NMHU Commencement 2020 details are here!

Dr.  Eric Romero, Interim Chair
Douglas Hall, Room 249
505-454-3435 FAX: 505-454-3389


 


Mission of the Discipline of Languages and Culture

Because of its location, the discipline of languages and cultures is committed to the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of the unique multicultural heritage of the region. Thus, it recognizes the importance of the Spanish and Native American presence in the local and global community. The discipline further strives to integrate other foreign languages along with their respective culture and literatures.


Faculty

  • Carol Litherland (American Sign Language)
  • Eric Romero (Native American Hispano Studies)
  • Norma Valenzuela  Ph.D. (Spanish)
  • Edgar Vargas Blanco, Ph.D. (Spanish)
  • Maria Villareal Hasse, Ph.D. (Spanish)
  • Department Directory

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Spanish

The discipline of languages and literature provides the beginning language student with two different learning approaches. Students who wish to take Spanish or seek to fulfill the core language requirement may choose the track that best matches their needs:

Heritage Language Learners (HL)

Spanish for heritage language learners addresses the bilingual speakers of Spanish who have achieved a certain degree of speaking and listening abilities outside of the classroom, but who have had little or no formal training in the language at the college level. The HL track is a designed for students who grew up around Spanish-speaking communities and understand basic Spanish conversation. The objectives in Spanish as a heritage language are to build upon the language base that the student already possesses and to teach literacy in Spanish. The HL courses emphasize reading, writing, and developing advanced vocabulary as well as reviewing specific problematic grammar and orthographic rules that are typically evident in Spanish heritage students. Selected authentic readings from Hispanic/Latino and Spanish or Latin American writers will serve as the framework for cultural and social issues that will lead to discussions.

Second Language Learners (SL)

This track addresses the needs of students who learn other languages in addition to their native language(s). The term “second language” is used to describe any language whose acquisition starts after early childhood, including what may be the third or subsequent language learned. Course materials and methodology reflect effective teaching strategies in the field of second language acquisition and incorporate technology-enhanced instruction.

Spanish Placement Exam

The purpose of the Spanish Placement Exam is to identify the student’s proficiency in the language.

Please note: On the first day of the semester, the instructor will bring his or her students to the Language Learning Center to take the Spanish Placement Exam. This exam is utilized to determine the level at which students will begin the language proficiency requirement. This exam is also designed to detect heritage speakers of the Spanish language. Generally, these are learners who were raised in homes where Spanish was spoken and who are orally proficient in Spanish but have had little or no formal training in the language. This exam allows faculty members to place students in the appropriate Spanish classes for heritage language learners, which are intended to capitalize on their linguistic assets by increasing their awareness and appreciation of the different Hispanic cultures.

The Spanish Placement Exam results are sent to the transcript specialist to be noted in each student’s respective file.

Once students begin their track, whether it is for second language learners or heritage language learners, they must follow said track sequentially. No exceptions will be permitted.

If the placement exam recommends that the student take an upper-division class, the student will be encouraged to speak with the professor teaching said class before officially enrolling in the course to discuss any concerns. The student might feel that the placement exam does not fully reflect his or her level in the Spanish language. By speaking with the professor, the student will be able to decide whether or not he or she is ready to enroll in an upper-division class.

If a student shows proficiency at an intermediate-low level (HL 1210/SL/Spanish 1110 and HL 1220/ SL/Spanish 1120), the language proficiency requirement is waived.

A successful placement exam, however, does not earn credit hours toward graduation. It only waives the classes necessary to fulfill the language proficiency requirement.

Placement evaluation scores are valid for one year only. If students allow a year or more in between completion of the 1110/1210 and 1120/1220 levels, they will have to take the placement exam again.

The placement exam is administered at the Language Learning Center (LCC), 104 Douglas Hall.

The LLC offers a language placement exam for speakers of other languages. More information is available from the LLC staff.

Resources and Facilities

Language students at Highlands are exposed to the Spanish language every day in the community and on campus.

The University’s location in Northern New Mexico, where 70 percent of the population is Hispanic, offers a richly varied setting for studies in local, regional, and international culture and languages.

