Spanish

Follow your passion for Spanish

The Spanish program focuses on the development of linguistic and cultural competence through active and applied learning, inside and outside of the classroom. Students develop skill sets that prepare them for a globalized workplace through the combined exploration of language and culture. The flexibility of the Spanish major allows students to obtain an additional specialization in their area of interest, giving them experience that’s in high demand in the international marketplace.

A key aspect of our Spanish program is its application of hands-on experience within students’ chosen career paths. Our senior capstone consists of a community-based learning project that allows students to use the target language in local contexts. Furthermore, we offer study abroad opportunities in both Spain and Latin America, with options for semester-long, J-Term and summer programs.

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A UNIQUE ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE

The Spanish major at Loras College is designed to foster the development of practical and applied language skills and cultural competence. Our curriculum combines a communicative language teaching approach with local and international immersive experiences.

  • All Spanish courses at Loras prioritize effective communication in the target language, thus preparing students for real-world interactions in both personal and professional contexts.
  • We offer courses on Spanish in the professions for students to enhance their career options by acquiring Spanish for criminal justice, health, and social services.
  • Our curriculum allows for community-based learning throughout the major, engaging students with Spanish-speaking populations across Iowa and within the city of Dubuque.

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A DISTINCTIVE STUDY ABROAD EXPERIENCE

Semester study abroad options are available to Spain and Argentina. International January-Term courses are offered on a regular basis to Europe and Latin America

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

  • Earn 12 credits toward the Spanish major
  • Participate in a home-stay with a family in Santiago
  • Complete an internship in an area of academic interest such biomedical sciences, international studies, public relations, education, psychology, media studies, politics and criminal justice.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Earn 12 credits toward the Spanish major
  • Participate in a home-stay with an family in Buenos Aires
  • Engage in community-based learning projects with the Universidad Católica de Argentina

January Term Courses

  • SPA 237: El Camino de Santiago / Students hike the oldest pilgrimage route in Europe while learning about immigration and human movement across Spain. While on the Camino de Santiago students engage in an immersive experience that explores the cultural meaning of St. James the Apostle through ancient symbols and modern commodities. The course culminates in the city of Santiago de Compostela where the concept of pilgrimage is fundamental to urban identity.
  • SPW 265: Remembering the Disappeared / During this travel course to Buenos Aires students explore the Argentine capital to understand how modern urban space reflects a violent military history. While in Buenos Aires, students visit neighborhoods, memorials, parks, and tourist sites that either aim to protect or diminish the memory of the victims of state terror.  During their two weeks in country, students consider the ways in which present-day Buenos Aires is defined by the responses of government, the families of survivors, and the Church to state terror.

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SPANISH PROGRAM COMPONENTS: EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

The Loras Spanish program views cultural competency and community engagement as essential components of the language learning process. We are, therefore, focused on creating partnerships and fostering student engagement with the Spanish-speaking community in Dubuque.

In our program, students learn that community engagement does not simply mean service. We educate our students about issues of cultural competency and then ask that they apply these skills in a community setting.

Given these values, community-based learning permeates our program from initial courses to the senior capstone.  In Spanish 210 students have attended Spanish mass and other community events and then reflected on what was learned from the experience. Upper level students have engaged in a project that examines the assets of the Hispanic community in Dubuque and, then, uses these resources to suggest long-term community improvement plans.

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Student Learning Outcomes
Student Learning Outcomes – Spanish
1. Students demonstrate speaking and writing skills in the target language consistent with the Advanced levels as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
2. Analyze the cultural and literary products of the Spanish speaking world in order to evaluate the historical, social, economic and political forces that shape these societies.
3. Examine the validity of one’s own cultural beliefs, behaviors and norms by contrasting and comparing them with those of the target cultures.
4. Conduct independent, scholarly research by integrating, comparing, and evaluating ideas and materials from various critical, cultural and literary sources and applying this research orally and in writing.
Major Requirements

SPANISH
Division of Language & Literature
Kevin Koch, Ph.D., Chair
kevin.koch@loras.edu
563.588.7536

Placement Guidelines for Spanish
All incoming students who plan to enroll in a Spanish course must take the online Spanish placement exam. Transfer students who have taken Spanish at another college or university are exempt from the exam. The Admission office will provide new first-year and transfer students with the placement exam information prior to orientation and registration. Current students should contact a member of the Spanish faculty to make arrangements to take the placement exam prior to registering for any Spanish course.

