Spanish
(Romance Languages)

http://wp.stolaf.edu/spanish/

Chair, 2014-15: Wendy Allen (Romance Languages-French), 17th-century French literature, contemporary France, the Maghreb, content-based instruction

Faculty, 2014-15: Gwendolyn Barnes-Karol, peninsular literature and culture; Anne Berry (Writing), English as a Second Language; Sylvia Graciela Carullo, colonial and 20th-century Spanish-American literature, Hispanic culture; Kris Cropsey, Hispanic linguistics, second language acquisition; Carla Manzoni, Latin American literature and culture; Kristina Medina-Vilariño, contemporary Latin American literature and culture, Hispanic Caribbean literature; León Narváez, cross-cultural analysis, Hispanic literature, dialects of Spanish; Jonathan O'Conner, peninsular early modern literature and culture; Barbara Olson, second language acquisition; Ariel Strichartz, Latin American literature and culture; Alberto Villate-Isaza, Latin American literature and culture (on leave)

Students who study Spanish become explorers in many dimensions. They discover, among other things, that Spanish provides not only an alternative means for expressing what we see and think, but also a cultural lens predisposing and empowering its speakers to observe and reflect in unique ways.

On looking through this lens, students diversify their perceptions of the world and multiply their opportunities for interacting with it. These opportunities may include experiencing the tragic ferocity of the Spanish Civil War in the pages of Sender’s "Réquiem por un campesino español," serving as an interpreter for a Latino family in Northfield, teaching art to the children of imprisoned women in Quito, Ecuador, speaking to indigenous people on the shores of Guatemala’s beautiful Lake Atitlán about their struggle to preserve the land, probing the complexity of Latin American life within the mythic dimensions of García Márquez’s Macondo, debating politics with impassioned university students in Seville, Spain, or talking into the night with a roommate from Costa Rica in the Spanish House. Whatever the channels opened — and they are countless — students who become proficient in Spanish discover that “Quien sabe dos lenguas, vale por dos.”

overview of the majors

In courses for the Spanish major, students gain understanding of the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world (Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic U.S.) through the study of literature, non-literary texts, culture, language, and linguistics. At the same time, they develop communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills.

Level II courses are divided into two levels. In Spanish 250, the gateway course for all majors, students develop academic reading and writing skills in Spanish through textual analysis of cultural documents and literature. 270-level courses introduce students to a variety of ways to explore the Spanish-speaking world further through literature, linguistics, culture, and contemporary issues.

Level III courses build upon the analytical skills and knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world acquired by students into 270-level courses. These courses examine particular topics, genres, or critical or theoretical issues through textual analysis or analysis of linguistic data. Some of these courses focus on comparative analysis across geographical areas of the Spanish-speaking world.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE MAJOR

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJORS

Requirements for a Graduation Major:
  • Spanish 250: Gateway to the Spanish-Speaking World;
  • Spanish 275: Exploring Hispanic Literature;
  • Spanish 276: Spanish as a First and Second Language;
  • either Spanish 313: Literature and Society in Spain, or Spanish 314: Literature and Society in Latin America;
  • one additional level III course;
  • plus three electives above the 250 level (of these five courses, at least one must focus on Spain and one on Latin America).

A maximum of two courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.

Requirements for a Spanish Major with K-12 Teaching Licensure:
  • Spanish 250: Gateway to the Spanish-Speaking World;
  • Spanish 275: Exploring Hispanic Literature;
  • Spanish 276: Spanish as a First and Second Language;
  • either Spanish 313: Literature and Society in Spain or Spanish 314: Literature and Society in Latin America;
  • one additional level III course;
  • plus four electives above the 250 level (of these six courses, at least one must focus on Spain and one on Latin America);
  • English 250: English Language and Linguistics
  • Education 353: Teaching of World Languages, K-12
  • and all other requirements of the K-12 teaching licensure program in Spanish (see EDUCATION).

A maximum of three courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above. (Consult World Language Licensure Advisor.)

Additionally, students must attain a level of Intermediate High, or above, on the OPIC (Oral Proficiency Interview Computerized.)

