“Spanish for proficiency and fluency” is the way I would like to describe the Spanish program at Northland College. It consists of four courses on a two-year rotation basis: the first year is Beginning Spanish (Mlg 105 & 106) and the second year is Intermediate Spanish (Mlg 205 & 206). All classes are taught in Spanish. Fall Term 2015, I shall start the beginning sequence with Mlg 105, which is continued in Winter Term 2016 with Mlg 106. The Intermediate part of the sequence, Mlg 205, starts in Fall Term 2016, and continues in Winter Term 2016 with Mlg 206, which concludes the whole grammatical sequence and starts literature. Then, the beginning sequence starts again with “buenos días,” in Fall Term 2017.
Beyond those who simply want to take care of their liberal education requirement, the students who take Spanish with me are dedicated students who truly want to make Spanish part of their lives, and their reasons are many. Some want to nurture cultural and ethnic parts of themselves and get to know or be in touch with other members of their extended families; others want to go to graduate school and eliminate the language requirement, if there is one in the program they are planning to enter; others want to travel or do biology/park work in Central and South America, and they know that they will need the language to get by; others, still, plan to work for the Peace Corps in those countries and know very well that being fluent in Spanish will increase tremendously their chances of being chosen (the Peace Corps has become very selective over the years!); finally, most students have realized that knowing Spanish will be a feather in their cap in the job market of an increasingly bilingual United States (by 2050, about half of the population of the US will be Spanish-speaking). All along, I work assiduously with my students to encourage them to join sundry summer or semester programs in Spain or Latin America (I have shelves of programs abroad outside my office), so that they can add linguistic immersion to the solid foundational base that they build in the classroom. Some of my students have gone to Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Spain, etc.
If you have an interest in Spanish, have had no Spanish, or a couple of years of high school Spanish and want to build a solid foundation, register for Mlg 105! If you are not sure, come and talk to me (Wheeler 426 – ext 1330).
If you are not interested in the language option but have had 1, 2, 3, or 4 years of high school Spanish, please be aware that the CLEP exam (a national standard test offered at precise dates during the year) can give you from 4 to 16 graduating credits (depending on your level of expertise) for a very reasonable $60 fee.
For those of you who anticipate going to graduate school, please remember that two years of college language can waive the language requirement in the graduate school programs that have such a requirement. If not, the four semesters offered here will give you an excellent foundation for the language exams required in specific programs.
If you need information, have any question, or any doubt as to where exactly you “fit,” please contact Michele Geslin Small (Wheeler 426 – ext: 1330)
I hope to see you in the fall. Take care and have a good day.
Dr. Michele Geslin Small, Professor of English and Modern Languages