Modern Languages Department
Plan for Implementation of Major in Spanish
The Modern Language Department offers students from all disciplines the opportunity for personal and
intellectual enrichment through the study of new languages and the understanding of the diverse cultures
they represent. Our faculty consists of a rich array of scholars and teachers with expertise in language,
linguistics, literature and culture. We offer a major in Spanish, and minors in French, German, and Italian.
In addition, we offer language instruction in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Russian and other
languages as they appear on the MLD web page.
The goal of the curriculum in all of our languages, in concordance with the Mission Statement and Core
Beliefs of TCNJ, is to promote cultural, linguistic and literary competence. By competence we mean
enabling students to do things with words, and to recover and to interpret what has been done with words in
various social, historical, political and interpersonal contexts1.
In the spirit of diversity, we are committed to inclusive teaching approaches and research agendas that
strengthen our links to other academic disciplines, to the greater academic community, and to the
community at large.
The Department of Modern Languages believes that the following program objectives are essential to the
transformation of the major. Many of these goals are part of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning
in the 21st Century.2
A major in Spanish will provide students the opportunity to:
1. Communicate in Spanish
a) Engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotion,
and exchange opinions.
b) Understand and interpret written and spoken language in a variety of topics.
c) Present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a
variety of topics.
2. Gain knowledge and understanding of other cultures
a) Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives
of the culture studied.
b) Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the products and perspectives
of the culture studied.
3. Connect with other disciplines and acquire information
a) Reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
b) Acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints that are only available
through the foreign language and its cultures.
4. Develop insight into the nature of language and culture
This definition is adapted from Swaffar, Janet. “The Case for Foreign Languages as a Discipline,” Profession
1999. New York: MLA, 1999, 155-167.
Objectives1-5, the 5 Cs of language acquisition, are part of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning.
Within the next few years, language departments which engage in teacher preparation will need to implement
these standards in order to adequately prepare teachers for certification. Students that graduate from institutions
that do not comply with these requirements will not be eligible for certification. See attached copy of Program
Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers, August 1, 2002.
a) Demonstrate understanding of the nature of language through comparisons of the
language studied and their own.
b) Demonstrate understanding of the concept of culture through comparisons of the cultures
studied and their own.
5. Participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world.
a) Use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
b) Show evidence of becoming life-long learners by using the language for personal
enjoyment and enrichment.
A major in Spanish will also:
6. Provide Spanish Education majors with current teaching approaches and pertinent
methodologies for a successful career in language teaching.
7. Prepare students for further educational opportunities post graduation (teaching, graduate
studies) through student teaching and research based courses.
8. Expose the students to a variety of tools for critical analysis of literary texts and linguistic
data and give them ample opportunity to refine these skills.
9. Give students the tools necessary to navigate this ever-changing multi-lingual global
community, regardless of the profession they choose to pursue.
Major in Spanish:
The transformed Spanish major has at its core the five C’s of language acquisition as noted above:
Communication, Culture, Comparisons, Connections and Community. The different courses will
emphasize different elements of the national standards. Upon graduation, students will have had
extensive instruction and practice in all five standards in addition to literary and linguistic analysis.
The major will consist of 12 courses. Students will be required to take a proficiency exam at the end of the
200 level courses and score at least an Intermediate Mid according to the ACTFL guidelines. Students will
also be required to score Advanced Low in their exit interview to be taken before Student Teaching if they
are Education majors, or before registering for their Senior Seminar for non-Education majors.3
3 ACTFL, The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages is the only national organization
dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of
instruction. The ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines represent stages of proficiency in speaking, listening, reading
The 2 levels required from our students, Intermediate Mid at the completion of 200 level courses and Advanced
Low as a pre-requisite for Student Teaching or enrollment in the Senior Seminar are distinguished by the
The Intermediate Mid level is characterized by the speaker’s ability to: handle successfully a variety of
uncomplicated, basic and communicative tasks and social situations; talk simply about self and family
members; ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics beyond the most
immediate needs; e.g., personal history and leisure time activities. Utterance length increases slightly, but
speech may continue to be characterized by frequent long pauses, since the smooth incorporation of even basic
conversational strategies is often hindered as the speaker struggles to create appropriate language forms.
Pronunciation may continue to be influenced by first language and fluency may still be strained. Although
misunderstandings still arise, the Intermediate Mid speaker can generally be understood by sympathetic
The Advanced Low level is characterized by the speaker’s ability to: converse in a clearly participatory
fashion, initiate, sustain, and bring to closure a wide variety of communicative tasks, including those that
require and increased ability to convey meaning with diverse language strategies due to a complication or an
unforeseen turn of events, satisfy the requirement of school and work situations, and narrate and describe with
paragraph length connected discourse.
I. Required Courses for the Major in Spanish
1. One of the following 2 courses:
SPA 203 Speech and Grammar Review
This course focuses on the development of aural comprehension and oral skills in
Spanish. Grammar will be reviewed in order to provide the tools for increased oral
expression. Oral proficiency will be continually stressed through oral presentation,
storytelling, debates, etc.
