Curriculum

THE CURRICULUM

The Spanish and Latin American Cultures integrated curriculum consists of three interlocking levels. Although each has a different emphasis, they are conceived as connecting pieces of a single project that guides students in the uninterrupted development of translingual and transcultural competence throughout the four years of study. From the very beginning, language acquisition is directed toward skills useful for a college/pre-professional audience.

I. The Language Program consists of the four-semester introductory course sequence: SPANUG1101, 1102, 2101, and 2102, and emphasizes the initial stages of language acquisition—by the end of the four semesters, students should reach Threshold/Intermediate (CEFR B1) or ACTFL Intermediate-range proficiency level. Each semester’s syllabus contains detailed learning objective information. Unlike at many other college language programs, our elementary-intermediate sequence is tailored to learners with a high educational level, stressing language use beyond general purposes suited to travel or everyday situations and cultivating competencies geared to academic and professional settings. From the first semester, attention is also paid to the critical understanding of cultural products including, but not limited to, literature. Although the sequence is conceived as a single four-semester course (and requires purchase of only one set of textbook materials), students may begin at the first, second, third, or fourth semester depending on placement.  See Language Requirement.   Please see the Language Program Director if you have any placement questions.

II. The Bridge Level is considered the threshold to, and counts towards, the major and minor. It includes SPANUG3300, 3349, and 3350, which are prerequisites for all advanced courses unless specially noted in an upper-level course description. The bridge sequence emphasizes basic topics, issues, and methods in literary and cultural studies, as well as the fundamentals of academic exposition (written or oral). Completion of SPAN1202 or appropriate score in placement exam are mandatory to enroll in the bridge sequence, and native/near-native speakers who wish to enroll in upper-level courses are not exempt from SPAN UN3300, 3349, and 3350. SPAN UN3300 is designed to precede 3349/3350, or at the very least to coincide with the first of these two courses to be taken. If you have problems with in-sequence registration, please consult the Language Program Director.

III. The Upper Level includes all 3000/4000-numbered courses except those in the bridge level, and concentrates on advanced topics, issues, and methods in literary and cultural studies, in addition to research and academic expository writing. Continued work on language acquisition and development should take students to CEFR B2-C2 levels (Independent/Proficient User) and the ACTFL Intermediate High through Superior range. Completion of at least two bridge courses is required for registration in the upper level, both for departmental majors/minors and students from other programs. Please note that, although any course in a language other than English satisfies the Barnard language requirement, in Spanish and Latin American Cultures you cannot place directly into an upper-level course. Exceptions are uncommon, and must be cleared by the Language Program Director, a departmental Major, or Minor Advisor, and/or the course instructor in consultation with advisors.

Unless specified in a course description, all courses in the department are conducted in Spanish. As recommended by the American Association of Departments of Foreign Language, enrollment is limited to fifteen students to allow for maximum class participation and substantial writing feedback, which are essential for maximizing language learning efficiency.

For information on satisfying the Barnard Language Requirement in Spanish and Latin American Cultures, click here.

For information on language teaching methodologies in Spanish and Latin American Cultures, click here.

For information on the Major in Spanish and Latin American Cultures, click here.

For information on the Minor in Spanish and Latin American Cultures, click here.