Course Offerings | Spanish

Division of Humanities

Phyllis Bellver, María Calatayud, Mary Daniels, Patricia Finch, Chalene Helmuth; students: Kathryn Knight, Kim Levernier.



The first two years of the Spanish program focus on establishing a practical knowledge base in the language, concentrating on speaking and writing skills. Many students who have studied several years of Spanish in high school are able to test into intermediate or advanced-level courses, providing them with a head start on a degree in Spanish. After Spanish 220 or its equivalent, majors take seven additional courses and minors take five.

The next level of courses targets advanced composition and conversation skills, explores both Peninsular and Latin American culture, and provides an introduction to literary analysis. Advanced courses concentrate primarily on the literature of Spain and Latin America, although culture always figures as an important part of all the courses offered in the Spanish program. Our curriculum also integrates the growing body of literature written by Latinos/as, individuals of Hispanic descent living in the United States. In addition to our regular rotation of courses, specialized new courses are offered which reflect both student and faculty interest.

Students are encouraged to develop their language skills both here and abroad. The Spanish program regularly offers courses in international settings through Centre’s recently established program of study in Mérida, México. The program’s faculty is also available to help students gain access to reputable programs abroad at other locations.

Other activities on campus are available to those students wishing to make practical application of their language skills. The Service Learning Project provides the opportunity to interact with Latinos in the Danville area, as students become involved in community volunteer projects of their choosing. The Hispanic Society, open to all Spanish students at all skill levels, meets throughout the year for discussions related to current issues in the Hispanic world. There is also a chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society on campus, Sigma Delta Pi.

Increasingly, those individuals who possess additional language skills will have a distinct advantage on the job market. Opportunities for Spanish speakers abound in translation, hotel management, business, medicine, finance, and law, etc. Since parents want their children’s competitive edge to start early, Spanish language teachers are always in demand. U.S. Latinos represent the nation’s fastest-growing minority; the emerging Latino population makes students’ knowledge of culture especially relevant. A major or minor in Spanish is a useful complement to a major in any field.


Recommended Freshman-Sophomore Preparation

Students considering a major in Spanish are encouraged to plan their academic programs to include as wide a distribution of courses as possible regardless of their professional or vocational objectives. Prospective majors should consider especially taking courses in literature, history, philosophy, anthropology, government, and the fine arts.


Requirements for the Major

SPA 210, 220 or equivalent; SPA 230, 260, 270, 300 and three Spanish courses numbered 310 or higher selected in consultation with the major advisor. NOTE: Only one 400-level Spanish course may count toward fulfilling major requirements.


Requirements for the Minor

SPA 210, 220 or equivalent; SPA 230, 260, 270, 300 and one other SPA course numbered 310 or higher.


Spanish Courses

SPA 110, 120 Fundamentals-I, II (four credit hours each)
An introductory sequence developing all four basic communication skills (speaking, listening, writing, reading). Prerequisite: SPA 110 required for SPA 120.

SPA 121 Review of Fundamentals
A review of major grammatical concepts and vocabulary of elementary Spanish. This course is open only to incoming students and others with the permission of the Spanish Program chair.

SPA 122 Immersion Fundamentals (four credit hours)
An intensive introduction and review of the fundamentals of Spanish grammar grounded in all four basic communication skills (speaking, listening, reading, writing) that makes use of the rich cultural context of the host country. Course activities include assignments designed to increase fluency, create greater cultural awareness, and develop a considerable vocabulary. Students are expected to participate in a volunteer opportunity of their choice as a means of practicing their language skills and acquiring important cultural knowledge. Offered in Mexico. Completion of this course with a grade of C- or higher meets the foreign language basic skills requirement at the College. Formerly listed as SPA 14 Fundamentals-IV.

SPA 210, 220 Intermediate-I, II
An intermediate language sequence which strengthens and develops basic communication skills. Prerequisite for SPA 210: SPA 120 or 121 or 122 or placement. Prerequisite for SPA 220: SPA 210.

SPA 230 Introduction to Hispanic Literary Analysis
Through the study of genre, style, and literary technique, students work to refine grammatical usage and composition skills at the advanced level of Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or placement.

SPA 260, 270 Spanish Culture-I (Spain), II(Spanish America)
A study of the character and spirit of the Hispanic people as exemplified in selected works of Spanish and Spanish-American literature, articles, art, film, and music. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or placement.

SPA 290 Spanish for the Professions
Provides students with strategies necessary for conducting business in Spanish, with equal emphasis on spoken, written, and non-verbal communication skills, including an understanding of Hispanic culture. Students will also learn about diplomacy and protocol, gaining a command of relevant terminology and the correct interpretation of Spanish as used in the professional world. This course also deals with letter-writing, sales, customer service, market research, medicine, etc. Formerly offered as SPA 25/45. Prerequisite: SPA 220. NOTE: This course is an elective and does not count toward fulfilling major requirements.