Study Away Programs
Study in another country is a vital component of the language student’s college experience. There are many opportunities for Loras students to study outside the U.S. for a semester, a summer or a full academic year. Such study greatly enhances a student’s skills in the target language and brings the student into direct contact with another country’s culture(s). The Division of Language & Literature strongly encourages its students to participate in such programs.

All credits from Loras sponsored semester study abroad programs will automatically transfer back to the College. In order to apply credit from courses taken in a non-Loras sponsored study abroad program (semester or summer) students must obtain PRIOR written approval from a Spanish faculty member and must receive approval from the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Center for Experiential Learning.

Students may not apply more than 12 of the 30 credits required for the Spanish major, nor more than 6 of the 18 credits required for the Spanish minor, from courses taken through study abroad (not including January Term courses). Study abroad credits will count as L.SPA-300 and L.SPA-400 level elective credits or SPA-280. Additionally, courses can count as course equates as approved by the Program Manager.

Requirements for the major in Spanish (B.A.):
Students must obtain a final course grade of C or better in each core sequence course of L.SPA-210, L.SPA-220, L.SPA-270, and L.SPA-280 and satisfy all prerequisites in order to proceed through the sequence. Depending on placement, students may begin the major at any point in the following Spanish course sequence as long as they satisfy all prerequisites, but must complete equivalent credits if placed above L.SPA-210. Only one L.SPW course offered in English may be applied to the major, this does not include international January Term courses with the SPW prefix. No more than 12 credits from study away may be applied to the major. Study abroad credits will count as L.SPA-300 and L.SPA-400 level elective credits.

Req Course Cr’s
1 L. SPA-210: Intermediate Spanish I 3
2 L.SPA-220: Intermediate Spanish II 3
3 L.SPA-270: Advanced Communicative Modes 3
4 L.SPA-280: Critical Analysis 3
Select one from Req 5
5 L.SPA-350: El Mundo Hispano 3
5 L.SPA-360: Major Writers 3
Select one from Req 6
6 L.SPA-450: Topics in Culture and Civilization 3
6 L.SPA-460: Themes in Literature 3
7 Electives: Three additional L.SPA 200 or above 9
8 Electives: One additional L.SPA 200 or above, or one L.SPW course 3
9 Elective: One additional L.SPA 400 or above 3
10 L.SPA-490: Senior Seminar & Portfolio-PJ 3
30 total required credits

Requirements for the minor in Spanish:
Students must obtain a final course grade of C or better in core sequence courses that are applied to the minor (L.SPA-210, L.SPA-220, L.SPA-270, and L.SPA-280). Depending on placement, students may begin the minor at any point in the Spanish course sequence as long as they satisfy all prerequisites. Only two L.SPW courses offered in English may be applied to the minor, this does not include international January Term courses with the SPW prefix. No more than six (6) credits from study away may be applied to the minor.

Req Course Cr’s
1 Elective: One L.SPA course 3
2 Elective: One L.SPA course 3
3 Elective: One L.SPA course 3
4 Elective: One L.SPA course 3
5 Elective: One L.SPA course 3
6 Elective: One L.SPA or L.SPW course 3
18 total required credits
Course Descriptions

L.SPA-110: Beginning Spanish I

L.SPA-110 and L.SPA-120 are designed to develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish at the basic level, and place a great emphasis on the acquisition and practice of grammatical structures in Spanish. They also provide an introduction to the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. Prerequisites: Students with no previous study of Spanish or placement, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-120: Beginning Spanish II

L.SPA-110 and L.SPA-120 are designed to develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in Spanish at the basic level and place a great emphasis on the acquisition and practice of grammatical structures in Spanish. They also provide an introduction to the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. Prerequisites: L.SPA-110 with grade of C or higher or placement, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-135: Basic Spanish for the Professions

Designed for students with some previous knowledge of Spanish who wish to enhance their chosen career paths with basic workplace Spanish, these courses emphasize communicative skills and “real-life” applications of specialized vocabulary and workplace practices in Spanish, at the basic level. Each course will focus on the use of Spanish within one general professional context: business, criminal justice, education or health/social services. Prerequisites: L.SPA-110, with grade of C or higher, or equivalent and permission of the instructor. 1-3 credits.

