Coordinator: Professor Ana Maria Alfaro Alexander
Spanish, which is offered as a major at Castleton, is a vital and vibrant language in world communication, business, e-commerce, politics, and culture. The Spanish Program contributes to the university's mission in an environment that embraces a holistic approach and retains a genuine interest in cultivating the love for the Spanish languages and cultures.
Some 387 million people speak Spanish as a first language and a total of 460 million people speak it as a first or second language. Spanish is now the most spoken language after English in this country. It is also the second most used language of the Web in the USA. In the 21st century, Spanish has become the second most studied language and the second language for global communication.
Spanish is gaining more recognition in the academic world. It is a promising major for students from all backgrounds. It is also an excellent second major as it is a tool that opens many doors to various fields of study and work environments. A second major in Spanish places the student ahead in the marketplace.
The Spanish program makes it possible for students to acquire cultural knowledge and to become proficient in the Spanish language. Our faculty is composed of native speakers from different parts of the Spanish speaking countries; we have a professor from Peru, another from Argentina, and each year we have a teaching assistant typically from Central or South America. Our students benefit from a diverse student population: some native speakers, others that have gone abroad to study Spanish, and novice but ambitious Vermont and out-of-state students.
The program offers small, yet personalized classes that are learner centered. Our students may voice their interests and opinions at our weekly Spanish Club meetings. They are offered an opportunity to practice their communicative skills outside the classroom setting at our weekly language table meetings. They can put their creativity and competitive minds to work at our Cultural Semester agenda, which includes Hispanic cooking workshops, dance classes, film showings, and/or our full immersion field trips to cities such as New York, Boston, or Montreal. Each semester brings in new forces and special people that help us define the particular needs. Our students have had hands-on experience while translating official documents and they had a unique opportunity to teach Spanish to the little ones from a local middle school. As Spanish is increasingly being spoken in more areas and by more people, we will continue to find new ways to relate our students to the community.
Student Learning Outcomes:
- Senior Spanish majors will be able to speak, live with and relate to peoples of Spanish background in Vermont, the USA and abroad.
- Undergraduate Spanish majors will be able to gain entry to and pass courses taken at accredited universities in Spanish speaking countries.
- Spanish graduates will gain employment using their critical thinking and language/cultural skills in a variety of contexts.
Teaching Spanish at the Secondary Level
Students who wish to teach Spanish at the secondary level should pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature. In addition they must complete the requirements for Secondary Education Licensure outlined in the Education Department listings. Students seeking licensure teaching Spanish at the Secondary level are required to take SPA 4020 - Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language in Pre K-12 Schools. Students interested in this option should get a second advisor from the education department and apply for acceptance into the Education Department.
When the major student elects to study abroad in partial fulfillment of the major language requirements, he/she must choose between a semester-long or a summer-long program. If he/she elects to study abroad for a semester, nine credits of the fifteen he/she will receive will be allowed toward the thirty credits in his/her major language.
For more information please visit our website at www.castleton.edu/spanish