The Department of Spanish and Portuguese provides the means for students to develop competence in literature, language and culture in multi-disciplinary contexts. By delving into the languages of Spanish and Portuguese, students engage in cross-cultural experiences, while developing knowledge about social and community issues within and outside the country. Furthermore, students learn about the interconnection between the U.S. and the Spanish and Luso-Brazilian-speaking world. The study of cultures and literature seeks to develop sensitivity about social justice while conveying the diversity of various cultures. These academic and community-based experiences are meant to lead to a better understanding of the individual’s role within the global community.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers a wide range of courses, from beginning language instruction to advanced seminars in Iberian, Latin American and Latino literatures. At all levels, the department is committed to assisting students in learning to read, to write and to speak about the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds with accuracy and insight. To achieve cultural and linguistic literacy, the curriculum encourages students to engage the literary, historical, cultural and global contexts in which Spanish and Portuguese are spoken.
The study of literary texts enables students to develop as critical readers and active participants in discussions about literature as artistic expression as well as a means of expressing cultural values and perspectives. While literary texts are integrated into teaching at all levels, Spanish minors and majors may choose from a broad range of courses on literature from the Middle Ages to the present.
Language instruction prepares students to use foreign language in everyday life as well as in academic settings. Excellence in speaking, listening, reading and writing is expected at every level of instruction which takes place in the target language through a variety of teaching methods and resources, including culturally-integrated course material and appropriate technologies.
The Department’s goal is to promote an understanding of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking communities through the study of language and literature and to encourage students to expand their knowledge through study abroad. The critical and interpretive skills students acquire derive from textual analysis which allows them to explore Luso-Hispanic societies in informed ways. These academic and community based experiences in cross-cultural interaction are meant to lead to a better understanding of the individual’s role within the global community.