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Foreign Languages

Studying Spanish at UW-Stevens Point

As a student at UW-Stevens Point you have many options for majors. Here are just some of the reasons you might consider majoring in Spanish:

  • To communicate with 350 million native Spanish speakers worldwide.

Approximately 350 million people worldwide speak Spanish as a native language. It is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese. It is estimated that the combined total number of Spanish speakers is between 470 and 500 million, making it the third most spoken language by total number of speakers (after Chinese and English). Spanish is the third most commonly used language on the Internet. The number of Spanish speakers is growing at a faster rate than that of English speakers.

  • To communicate with Spanish-speaking people at home.

The United States now has the 5th largest number of Spanish speakers in the world. If you live in the US, it is possible to maintain almost daily contact with native Spanish speakers in many cities or even in rural areas. The nation is becoming even more diverse: More than one third of its population belongs to a minority group, and Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment. In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the minority population of the U.S. had reached an estimated 104.6 million -- or 34 percent of the nation's total population and that nearly one in six residents, or 46.9 million people, are Hispanic.

  • To enjoy traveling throughout Mexico, Spain, and Latin America.

There are 21 countries in the world that have Spanish as their official language: Spain, Equatorial Guinea (Malabo) in West Africa, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. Knowing the language of the places you visit will give you insights into the people and culture that a non-Spanish speaker would never have access to.

  • Because the ability to speak Spanish is a valuable skill in today’s job market.

The Spanish-speaking population is one of the fasting growing segments in the world, especially in the United States. The Hispanic market is today the most rapidly expanding market in the United States. Hispanic consumers have become a driving force in the largest national markets, including southern and northern California, New York, Chicago, Florida, Texas, and others. Marketing studies show that the majority of Hispanics prefer to make buying decisions in Spanish. Not surprisingly, there are many career fields in the US that need Spanish speakers.

  • To improve your knowledge of your own language.

Spanish is from the Romance language family of languages, coming primarily from Latin. English also has many words of Latin origin. Learning Spanish helps speakers of English broaden their vocabulary in their native language. In addition, a recognition and understanding of words of Latin origin is especially helpful in certain professions in science, medicine, law, and many others with specialized vocabulary.

  • To prepare for study abroad opportunities.

In conjunction with International Programs, The Department of Foreign Languages offers two study abroad opportunities for Spanish students: 1) a 10 week summer program in Oaxaca, Mexico; 2) spring semester in Valladolid, Spain. A study abroad program gives you the opportunity to improve your language skills tremendously at the same time as having the experience of a lifetime living and traveling in another country.

  • To gain better appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures.

Learning Spanish helps you to gain access to a wealth of Spanish art, music, literature and film. You can learn more about the works of great artists like Pablo Picasso and read masterpieces like Don Quijote in Spanish. In addition to opening up access to areas of "high" culture such as art, literature, and history, learning another language opens many doors to meeting new people that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

  • To help develop better critical thinking skills.

Becoming bilingual means seeing the world through more than one lens; a skill that can help you in many areas.

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The Department of Foreign Languages offers both a major and a minor in Spanish.

A Spanish Foreign Language major has 4 tracks plus a minor: 1. 24 credit Spanish major 2. 30 credit Hispanic Cultural Studies Major and 3. A 30 credit Spanish/Teacher Certification Major and 4. A 36 credit Spanish Education Cultural Studies Major. 5. A 15 credit Spanish minor. The Spanish Club at UWSP is active and holds twice monthly meetings.

The 24 credit Spanish Major:

  1. 313 Intermediate Conversation; Spanish 314 Intermediate Composition
  2. Spanish 340, Introduction to Hispanic Literature
  3. One advanced Spanish Literature course beyond Spanish 340
  4. Hispanic Culture 481, 482 or 483
  5. Spanish 345 Advanced Composition and Conversation
  6. Two elective Spanish courses at the 300 or 400 level

The 30 credit Spanish Major with a concentration in Cultural Studies:

  1. Spanish 313 - Intermediate Conversation; Spanish 314 – Intermediate Composition
  2. Spanish 340 – Introduction to Hispanic Literature
  3. Spanish 345 – Advanced Composition and Conversation
  4. One elective Spanish course at the 300 or 400 level
  5. Two Hispanic Culture courses (Spanish 481, 481 and 483)
  6. Three courses related to Hispanic studies totaling 9 credits taken outside the department to be approved by your department advisor

The Spanish Major with Concentration for Teacher Certification consists of 30 credits:

  1. Language and literature, 18 credits at the 300/400 level, including 313, 314, 340, 345, 420
  2. One additional literature course beyond 340
  3. Hispanic Culture and Civilization (481,482 or 483)
  4. Two electives chosen from literature or culture courses
  5. Foreign Language Ed 333

The Spanish Minor consists of 15 credits in courses at the 300/400 level, including 313, 314, 340 and a culture or advanced literature course.

Suggested Four Year Sequence

The Department of Foreign Languages encourages students to graduate in four years. The suggested four year sequence provide a suggested sequence of courses that illustrate how a student could successfully complete a Foreign Languages major or minor in 4 years. Please consult with and advisor when planning your major or minor.

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