are taken for general education credit during an undergraduate program. Undergraduate and graduate programs in Spanish exist, and there are also bachelor's and master's programs that lead to certification as a K-12 Spanish teacher.

Students pursuing a Spanish degree may take additional courses that focus on specific types of Spanish literature, along with Spanish culture and history. Teacher preparation programs include additional courses in educational research, language teaching practices, curriculum development and classroom management, along with student-teaching practicum.

Courses in the Spanish language are usually completed in a tier of elementary through advanced courses and focus on writing, reading, speaking and listening. Students in elementary courses gain an understanding of basic vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation, while intermediate and advanced students practice writing, learn about Spanish culture and read literature. Language labs provide opportunities for practice.

Concepts and skills covered in Spanish language courses:

  • Business Spanish
  • Conversation and Written Composition
  • History of the Spanish Empire
  • Journalism and Media
  • Latin American Literature
  • Mexican Art and Culture
  • US Hispanic Cultures

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List of Courses

Elementary Spanish

This course teaches the fundamentals of the Spanish language. Class assignments focus on the development of vocabulary, reading, writing and conversational skills. Students learn basic grammar and sentence construction. In addition to classroom lectures, elementary Spanish courses usually require students to attend language labs.

An elementary Spanish course may span two semesters. In the latter half of an elementary class, students learn more advanced conjugations, such as the subjunctive. They continue working on listening and reading comprehension skills. Class sessions may be conducted largely in Spanish.

Intermediate Spanish

An intermediate Spanish course helps students gain advanced skills in speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. Writing and reading assignments reinforce students' command of the Spanish language and expose them to key elements of Spanish culture and literature. Students review grammar and vocabulary learned in the elementary class and continue learning new words and grammar rules. Intermediate Spanish teachers expect students to ask questions and conduct conversations in Spanish.

The second semester of intermediate Spanish classes often emphasizes Spanish structure in written and oral communication. Students may learn about Spanish culture by reading articles and books in the original Spanish. Students practice listening comprehension by completing language lab exercises.

Elementary Spanish is a prerequisite for an intermediate course. Students may also place into the class by taking a proficiency exam.

Conversational and Contemporary Spanish

In this Spanish language course students improve their conversational Spanish skills. They may discuss current events in Spain and Latin America. Students may also discuss articles and novels read for class. Many conversation classes also include vocabulary and grammar lessons and may have a written component. Conversational and contemporary Spanish courses are taken after elementary and intermediate Spanish courses.

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