The Thomas C. Donnelly Library has more than 5,000 titles in Spanish culture and literature with an especially rich collection in the golden age of Spanish literature.

The Language Learning Center offers tutoring services in Spanish and American Sign Language to students who want to supplement their language learning outside of the classroom. Throughout the semester, tutors organize workshop-type sessions that focus on certain grammatical concepts and other aspects of the language that professors believe the students need to develop. The LLC tutors also host “charlas” (conversation sessions) for those who want to exercise and improve their oral communication skills in Spanish. Signed conversation sessions are also held for students who want to practice and improve their ASL fluency. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment with the tutors, but may seek tutoring on a walk-in basis.

Aside from tutoring services, the Language Learning Center houses many resources that our staff can recommend to students who are interested in enhancing their language knowledge. The center is equipped with 24 computer workstations that have Internet access and contain the most popular Microsoft Office software applications, an instructor computer workstation with a Smartboard, and a large media collection of audio-visual programs and recordings to enhance Spanish language instruction and acquisition.

American Sign Language (ASL)
The discipline of Languages and Culture provides four semesters of American Sign Language instruction with the option to engage in further independent study of ASL once the fourth semester of study has been completed. There is not an option for major or minor study. However, students develop transferable language competencies for applications to other programs and employment.

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Major in Spanish (BA)

Prerequisite:
Proficiency in first-year Spanish, as demonstrated by completion of Spanish 1110 and Spanish 1120, or Spanish 1210 or Spanish 1220, or the equivalent competency. These courses do not count toward the 36-credit-hour major.

Required courses: 27 credit hours

SPAN 2110 Spanish III (3)
SPAN 2120 Spanish IV (3)

OR

SPAN 2210 Spanish for Heritage Learners III (3)
SPAN 2220 Spanish for Heritage Learners IV (3)

AND

SPAN 3000 Advanced Grammar (3)
SPAN 3100 Advanced Conversation (3)
SPAN 3300 Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3)
SPAN 4240 Advanced Composition (3)
SPAN 4300 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (3)
SPAN 4950 Senior Year Paper (3)

Choose one of the following:

SPAN 4310 Civilization and Culture of Spain (3)
SPAN 4320 Civilization and Culture of Latin America (3)
SPAN 4330 Civilization and Culture of New Mexico and the Southwest (3)

Electives: 9 credit hours
In consulting with their program adviser, students can choose three upper-division elective courses to complete the major.

Major Total: 36 credit hours
Core Requirements: 21 credit hours
Flex Requirements: 10 credit hours
Extended Requirements: 8 credit hours
Proficiency Requirements: 11-17 credit hours
General Electives to 120 (if needed): 8-14 credit hours

Minor: 20 credit hours minimum

Total for degree: 120 credit hours*

*A minor is required. The number of proficiency credit requirements will vary based on student placement scores. The University requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units for the degree.

 

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Major in Spanish for Elementary and/or Secondary School Teachers (BA)

The following course must be taken as one of the nine elective credits used in fulfillment of the general Spanish major:

SPAN 4450 Teaching of Spanish: Theory and Methods (3)
Those pursuing a teaching career must contact the School of Education for required certification/endorsement coursework as stipulated by the State of New Mexico Public Education Department.

Major Total: 36 credit hours
Core Requirements: 21 credit hours
Flex Requirements: 10 credit hours
Extended Requirements: 8 credit hours
Proficiency Requirements: 11-17 credit hours
General Electives to 120 (if needed): 8-14 credit hours
Minor: 20 credit hours minimum

Total for degree: 120 credit hours*

*A minor is required. The number of proficiency credit requirements will vary based on student placement scores. The University requires a minimum of 45 upper-division units for the degree.

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Minor in Spanish

Prerequisite:
Proficiency in first-year Spanish as demonstrated by completion of Spanish 1110  and Spanish 1120, or Spanish 1210 or Spanish 1220 or the equivalent competency. (These courses do not count toward the 24-credit-hour minor.)

