Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Speakers
Description: This is a course meant for heritage learners, that is, students who acquired Spanish naturally from a very early age, from their families and communities, or from living in Spanish-speaking countries, but have received little formal instruction in the language. The course is specifically designed for students who have generally good command of the spoken language but are not familiarized with written Spanish. The first objective of the course is to expand students' knowledge of structures and vocabulary, so that they can express themselves with confidence about any topic and in any situation, both informal and formal. Another important goal is to help students develop knowledge of standard writing conventions (spelling, stress marks, punctuation, and textual organization). The course will involve a strong service-learning component, which will give everyone an opportunity to learn through interactions with the Hispanic community of Bryan/College Station. If you would like to know more about this and other courses meant for heritage learners, check out this flier.
Advanced Grammar for Heritage Speakers
Description: This is a course meant for heritage learners - students who acquired Spanish naturally at a very early age, from their families and communities, or from living in Spanish-speaking countries, with little formal instruction. Although it is designed as a continuation of SPAN 203, it can be taken without this prerequisite, through the heritage language placement test. The first objective of the course is to expand students' knowledge of structures and vocabulary, so that they can express themselves with confidence about any topic and in any situation, both informal and formal. Another important goal is to help students develop knowledge of standard writing conventions (spelling, stress marks, punctuation, and textual organization). We will also develop metalinguistic skills, that is, the ability to describe the main grammatical features of Spanish.
Spanish for the Sciences
Description: Most Spanish courses specialize in humanities topics, such as art, literature, or history. By contrast, the objective of this course is to familiarize students with a different aspect of Hispanic culture, namely, the development of science and technology and its influence on society. In this course, students develop their ability to understand, speak, read, and write about science topics, and they compare the United States and Latin American countries in terms of how science develops, is taught and applied to solve problems in daily life. The most important objective of the course is for each student to develop knowledge about the language they need to communicate effectively with monolingual speakers about scientific topics of interest to them.
Spanish Phonetics and Phonology (in Spanish)
Description: One of the things that distinguishes a language is its sound inventory. This course will familiarize students with the study of Spanish sounds, help improve pronunciation, and increase understanding of dialectal varieties. If you are planning to become a teacher, it will help you become more aware of the difficulties your students face, and improve your teaching effectiveness. We will study how each sound of Spanish is produced, as well as related notions of prosody and intonation. We will also see how sounds integrate into the sound system of Spanish. Finally, we will analyze how sounds vary between different areas of the Spanish-speaking world.
Hispanic Linguistics (in Spanish)
Description: Language is one of the central capacities of humans, and it is the basis for most of our other distinctive characteristics, such as social life, culture, knowledge, traditions and beliefs. Linguistics is the science that studies the many facets of language as a human cognitive capacity, and of individual languages as cultural products of that capacity. This course aims to familiarize students with the basic concepts of linguistic science and of exemplifying these notions with Spanish and its varieties. This will allow them to describe languages with formal accuracy in terms of their sounds, words, sentences, and semantic interpretation. Students also learn to explain the main evolutionary tendencies of Spanish and its regional and social variation. Finally, students can explain the cognitive, social, and pedagogical dimensions of language acquisition and bilingualism, exemplifying with their personal experience.
Advanced Translation (in Spanish)
Description: The main objective of this course is to develop your competencies as a translator and to introduce you to the different modalities of this profession, including interpreting. Students will becme familiar with translating different registers and types of text, including business and financial, legal and political, medical, scientific, and technical. We will also consider the main differences between literary and non-literary texts. We will practice translating individually and in teams, coordinating our work as professionals do. Students will be in charge of a pro bono translation for a local non-profit agency.
HISP 606 (often stacked with SPAN 462)
Spanish in the United States (in Spanish)
Description: Spanish isn’t new in the United States: in fact, it was the first European language spoken in the country, and is currently native to over 40 million Americans, descended from the earliest colonizers and from the multiple waves of later arrivals. This course explores the diversity of US Spanish, from the colonial past until the present, paying special attention to modern-day Texas. We will answer questions such as the following: Who speaks Spanish in the US today? What makes US Spanish unique, special, and interesting? How do US Spanish speakers feel about their language and culture? How has Spanish managed to have more staying power than other languages in the US? Why is Spanish in Texas different from Spanish in New York or Miami? And what's the linguistic situation of Puerto Rico? Our course will include experiential learning and an original research project.
HISP 607 (often stacked with SPAN 462)
Topics: Hispanic Sociolinguistics and Pragmatics (in Spanish)
Description: It's impossible to miss that Spanish is not spoken the same way by its 400 million speakers. Just like other major world languages, Spanish exhibits considerable variation across space and from one social group to another. What’s more, each speaker may deploy different styles, depending on specific communicative needs. The field of sociolinguistics was born out of the goal of understanding and systematizing this variation and explaining how it connects with the evolution of a language over time. In this course, we will explore the various sociolinguistic models of analyzing language variation that have been proposed, and illustrate them through Spanish variation. We will consider questions such as the following: Is there a system in the apparent madness of language variation? Why is Cuban Spanish a dialect of Spanish and Catalan a different language? Is there a ‘better’ Spanish? Why do parents speak differently from their children? Does it matter that women and men talk differently? Can we predict how languages are going to change? How are speakers' attitudes reflected in the way they speak?
HISP 671 (often stacked with 462)
Bilingualism in the Spanish-speaking world (in Spanish)
Description: The use of more than one linguistic code by one speaker and/or language community is much more widespread than one might think: it is in fact the norm, rather than the exception. Linguists have always been interested in the phenomenon of bilingualism for what it has to tell us about the mental organization of language and about the relations among social groups. This course presents the general features of bilingualism, focusing on Spanish and the languages it comes in contact with, in all the contexts in which it is spoken, including Spain, the Americas, and other places around the globe. Emphasis will be given to Spanish-English contact in the United States, given its importance for the history, present, and future of Texas. We will study the attitudes and response of institutions and schools to bilingualism, as well as the manifestations of the phenomenon in the media and the arts (oral and written press, popular music, literature). All students will be engaged in a research project appropriate to their level and related to their interests.