When a student chooses to major in Spanish at Benedictine University, we promise a learner-friendly atmosphere featuring courses taught by native or near-native experienced professionals. Our communication-centered curriculum utilizes current methods and materials in second language education and stresses individual attention to students in small classes. Each student has the opportunity to develop fluency in the Spanish language, to gain an understanding of Hispanic cultures, to learn to write effectively, and to otherwise respond to the cultural and linguistic challenges of an Hispanic environment. Benedictine University faculty members also strongly encourage Spanish majors to take advantage of community service activities, internships and cultural enrichment experiences, when available. Students are encouraged to enhance their education by pursuing a second major or minor in another field of study.
Students who major in Spanish are required to take 12 courses (36 semester credit hours) starting at the Intermediate I level. Although the University expects that the vast majority of students pursuing the major will test out of the Elementary and Intermediate I levels, the program’s flexibility allows students with no background in Spanish to begin with elementary coursework before proceeding to the major requirements.
The program includes study of the works of Spanish and Latin American writers and analysis of how they influenced the thinking of their times. Language skills and cultural awareness are further developed through selected readings—exploring such topics as Hispanic family structures, the role of the Catholic Church, and governmental and social relations—class discussions, and individual projects and papers in Spanish.
During their studies, Spanish majors are required to participate in a short- or long-term study abroad program in a Spanishspeaking country in order to develop their Spanish skills in an authentic environment. Prior to graduation, Spanish majors must demonstrate Intermediate High level oral proficiency, according to the guidelines of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Oral proficiency will be evaluated through the ACTFL online proficiency testing program. Spanish minors must demonstrate Intermediate Mid level oral proficiency.
Knowledge of another language and culture is an increasingly valuable asset for people entering the job market. Benedictine University’s Spanish major emphasizes cultural and communicative competence so that successful completion of the program enables graduates to use their Spanish in a professional environment. Students can pursue career paths in a variety of areas such as government, business, advertising, law, journalism, the sciences, the arts, education and health care.
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