Required hours: 18 credit hours

SPAN 2110 Spanish III (3)
SPAN 2120 Spanish IV (3)

OR

SPAN 2210 Spanish for Heritage Learners III (3)
SPAN 2220 Spanish for Heritage Learners IV (3)

AND

SPAN 3000 Advanced Grammar (3)
SPAN 3100 Advanced Conversation (3)
SPAN 4240 Advanced Composition (3)

Choose one of the following:

SPAN 4310 Civilization and Culture of Spain (3)
SPAN 4320 Civilization and Culture of Latin America (3)
SPAN 4330 Civilization and Culture of New Mexico and the Southwest (3)

Electives: 6 credit hours
In consulting with their program adviser, students can choose two upper-level elective courses to complete the major.
Minor Total: 24 credit hours

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American Sign Language (SIGN), Courses in

SIGN 1110. American Sign Language 1 (4); Fa, Sp
This course introduces the student to American Sign Language (ASL). It is interactive, and develops basic ASL competency and imparts grammatical and cultural knowledge useful to the beginning signer. 

SIGN 1120. American Sign Language 2 (4); Fa, Sp
This second half of the beginning-level American Sign Language course expands the general objectives of the first course. The course continues to be interactive and develops basic ASL competency. Special attention is given to grammatical and cultural knowledge useful to the beginning signer. Prerequisite: LANG 1110. 

SIGN 2110. American Sign Language 3 (3); Fa
This is an intermediate-level American Sign Language course. This course continues to be interactive, develops intermediate ASL competency, and grammatical and cultural knowledge useful to the intermediate signer. Prerequisite: SIGN 1120 or equivalent. 

SIGN 2120. American Sign Language 4 (3); Sp
This is a continuation of the intermediate-level American Sign Language course. This course continues to be interactive, develops intermediate ASL competency, and grammatical and cultural knowledge useful to the intermediate signer. Prerequisite: SIGN 2110 or equivalent.

 

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Spanish (SPAN), Courses in

SPAN 1110. Spanish 1 (4); Fa, Sp, Su
An introduction to the Spanish language with an emphasis on conversation and the development of the ability to read and understand the Spanish language. This course is open only to non-speakers of Spanish. One hour weekly required in the Language Learning Center in addition to four class hours. Previous NMHU SPAN 101. 

SPAN 1120. Spanish 2 (4); Fa, Sp, Su
A continuation of SPAN 1110, also open only to non-speakers of Spanish. One hour weekly required in the Language Learning Center in addition to four class hours. Prerequisite: Span 1110 or equivalent. Previous NMHU SPAN 102. 

SPAN 1210. Spanish for Heritage Learners 1 (4); Fa
This is a beginning course for students who grew up in a Spanish-speaking home or community who may have comprehension, and/or may lack in oral proficiency. Emphasis is placed on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Community and cultural activities are utilized to enhance these skills. Prerequisite: All students must be placed into this course through the Spanish Language Placement Exam. Previous NMHU SPAN 111. 

SPAN 1220. Spanish for Heritage Learners 2 (4); Fa
A continuation of SPAN 1210. This course emphasizes the four language skills, and will focus on building vocabulary-and strengthening knowledge of grammatical skills. Prerequisite: SPAN 1210 or equivalent. Previous NMHU SPAN 112. 

SPAN 2000. Intermediate Spanish Conversation (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
Provides the student with the vocabulary necessary to interact effectively in Spanish, in practical real-life situations while also sharpening the student’s oral fluency and listening comprehension. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or permission of instructor. 

SPAN 2110. Spanish III (4); Alt, Fa, Even
For students who understand simple conversational Spanish and have studied the elements of grammar. It focuses on an intensive grammar review and includes vocabulary building with readings and communicative oral and written exercises that enhance the student’s awareness of contemporary Hispanic culture. Prerequisite: SPAN 1110, 1120 or equivalent. Previous NMHU SPAN 201. 

SPAN 2120.  Spanish IV (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
This class is a second-semester, second-year Spanish grammar course that reviews and expands the study of elements of speech such as pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, and adverbs, as well as other verb moods covered in a first-year, two-semester course sequence. Its primary focus is a review of grammar in addition to developing the student’s four language skills in Spanish: reading, writing, listening comprehension and speaking. The class is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 2110. Previous NMHU SPAN 202. 