SPA 210 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
This course is intended for heritage or bilingual students. Emphasis is placed on a study
of grammar intended specifically for the students whose primary knowledge of the
language comes from home or another out of class setting and who have never had
formal training in Spanish.
2. One of the following 2 courses:
SPA 216 Current Events in the Spanish Speaking World
This course focuses on the study of current issues and events in Spain and Latin America
as presented in the media. Students will be introduced to research skills, and will be
required to present oral presentations and weekly written reports on the various issues
SPA217 Introduction to Hispanic Culture
This course concentrates on cultural, sociopolitical and cultural issues that affect Spain
and Spanish America. Readings will be taken from newspapers, journals, and on line
publications. Films, videos and music will be incorporated into the course.
3. The following 9 courses:
SPA 211 Composition and Grammar Review
This course focuses on students’ written skills in Spanish. Grammar will be reviewed in
order to provide the tools for more sophisticated written expression.
SPA 215 Spanish Phonetics
The objectives of this course are to develop a solid understanding of Spanish spelling,
stress patterns and pronunciation, and the relationship between these three aspects of the
Spanish sound system. Students will improve their spelling, pronunciation and listening
skills by applying knowledge gained from written texts and by doing practical listening
and pronunciation exercises.
SPA 241 Introduction to Hispanic Literature
This course is an introduction to Hispanic literature and literary analysis through the
study of selected readings from Spain and Spanish America. This is a writing intensive
SPAN 301 Advanced Spanish Grammar
An in-depth study of the structures of the Spanish language. The course will focus on a
thorough understanding of the various grammatical tenses, modes, and idiomatic
expressions of the Spanish language and will provide sustained oral and written practice
in their appropriate usage.
SPAN 303 Culture and Society in Spain
A study of the development of Spanish civilization and the economic, intellectual,
spiritual, literary and historical components. This will be accomplished through the
analysis of literary and historical texts, films and music.
SPAN 304 Culture and Society in Spanish America
A study of the cultures and societies of Spanish America through literary, political and
historical readings from the fifteenth century through the present.
SPAN 311 Survey of Spanish Peninsular Literature
A study of Spanish literature from the Middle Ages to the present. The course will focus
on key periods in Spanish literature through the study of representative texts to provide
students with an understanding of the richness and variety of Spanish literature and an
appreciation of singular masterpieces as well as the historical and cultural forces which
SPAN 312 Survey of Spanish American Literature
This course will focus on key periods in the development of Spanish American literature
through the study of representative texts. Students will acquire an understanding of the
singularity of Spanish American literature, an appreciation of selected masterpieces, and
an insight into the historical, political and cultural forces which influenced them.
SPAN 497 Senior Seminar
This capstone course will focus on different topics in Spanish and Spanish American
Literature and Linguistics (topics will change yearly). The students will engage in
weekly oral presentations and written reports that will result in a major research project.
4. One 300 level optional course to be chosen from the following:
SPAN314 Spanish American Colonial Literature
SPAN316 Contemporary Spanish American Literature
SPAN323 20th Century Spanish Theater
SPAN325 Theater of Spain and Spanish America
SPAN327 Modern Spanish American Short Story
SPAN331 Spanish American Novel
SPAN333 Puerto Rican Literature
SPAN335 Testimonial Latin American Literature
SPAN337 Women’s Literature of Spain and Latin America
SPAN341 Golden Age Spanish Literature
SPAN348 Seminar in Hispanic Film
SPAN349 Spanish and Spanish American Poetry
SPAN350 The Structure of Modern Spanish
SPAN351 20th Century Spanish Literature
SPAN353 Contemporary Literature of Spain
SPAN355 Romanticism in Spain
SPAN360 Special Topics in Spanish
SPAN367 19th Century Spanish Realist Novel
SPAN372 History of the Spanish Language
SPAN499 Independent Study in Spanish
Spanish Education Majors – Secondary, Elementary and Early Childhood will have
the same minimum requirements as the liberal arts majors.
In addition they will have to take:
MDLA 390 Second Language Acquisition and Related Methodologies (needs to be taken before
SPAN489 Student Teaching Seminar (1 credit)
II. Requirements specific to the revised major
a) Students will take a Proficiency Exam upon completion of 200 level courses. They will
need to score Intermediate-Mid in order to continue taking courses at the 300 level.
b) Students will need to score Advanced-Low in the Proficiency Exam before Student
Teaching if they are Education majors, and before enrolling in the Senior Seminar, if they
are Liberal Arts majors.
c) Study abroad experiences will be an integral part of the program. All evidence supports
that the study abroad experience is indispensable to achieve the Advanced-Low level of
proficiency required for graduation from the program.
d) Domestic opportunities (internships, home stays) will be explored and encouraged.
e) Spanish Education majors (Secondary and Elementary/Early Childhood) will be expected
to take MDLA 390 as part of their Education credits.