L.SPA-210: Intermediate Spanish I

L.SPA-210 and L.SPA-220, sequential in nature, involve extensive and intensive reading, writing, conversation and grammar at the intermediate level. Students will study the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. This sequence of courses will prepare students for further study in Spanish and serves as the introductory sequence for the major. Prerequisites: L.SPA-120 with grade of C or higher or placement or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-220: Intermediate Spanish II

L.SPA-210 and L.SPA-220, sequential in nature, involve extensive and intensive reading, writing, conversation and grammar at the intermediate level. Students will study the cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples. This sequence of courses will prepare students for further study in Spanish and serves as the introductory sequence for the major. Prerequisites: L.SPA-210 with grade of C or higher or placement, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-235: Intermediate Spanish for the Professions

These courses are designed to enhance communicative skills and “real-life” applications of specialized vocabulary and workplace practices in Spanish at the intermediate level. Particularly appropriate for students with a Spanish minor or double major, each course will focus on attaining intermediate proficiency in workplace Spanish within one general context: business, criminal justice, education or health/ social services. Fulfills an elective requirement for the major or minor. Prerequisites: L.SPA-210 with grade of C or higher, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 1-3 credits.

L.SPA-237: El Camino de Santiago

Ours are misty stone trails through the same green lands that legend says St. James the Elder travelled during and after life. We will follow the Route from Portugal to Santiago. Into this same time and place we will weave the theme of modern human migrations across the Galician landscape, learning the emigrant/immigrant history of recent years. How do the modern American pilgrim and the modern African immigrant move through this landscape; how are they received by the inhabitants of the place? Throughout the trip we will investigate the efforts of Cáritas Diocesana. On the Camino, we will be walking about 15 miles/day, maybe more. 3 credits. January term.

L.SPA-248: Spanish in the Schools Practicum

This course will be experiential in nature, providing pre-service teachers the opportunity to continue to implement specific methodological approaches in second language acquisition, classroom experience, and the opportunity to reflect upon the experience, both individually and as a group. Prerequisites: permission of instructor. 1 credit. May be repeated for a total of 3 credits.

L.SPA-270: Advanced Communicative Modes

Higher level skill development and refinement in writing, speaking, and comprehension for students of Spanish. Includes: informal and formal writing (note-taking, drafts, style sheets, research strategies, paper formats) and informal and formal oral presentations (class discussions, group conversations, formal presentations). Prerequisite: L.SPA-220 with grade of C or higher, or placement, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-276: La Frontera-AC

This bilingual version of the advanced general education course, “The Latino Experience in the US-AC”, focuses on “la frontera,” the areas along the border between the U.S. and Mexico and includes a travel component to Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico. In this course, we will explore the history of both the U.S. and Mexico and the cultural, economic, linguistic, political and social contexts of this globally unique region. Pre-requisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB-105, L.LIB-110 and completion of either L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135 or L.LIB-220. Completion of L. SPA-220 or equivalent and permission and interview with the instructor. 3 credits. January term.

L.SPA-280: Critical Analysis

Using a wide variety of source materials (both academic and non-academic formats), students will engage in activities and analyses that provide them with additional tools and techniques for becoming more thorough thinkers and communicators in Spanish. Additional emphasis is placed on utilizing and processing materials and content that enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of their own and other cultures. Prerequisite: L. SPA-270 with grade of C or higher or placement, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 3 credits.

L.SPA-295: Topics

Spanish topics course. Used to develop courses which have not been approved under another catalog number. See Division Chair for more information. May be taken concurrently with L.SPA-280. 3 credits.