SPAN 2210. Spanish for Heritage Learners  III (4); Fa
For Spanish heritage language learners who have completed SPAN 1220 or its equivalent. This course reinforces and expands previous knowledge of Spanish with a focus on grammar. Prerequisite: SPAN 1220 or an equivalent. Previous NMHU SPAN 211. 

SPAN 2220. Spanish for a Heritage Learners IV (4); Sp
A continuation of SPAN 2210. This course emphasizes reading, writing, and conversation. Course activities increase students’ awareness of the interactions between local culture and the Spanish-speaking world. Prerequisite: SPAN 2210. Previous NMHU SPAN 212. 

SPAN 2900 – 4900. Independent Study (1– 4 VC); Var
Individual directed study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 290-490. 

SPAN 2910 – 4910. Travel Study Topics (1-3 VC); Var
For students traveling in a Spanish-speaking country and/or region. Prerequisite: Participation in one of the Spanish/English immersion programs offered through legislative funding from a research public service project (RPSP). Previous NMHU SPAN 291-491. 

SPAN 3000. Advanced Grammar (3); Var
This course helps students establish a solid foundation as well as functional communicative skills. Subtle but complex conceptual distinctions between Spanish and English will be analyzed and applied to oral and written skills. The course will review grammatical concepts and analysis of both spoken and written Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 2120 or 2220. Previous NMHU SPAN 300. 

SPAN 3100. Advanced Conversation (3); Var
Course provides timely, comprehensive, and authentic video materials on current events, and the language and culture of the Hispanic world to enhance students’ oral comprehension and communicative interaction. It targets intermediate students with a vocabulary of 1,500 to 2,000 words. At the completion of the course, students will have achieved total fluency at that level. Prerequisite: SPAN 2000 and 2110, or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 310. 

SPAN 3300. Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3); Alt, Fa, Odd
This course introduces intermediate-level students to Hispanic literature and to literary analysis. The reading selections encompass authors from Spain, Spanish American and the U.S., and exemplify a variety of literary forms. The readings will expand students’ awareness of the Hispanic culture and enrich their vocabulary. Previous NMHU SPAN 330. 

SPAN 3370 – 4370. Special Topics: Hispanic Literature and Culture (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
This course focuses on a particular cultural period and/or literary or intellectual movement in the Hispanic world. Taught in English. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 337-437. 

SPAN 3380– 4380. Contemporary Cultural Developments in the Hispanic World (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
This course examines the recent history of Spanish-speaking countries and/or regions within the context of cultural, sociohistorical, sociolinguistic, and sociopolitical changes, and the literary and Artistic works they have originated. Taught in English. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 338-438. 

SPAN 3400. Spanish Translation (3); Var
This course offers an introduction to principles of translation and interpretation dealing specifically in English to Spanish. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 340. 

SPAN 3540 – 4540. Creative Writing Workshop in Spanish (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
This course explores exemplary texts by selected Peninsular and Latin American authors. Through the instruction of literary techniques, students will write original poetry, short fiction and/or a play, and will develop a self-critique of their own works. Prerequisite: SPAN 2110 or 2120 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 354-454. 

SPAN 4050. Film in the Hispanic World (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
This course introduces the field of visual arts and techniques of representation. The work of major Hispanic film directors will be presented and compared. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 405. 

SPAN 4060. Hispanic Women Authors (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Designed to introduce the student to women authors in Spanish America, the course covers most genres through the works of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Alfonsina Storni, Domitilia Chungara, Rosario Castellanos, Barbara Delano, and others. Previous NMHU SPAN 406. 

SPAN 4150. Advanced Translation (3); Var
Systematic study and contrastive exercises in translation and interpretation. Translation of texts in general conceptual fields. Previous NMHU SPAN 415. 

SPAN 4240. Advanced Composition (3); Var
This course is designed to develop written proficiency and critical thinking skills through readings and discussions of a variety of texts from the Spanish-speaking global community. It guides students in their understanding of the reading selections at the textual and cultural level, with an ample analysis of vocabulary use and practice. It focuses on strategies with which students learn to compose different pieces of writing and overall develop written Spanish. The discussions focus on history, political and cultural topics pertaining to the Hispanic world. The emphasis is on development of writing skills in formal Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 3000. Previous NMHU SPAN 424. 

