The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese offers BA programs in all these languages, with different concentrations.
The BA in Spanish seeks to provide students with linguistic, communication, cultural and critical thinking skills in Spanish so that they can pursue graduate school or careers which require them to utilize these cross cultural competencies in an increasing globalized world. To pursue these goals, students take a sequence of basic core courses in language skills and content areas like linguistics, and literature and culture of the Spanish speaking world. Later in their program students can choose concentrations in Literature and Culture, Linguistics, Spanish for the Professions or the Teaching of Spanish at the Elementary and High School level. Three salient features that define our program are:
- the study of the language through content and in the context of other languages,
- community-based language learning, and
- the use of technology in the classroom.
Spanish is presented in contact with other languages and cultures: we offer courses in Catalan, Basque and Quechua; literatures and cultures are approached from a trans-Atlantic perspective; Portuguese, Italian and Spanish are linked when we view cultural phenomena in Southern Europe or in Latin America. And we also cover Latina/Latino Studies. Students who are interested in these areas can deepen their understanding by working closely with a professor to write an honors thesis. Recently, students have written case studies in social entrepreneurship, combined film and literary analysis, designed and carried out research on second language acquisition, merged gender studies and Hispanic literatures, and analyzed Medieval literary representations of Muslims and Christians.
Community-based learning matches our Spanish students with Spanish-speakers in the Champaign-Urbana community. Not only does this give students greater insights into the connections between Spanish and immigration, education, and social services, but it also gives them hands-on work experience and a feel for how they could use their language skills in our society.
Technology expands our sense of community and the role of Spanish in it—in our courses students produce digital diaries and digital portfolios; in our classrooms students write with Spanish tools at their fingertips; on the web students experience Hispanic cultures; and on their own time students do homework and take quizzes on-line and receive instant feedback.
While technology and the World Wide Web bring the global to the local, our students also escape the local to go global. Our curriculum also offers study abroad programs in Spain and Latin America, which provide both local immersion and global perspective.
SPANISH language program
The Spanish language program serves the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Each semester, between 1,500 and 2,000 undergraduate students take our language courses to fulfill the three- or four-semester non-primary language requirement for their general education.
The language sequence consists of four course options. All courses are designed to develop students’ skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking and to foster an appreciation of the rich culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Our program follows a communicative, task-based approach, where students actively engage in activities that foster the exchange of real world information. Our program is recognized as one of the country’s most innovative for a variety of reasons. For example, we have been particularly successful at combining technology and multimedia with content-based instruction. Our use of technology provides students with freedom for self-paced learning and immediate feedback, allowing for more quality time to spend on communication in the classroom. Every semester, a very high percentage of our instructors are rated as "excellent" by our students.
You can learn more about the Spanish language program from the visit to the Spanish Advising webpage. If you have additional questions you may contact the following persons:
Ms. Melanie Waters, Director of Introductory Spanish Language and Coordinator of SPAN 122; Ms. Florencia Henshaw, Cordinator of SPAN 103, Ms. Alyssa Martoccio, Supervisor of SPAN 141; Mr. Brenden Carollo, Director of Fourth Semester Spanish and Coordinator of SPAN 142; Professor Ann Abbott, Director of Advanced Spanish Language.
Students' Frequently Asked Questions
What course should I take? The normal sequence of Spanish courses at UIUC is: 122, 103, and either of the 4th semester courses of 141 or 142.
SPAN 122 is considered a 2nd semester class which covers the information from both 101 and 102 and is predominantly for those who have had 1-2 years of high school Spanish or 101 at another college/university.
I cannot enroll in the Spanish course I need; what should I do? We offer many sections, and students drop and pick up classes during the first weeks; keep looking on-line for openings. Early-morning and late-afternoon sections often have available spaces.
I am in SPAN 122/103/141/142/143, but it is too easy/too hard for me. Can I change courses? Consult your academic advisor or the course coordinator (see BLIS program staff above). If you are in the correct course but still have difficulties with the work, TAs are available to assist you in the Tutoring Room (4031 FLB). For a list of private tutors, contact email@example.com.
For more information about the undergraduate programs in Spanish, please visit the Spanish Advising page.