L.SPA-335: Advanced Spanish for the Professions

This level of courses in Spanish for the professions builds upon advanced level communicative competencies in Spanish, with particular emphasis on translation and interpretation and bilingual proficiency. Each course will address one general professional context supplemented with individualized projects and materials that allow each student to more narrowly focus on particular specialized aspects of the general professional topic: business, criminal justice, education and health/social services. Prerequisites: L.SPA-280 with grade of C or higher or placement or equivalent and permission of instructor. 1-3 credits.

L.SPA-338: Advanced Spanish for the Professions Practicum

Field placements, special community outreach projects and/or applied independent study related to Spanish for the Professions at the advanced level. Prerequisites: L.SPA-335 with grade of C or higher, or equivalent and permission of instructor. 1-3 credits.

L.SPA-350: El Mundo Hispano

This course examines the Spanish-speaking countries and cultures on both sides of the Atlantic from earlier centuries to modern times. Students will enhance their knowledge of persons and events and develop intercultural perspectives. Prerequisite: L.SPA-280 with grade of C or higher or placement or instructor permission. 3 credits.

L.SPA-360: Major Writers

Representative authors from the Spanish-speaking world and works from various genres. Prerequisite: L.SPA-280 with grade of C or higher or placement or instructor permission. 3 credits.

L.SPA-400: Advanced Grammar

Intensive practice in the subtleties of Spanish grammar and syntax. Prerequisite: L.SPA-350 or L.SPA-360 or equivalent semester study abroad courses. 3 credits.

L.SPA-450: Topics in Culture & Civilization

In-depth study of a particular issue or area of cultural studies. Topics will vary from semester to semester. Possible topics may include the Spanish Civil War, the Inquisition, Evita Perlin, the Virgin of Guadalupe, music of Latin America and its influence in popular American culture. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: L.SPA-350 or L.SPA-360 or equivalent semester study abroad courses. 3 credits.

L.SPA-460: Themes in Literature

Intensive study of a particular period, region, genre, or author. Topics will vary from semester to semester, and could include Golden Age, Chicano literature, short stories of Argentina, Sor Juana de la Cruz. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: L.SPA-350 or L.SPA-360 or equivalent semester study abroad courses. 3 credits.

L.SPA-490: Senior Seminar & Portfolio-PJ

This is the capstone experience for students majoring in Spanish. Students undertake individualized research projects culminating in a formal oral presentation and a formal written narrative. A significant community connection component is required. Students also complete a College Portfolio that connects to the major that will aid Spanish majors in demonstrating the transferable knowledge and skills that they have developed through their liberal arts education at Loras College. Prerequisite: L.SPA-450 or L.SPA-460 or equivalent semester study abroad courses. 3 credits.

SPANISH-SPEAKING WORLD

L.SPW-247: Colonial Literature of Latin America-AA

Taught in English. This course will explore the issues of conquest, colonization and empire in Latin America through literature, specifically analyzing the role of literature in the construction of culture. Students will examine the development, construction and transformation of literary genres such as satire, epic poetry, urban histories, travel writing, drama and personal accounts. Students will connect this exploration of genre with cultural and social issues of the 16th through 18th centuries, including gender, race, ethnicity, empire, and creole identity. The connection of literary and social questions will allow students to analyze the mutually constructed relationship between literature and cultural paradigms. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100; L.LIB-105; L.LIB-110; and one course from L.LIB­130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SPW-257: Cultural Geography–Spanish-Speaking World

Taught in English. Overview of the history and cultural development of those countries that today make up the Spanish-speaking world. Beginning with a brief history of Spain as a rising European power, the course will examine the “conquest” and “colonization” of the “New World” (North, Central and South America); the colonial period and struggles for independence; the most salient issues of the post-colonial period; the transition into and the contemporary concerns of the 20th and 21st centuries. 3 credits.

L.SPW-265: Remembering the Disappeared

Taught in English. A study travel course to Buenos Aires, Argentina which will examine Argentina’s national interpretation of the “Dirty War,” a social reorganization process which ravaged the country from 1976 to 1983. This course will explore the national mood before the coup as well as the ideology and violent tactics of the military regime governing Argentina during that time. These foci will guide the class in analyzing the larger theme of social, economic, and political resistance during the Dirty War, as well as the modern desire in Argentina to create spaces of social memory that preserve the history of the Disappeared and their families. 3 credits. January Term.