SPA 300 Advanced Conversation
Provides students with situational practice of spoken Spanish, emphasizing vocabulary building and increasing proficiency, and a review of basic grammar structures. Prerequisite: SPA 220 or equivalent.

NOTE: All literature courses numbered 310 and higher have the following prerequisite: SPA 230 and either SPA 260 or SPA 270.

SPA 310 Medieval and Early Modern Spanish Literature
A study of the literature of Spain from medieval times through the early modern period (16th-17th century). The focus of the course varies from year to year. Prerequisite: One SPA course numbered 330 or higher.

SPA 320 Iberian Masterpieces
A study of a work or works from key periods of Iberian literature. Works and themes will vary according to the instructor. Examples include Don Quixote by Cervantes, Fortunata y Jacinta by Perez Galdos, or the collected works of Federico Garcia Lorca.

SPA 330 19th-Century Hispanic Literature and Civilization
A study of the literature of Spain and Spanish America in the 19th century.

SPA 340 20th-Century Spanish Literature
A survey of the literature of Spain from 1898 to the present, including theatre, novels, poetry, and the short story. The focus of the course varies from year to year.

SPA 360 20th-Century Spanish American Literature.
A study of the literature of Spanish America in the 20th century.

SPA 370 Spanish American Literature before 1910
A survey of early indigenous traditions and subsequent written traditions in Spanish America. Special emphasis is placed on the colonial period and on modernismo, a literary movement that inaugurates modern perspectives and techniques.

SPA 380 The Contemporary Novel in Latin America
A study of the major contributors to the most critically acclaimed fiction of Latin America, beginning with writers from the "Boom" period and extending into the present day, among them: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Isabel Allende, Luisa Valenzuela, and Clarice Lispector. Prerequisite: One SPA course numbered 330 or higher.

SPA 390 Spanish Linguistics: History, Sounds, and Dialects of Spanish
A survey of three areas of interest in the Spanish language: the historical development of Spanish; the phonology of standard Spanish; the principal dialects, both of the Old World and the New. ANT 310 (formerly ANT 25/45) Language and Culture is recommended.

SPA 450-499 Special Topics


Special Topics offered 1998-2001

SPA 25 Topics in Conversation: Cross-Currents of Influence Between Latin America and the United States
Through a discussion of current events and an examination of mutual influence in the media, social policy, politics, and the arts, students polish their skills in conversation. Especially recommended for students who are going to, or returning from, study abroad in Centre's program in Mexico. Prerequisite: SPA 122 or 210.

SPA 25 Topics in Conversation: Streetwise Spanish
Focus on spoken Spanish typically used on the street, at home, in the movies, and over the Internet. The course is designed to strengthen communication skills. Prerequisite: SPA 210.
NOTE: This course is an elective and does not count towards fulfilling major requirements.

SPA 25, 45 Situational Grammar in Latin America
An advanced study of grammar with an emphasis on situational practice od spoken Spanish, vocabulary building, and review of special problems in grammar and syntax. The course is contextualized within contemporary Hispanic society as exemplified in selected study trips, films, music, articles, and literature. Offered in Ecuador.

SPA 25, 45 Mayan Language and Culture
A course designed to help students better understand today's Mayan culture, and to learn sufficient Mayan language to be able to communicate with native Mayan speakers in the Yucatan Peninsula. Students visit several Mayan villages and study different aspects of contemporary Mayan life. Assignments include written reports and interviews as well as skits and specific activities targeting pronunciation and fluency.

SPA 45 U.S. Latino Literature and Culture
Readings and discussion provide a foundation for developing an understanding of U.S. Latino culture. Writers include Rudolfo Anaya, Sandra Cisneros, Cherrie Moraga, Francisco Goldman, Helena Viramontes, Esmerelda Santiago, and Christina Garcia. Discussion emphasizes literary techniques and issues relating to identity and language. Readings in English. Spanish students write papers in Spanish.

SPA 45 Women in Contemporary Hispanic Literature
A study of 20th century Latin American and Spanish women writers combined with an introduction to feminist and post-structural theory, as well as a consideration of cross-cultural relationships.

SPA 45 Latin American Cinema
An examination of the many facets of Latin American film. Students experience different approaches to film study: basic film vocabulary, film history of Latin America, film and social forces, film genres, film study theories, Latin American film directors, and aesthetics of the cinema.

SPA 45 Mexico: Conquest and Evangelization
An exploration of early social and literary representations of Mexico, covering the period from writings of the Spanish conquistadores, to texts written by members of religious orders, to literature written by indigenous and mestizo writers, to baroque writers of the 17th century. Special attention is given to the iconography of the Virgen de Guadalupe, as well as the influence of guadalupismo on the shaping of Mexican identity. Offered in Mexico.

SPA 45 History of Ecuador
A sequential study of the historical processes in Ecuador from the pre-Hispanic period to Ecuador's current political and social situation. Included is a critical analysis of the social, political, economic, and philosophical background in each period as well as field work at historical and anthropological sites. Offered in Ecuador.