Distinction

SPECIAL PROGRAMS

To encourage students to speak Spanish outside the classroom, the department organizes a weekly Spanish conversation table and administers an Honor House (Casa Hispánica) which serves as a venue for cultural and social activities — facilitated by a resident native speaker of Spanish — with Hispanic themes. In addition, faculty teaching Spanish collaborate with colleagues in other disciplines in developing and teaching courses with a Foreign Language Across the Curriculum credit. These courses enable students who have completed the fourth semester of college Spanish to apply and develop their proficiency in Spanish across the curriculum.

St. Olaf also operates its own Interims in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Spain and affiliates with long-established consortia — notably the ACM, CIEE, HECUA, and IES — which administer semester programs in Spain and Central and South America, as well as off-campus programs in the United States.

COURSES

111 Beginning Spanish I

Students begin learning Spanish through listening, speaking, reading, and writing about topics familiar to them, including family, academic, and social life, in an intercultural context. They reinforce these skills through complementary exercises in the World Languages Center. Open only to students with no prior experience in Spanish or who have placed into Spanish 111. Offered during Interim.

112 Beginning Spanish II

Students expand their skills by continuing to listen, speak, read, and write on such topics as the concept of time, leisure activities, and culinary traditions in North American and Hispanic cultures. Additional work is completed in the World Languages Center. Prerequisite: SPAN 111 or placement. Offered each semester.

231 Intermediate Spanish I

Through exploring the geographic and human diversity of the Spanish-speaking world, students develop increasingly complex skills for analyzing and communicating in Spanish. They study such essential dimensions of that world as: (1) geography and development; (2) environmental challenges and solutions; (3) population and demographic changes and challenges; and (4) ethnic diversity. Prerequisite: SPAN 112 or placement. Offered each semester and during Interim.

232 Intermediate Spanish II

Students explore the diverse histories, circumstances, and contributions of Latinos in the U.S. by reading essays, news accounts, short fiction and autobiographies, and by viewing videos and TV broadcasts. They consolidate their language skills and continue to develop their ability to analyze and communicate in Spanish by writing compositions, making oral presentations, and engaging in interactive group activities. They also review Spanish structures difficult for speakers of English. Prerequisite: SPAN 231 or placement. Offered each semester.

233 Intermediate Spanish II in Ecuador (abroad)

This course provides students with an intensive linguistic and cultural immersion experience in Ecuador. In-class activities focus on development of language skills and cross-cultural awareness. Outside of class, students improve their language proficiency and explore the cultural identity of Ecuador through a three-and-a-half-week home stay with a family in Quito; excursions and activities in and around the city of Quito; and field trips to the indigenous market of Otavalo, the Amazon region, and other areas in rural Ecuador. Completes foreign language requirement. Prerequisite: SPAN 231 with a minimum grade of B- or equivalent preparation. Open to first-year students. Not open to students who have completed SPAN 232.

234 Intermediate Spanish II in Costa Rica (abroad)

Students explore geographic, economic, political, and ethnic dimensions of life in Costa Rica by combining intensive course work with such cross-cultural experiences as a homestay in San Jose, field work, visits to sites of cultural interest, and excursions to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They consolidate their language skills and continue to develop their skills for analyzing and communicating in Spanish through compositions, oral presentations, and interviews of Costa Ricans. Prerequisite: SPAN 231 or placement. Not open to students who have completed SPAN 232.

250 Gateway to the Spanish-Speaking World

Students explore the topic of family and society in the Spanish-speaking world and develop critical reading skills by analyzing cultural documents (literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work). This cultural analysis provides for extensive writing (e.g., description, narration, exposition, and argumentation). Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 232 or placement into SPAN 250. Offered each semester. Counts toward women's and gender studies major and family studies and women's and gender studies concentrations.

