Spanish as a heritage language

The Spanish for heritage learners program at this university has a long and distinguished history. We are one of the oldest and most comprehensive programs of this kind in the Southwest. For more than forty years, this department has made great efforts and committed substantial resources for the teaching of Spanish to Hispanic students from different regions of the United States. This commitment is true today. We offer multiple opportunities for students to expand their bilingual skills in a wide range of contexts, to learn more about Spanish-speaking cultural heritages in the United States and elsewhere, and to broaden their personal histories with cultural experiences of U.S. Latinos. Students are able to improve their written and oral expression, while they  acquire a renewed pride in the language of their parents and grandparents. We hope that you join us in our efforts to promote Hispanic languages and cultures in the university community.

Who is a Heritage Learner?

Heritage learners of Spanish are students who have been exposed to Spanish in their homes or communities from a young age. As a consequence of that early exposure, they can understand and/or speak the language and have a personal connection to it. The Spanish for Heritage Learners program at the University of Arizona offers classes for every level, from beginning to advanced.

The Program’s Objectives

The objective of the Spanish for Heritage Learners program is to strengthen the cultural and linguistic resources of Spanish heritage learners in the university. Through a rigorous program of study, the SHL Program students will:

  • Expand their bilingual skills in a wide range of contexts
  • Learn more about Spanish-speaking cultural heritages in the United States
  • Broaden their personal histories with cultural experiences of U.S. Latinos
  • Obtain a range of practice in oral and written skills in the Spanish language through the Spanish-speaking world
  • Develop a critical awareness of the sociopolitical context of bilingualism in the U.S.
  • Become prepared to enroll in upper division leading to major in Spanish

The program also promotes strong ties with the local community by including service learning opportunities for all of our students.

Contact

Director of the Heritage Program

Lillian Gorman,Ph.D.
Office: Modern Languages 525
lgorman@email.arizona.edu
(520) 626-0786


Heritage Courses

Our program offers six different courses at elementary, intermediate and advanced levels in order to satisfy the language needs of the diverse population at the University of Arizona. Taking these courses can lead to a minor or major in Spanish. To enroll in one of our courses, students need to take a language placement exam, bring relevant credit from another institution, or make an appointment for an interview with the program director.

SPAN 103 - Oral Skills for Heritage Learners of Spanish

Units: 4
Usually Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer 1 and 2
For students who have receptive skills in Spanish, but who encounter difficulty speaking. It focuses on developing fluent conversation and listening skills in a positive and culturally rich environment. It also covers basic grammar structures.

SPAN 203 - Writing and Oral Skills for the Heritage Learner of Spanish

Units: 4
Usually Offered: Fall,Spring
Focuses mainly on written and oral development but reading and listening skills are also practiced in a dynamic cultural context. Grammar and spelling issues relevant to students' needs are also covered.

SPAN 253 - Intermediate Spanish I for Heritage Learners

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall
For students who understand and speak Spanish fluently. Focuses on differences between formal and informal uses of Spanish and develops both in the areas of writing, reading, speaking, listening, and vocabulary in a dynamic cultural context centered on Hispanics in the US.

SPAN 323 - Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Learners II

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall,Spring
Focuses on expanding the learners’ oral and written academic proficiency and promotes their critical thinking skills in a dynamic cultural context centered on Latin America. Reviews advanced grammar and spelling issues to strengthen students’ writing.

SPAN 333 - Advanced Spanish for Heritage Learners

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer 1 and 2
Develops oral and written Spanish for academic and professional contexts. Emphasizes different genres of writing, focusing on rhetorical strategies for persuasive and argumentative writing and culminates in a research paper.

SPAN 343 - Spanish Phonetics for the Heritage Speaker

Units: 3
Usually Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer 1 and 2
Introduces learners to Spanish phonology and phonetics. Students learn about the differences between spoken and written language as the basis to advance their Spanish proficiency. It also focuses on exposing students to the different varieties of the Spanish-speaking world.

View the Class Schedule