SPAN 4250. Spanish for the Profession (3); Sp
Study of the vocabulary, expressions, and cultural background to successfully interact in business and professional situations in the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: SPAN 2210 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 425. 

SPAN 4300. Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
This course introduces the study of Spanish linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics. The course combines discussions of theoretical issues with a linguistic analysis of Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 3000. Previous NMHU SPAN 430.

SPAN 4310. Civilization and Culture of Spain (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Provides students with a synthetic and highly accessible overview of Spanish history, literature, and culture. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 431. 

SPAN 4320. Civilization and Culture of Latin America (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Presents the Spanish-American experience of yesterday and today through the social, historical, political and literary aspects that this experience encompasses. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 432. 

SPAN 4330. Civilization and Culture of New Mexico and the Southwest (3); Alt, Fa, Even
Spanish cultural developments and events that have brought about ethnic, economic, political, social, literary, linguistic and historical changes, and typical features in New Mexico and in the Southwestern United States. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 433. 

SPAN 4340. Practicum in Spanish (3); Var
Experiential study directed by an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 434. 

SPAN 4410. Spanish for the Bilingual Classroom (3); Alt, Sp, Even
This course targets students of bilingual education and presents the Spanish language as it is applied in school community settings. Use of both vernacular and formal language will be included. Spanish is the language of instruction, inclusive of student presentations/participation. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 441. 

SPAN 4450. Teaching of Spanish: Theory and Methodology (3); Sp, 3yr cycle
This course familiarizes prospective teachers with the philosophy, methodology, and practical techniques of teaching Spanish. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 445. 

SPAN 4500. Seminar in Spanish (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Topic to be selected by instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 450. 

SPAN 4600. Hispanic Literature of the SW (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
A study of Hispanic Southwestern literature written in English and in Spanish. The origins and evolution of this literature are discussed, from the early Spanish exploration to the most recent manifestations in every major literary genre. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 460. 

SPAN 4670. History of the Spanish Language (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
This course traces the development of the Spanish language from Latin to the present. It analyzes the cultural, literary and historical factors that have contributed to its evolution. The transformations that the language undergoes in different linguistic settings are studied in a section on sociolinguistics issues of the U.S. southwest Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 4300 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 467. 

SPAN 4700. Chicano Literature of the Southwest (3); Alt, Sp, Odd
This is a survey course which studies major literary genres in Chicano literature spurred by the Chicano movement, such as essay, poetry, short story, novel and drama, and folk literature. Prerequisite: SPAN 470 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 470. 

SPAN 4810. Spanish Literature I: Middle Ages to 1700 (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
Reading of selections by major authors of the Middle Ages, Golden Age, and the Baroque from 1100-1700, focusing on the development of the literary genres. Prerequisite: SPAN 3300 or permission of instructor. Previous SPAN 481. 

SPAN 4820. Spanish Literature II: 1700 to Present (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Readings represent key works of Spanish literature from the Enlightenment and Romanticism to the present. Works studied include prose, poetry, and drama. Prerequisite: Span 3300 or  permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 4820

SPAN 4830. Latin American Literature I: Colonial to 1900 (3); Fa, 3 yr cycle
Readings include seminal works from the discovery and conquest of the Americas to the colonial and independence periods. Prerequisites: Span 3300 or previous NMHU SPAN 330 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 483. 

SPAN 4840. Latin American Literature II: 1900 to Present (3); Sp, 3 yr cycle
Readings represent major literary works from literary movements: modernism, vanguardism, boom, and post-boom periods. Prerequisite: Span 3300 or previous NMHU SPAN 330 or permission of instructor. Previous NMHU SPAN 484. 

SPAN 4950. Senior Year Paper (3); Var
This directed, individualized study is required of all Spanish majors. It consists of an in-depth study of a major author or authors, school, genre, or tradition of Hispanic literature. Analytical and research skills must be demonstrated. Previous NMHU SPAN 495.

 

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This department is under the College of Arts and Sciences