270 Spain's Cultural and Linguistic Legacy (Abroad)

This topics course explores a Spanish peninsular cultural, literary, and/or linguistic theme from a base in Spain through analysis and discussion of texts, guest lectures, excursions to appropriate cultural sites, field research, and related experiential activities. Sample topics include: Christians, Jews and Muslims in Spain, and Spain's Autonomous Communities, Spain's Multilingual and Multicultural Landscape. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

271 Cultural Heritage of Spain

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped Spanish culture through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop critical analysis skills through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. This course includes the study of selected literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

272 Cultural Heritage of Latin America

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped Latin American culture through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop critical analysis skills through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. The course features the study of selected literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

273 Cultural Heritage of the Hispanic U.S.

Students examine the diverse elements that have shaped the cultures of U.S. Hispanics through an exploration of political, social, economic, religious, and artistic topics. They develop skills in critical analysis through reading, discussion, and written and/or oral projects. The course features the study of selected literary and non-literary texts, including at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

274 Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World

Students analyze patterns of continuity and change in Spain, Latin America, and/or the Hispanic U.S. Using readings from the press, academic sources, and governmental as well as non-governmental documents, students read, discuss, and write about issues at an advanced level of linguistic and analytical sophistication. The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Possible themes include love, family and marriage, or crossing borders and the challenges of migration. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250.

275 Exploring Hispanic Literature

In this introduction to literary terminology and to principles of literary analysis across genres, literary texts (including poetry, short stories, theater, and novel) are studied in their socio-historical context. In different semesters, the focus may be literature of the Mexican Revolution, urban and rural life, or another topic chosen by the instructor. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250. Offered each semester.

276 Spanish as a First and Second Language

Students explore the processes involved in the acquisition of Spanish as a first and second language and the variation present in the language of both native and non-native speakers of Spanish from Spain, Latin America, and the U.S. Hispanic linguistics are studied with special attention paid to the socio-cultural as well as structural aspects. The course includes the study of at least one substantive literary work. Includes pronunciation lab. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250. Offered each semester.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

311 Language in Society

What is the role of language in our society? What is the impact of bilingualism in the U.S.? Students explore such questions from current Spanish socio-linguistics research. Through analysis of data, students examine issues of language contact, variation and change, language and gender, language and power, and/or language planning. Students may register more than once, provided topics differ. This course includes the study of at least one substantive literary work. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN 250 and SPAN 276.

312 Voices of the Spanish-Speaking World

Students examine political, economic, religious and/or social issues through textual analysis of literary and/or non-literary works representing diverse voices of the Spanish-speaking world (e.g. indigenous people, women, non-Castilian nationalities in Spain, or Afro-Hispanic groups). The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Sample topics include: Women and Repression or The Afro-Hispanic Struggle for Identity. Students may register more than once, provided topics differ. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN 250 and at least one 270-level course.

313 Literature and Society in Spain

Students explore one or more periods, genres, or topics of Spanish literature from its beginnings to the 21st century. Selected literary works are analyzed within their socio-historical and cultural contexts and in reference to pertinent critical or theoretical issues. Sample topics include: Sin and the Church in Medieval Literature, The Stage as Political Propaganda in Imperial Spain, and Federico García Lorca: Voices of the Oppressed. Students may register more than once, provided topics differ. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 275.

314 Literature and Society in Latin America

Students explore one or more periods, genres, or topics from Pre-Columbian times to the 21st century. Selected literary works are analyzed within their socio-historical and cultural contexts and in reference to pertinent critical or theoretical issues. Sample topics include: The Shaping of Latin America; Personalism and Politics; Love and Magical Realism; and Literary Representations of Kitchens, Cooking, and Eating in Latin America. Students may register more than once, provided topics differ. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 275.

315 Comparative "Hispanidades"

Students explore a topic pertinent to more than one geographic area of the Spanish-speaking world (Spain, Latin America, and/or the Hispanic U.S.). Students focus on comparative analysis through reading, discussion and writing in Spanish. The course includes study of at least one substantive literary work. Sample topics include: Dictatorship and Literature, and Language and Identity. Students may register more than once, provided topics differ. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 250 and at least one 270-level course.

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research

399 Seminar

Seminars engage students in in-depth study of a specified topic through readings, research and oral and written student reports. Special attention is paid to theoretical and bibliographic issues. Topics vary according to the areas of expertise and professional interests of departmental faculty. May be repeated if topics differ. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: Spanish SPAN and at least two courses at the 270 or 300 level.