L.SPW-267: The Latino Experience in the U.S.-AC

Taught in English. This course is designed to provide an overview of the historical and contemporary contexts and issues pertaining to the various people in the United States identified as “Latino” (or “Hispanics,” as labeled by the federal government). We will explore the demographics and cultures of Americans whose history and heritage range from flourishing civilizations that pre-date the arrival of the Mayflower to citizens who have never set foot on the U.S. mainland. We will examine the concepts of ethnicity, heritage, ancestry, race, language, citizenship, and culture, particularly as they pertain to Latinos. We will develop a common list of working definitions and an understanding of the major events, historical figures, issues, and concerns that are important and unique to this segment of U.S. society. The January term version of this course, The Latino Experience: la frontera, includes travel to the U.S.-Mexican border Prerequisites: L.LIB-100, L.LIB­105, L.LIB-110, and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SPW-277: United States Latino Literature-AI

Taught in English. This course focuses on the nature of identity and community in literature written by U.S. authors who self-identify and/or are identified as “Latino.” The majority of these works raise and/or address explicitly the questions of “Who am I?,” “What does it mean to be Latino?,” and “To which community (or communities) do I belong?” Selected texts (from the 1940s to now) will represent the perspectives of different and differing voices on Latino “minority” status in relation to mainstream “Anglo” culture, as well as varying definitions of self, identity, and community that contribute to connections and ruptures within the larger Latino community. In this course, we will examine the issues surrounding “otherness” in ways that will engender a more sensitive awareness of how we all participate in and are affected by the dynamics of difference. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100; L.LIB-105; L.LIB-110; and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB­135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SPW-285: Asset Mapping Iowa Latinos-AI

Taught in English. This community-based learning course will examine the use of asset mapping as a tool for promoting and creating community action in Latino population centers across Iowa and within Dubuque. Issues of class, race and gender identity are critical to the asset mapping process and will be analyzed in conjunction with the structure of community relations. Prerequisites: L.LIB-100; L.LIB-105; L.LIB-110; and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

L.SPW-287: Latin American Communities through Literature-AI

Taught in English. This course will focus on subaltern identities and communities as represented in Latin American literature (written originally in Spanish). We will begin with the colonial period and move into the twenty-first century considering multiple Indigenous and Spanish speaking communities. This course will examine the mutually inscriptive relationship between community and identity, the process of formation of communities, and the personal ideologies and beliefs that challenge an individual’s role in a community. Further, the contextualization of the issues represented in the course materials in the Latin American context will require students to analyze ongoing interactions between the self and community in relation to national politics as well as the relationship of Latin America to the “developed world.” Prerequisites: L.LIB-100; L.LIB-105; L.LIB-110; and one course from L.LIB-130, L.LIB-135, or L.LIB-220. 3 credits.

RELATED COURSES: English, International Studies

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

After receiving your degree from Loras, your career could take off into one of these fields:

  • Investment Analyst
  • Pharmaceutical Representative
  • Physician
  • Senior Accountant
  • Professor of Modern Languages
  • Lawyer
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Educational Recruiter
  • Law Enforcement Officer
Questions? Contact Us!

Emily DeFilippo
Assistant Professor of Spanish
563.588.7802 | emily.difilippo@loras.edu

Dr. DiFilippo completed her PhD in Spanish Literature and Culture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis. Her scholarly research focuses on disability, gender and sexuality in contemporary Spanish literature and film. She enjoys challenging students to question the cultural norms that shape our views of ourselves in relationship to others. Dr. DiFilippo also likes quilting and spending time outdoors with her dog.

Kate McCarthy-Gilmore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish
Director of Modes of Inquiry
563.588.7808 | Kate.McCarthy-Gilmore@loras.edu

Dr. McCarthy-Gilmore’s areas of scholarly and academic interest include colonial Latin American literature and gender studies. She is also interested in Asset Mapping, a sustainable means of community development, and she works with students on this topic in January-Term and semester-long courses.