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Spanish for Heritage Learners

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers three Heritage Language courses designed to meet the needs of Spanish heritage language learners. 

¿Hablas español? ¿Creciste hablando español con tu familia o en tu comunidad?
¿Aprendiste el español de niña/o?
¿Tienes interés en usar la lengua en diferentes contextos y con estudiantes con experiencias similares?

Spanish for Heritage Learners

Who is a heritage language learner?

A heritage language learner is an individual who has grown up speaking, listening, reading and/or writing Spanish with family or in their community. Heritage language learners possess different abilities and levels of proficiency, so we offer three levels to meet the needs of each student: SPAN 1113 (beginner), SPAN 2213 (intermediate), SPAN 3413 (advanced). Each level builds upon the skills that learners bring with them and continues to expand their knowledge of Spanish in different contexts, genres and with different audiences to further develop students’ communicative skills.

Each of the three courses focuses on students’ background and provides a curriculum that is both engaging and culturally relevant. Students learn about different Spanish-speaking communities across the U.S. and the world. The courses aim to foster a sense of belonging through engagement and open dialogue about different racial and ethnic identities, justice and equity, and diverse historical backgrounds. We incorporate the experiences of growing up in bilingual and bicultural communities into our curriculum to teach critical thinking and self-expression. In these courses, we offer students opportunities for civic engagement, leadership development and community outreach.

What are the advantages of taking these courses?

If you successfully complete SPAN 1113, you meet all the (foreign) language requirements. However, by taking SPAN 2213 and 3413 you can achieve a higher level of proficiency in all areas (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Although you do not have to declare a minor or major in Spanish to take these courses, taking them can lead you in this direction. For example, SPAN 3413 counts towards your minor or major. Additionally, SPAN 2213 and 3413 count towards a minor in Latina/o studies.

“The Spanish for heritage speakers class at Ohio State is unlike any other class I have ever taken. Being a heritage speaker of Spanish, this is the class where everything just clicked and took my Spanish to the next level. It helps when the curriculum feels as though it is tailored for me.” 

-Carlos Martinez, Spanish and Linguistics 2018

Heritage Language Courses

  • Develop academic, professional and creative writing skills
  • Practice formal and informal speaking skills
  • Increase knowledge and use of grammatical structures and achieve communicative competence of Spanish in various contexts
  • Build a close-knit community with other Latinx/Hispanic students and learn about the Spanish-speaking community in Ohio
  • Gain a greater understanding of the conditions and contributions of the Latinx/Hispanic population in the U.S.
  • Reinforce and validate the home language and culture of the heritage learner

Spanish 1113: Introductory Spanish for Heritage Learners

Practice and gain confidence in your conversational skills in Spanish. Expand your vocabulary, be introduced to the written language as well as basic Spanish grammar and strengthen your listening skills in a positive and supportive environment. Special focus on the Spanish varieties and cultures in the United States and the Midwest.

Spanish 2213: Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Learners

Students use four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) through readings, written essays, and oral presentations. This course will explore the diverse identities and experiences of Spanish-Speaking groups in the United States, and student’s home and community culture.

Spanish 3413: Spanish Composition for Heritage Learners

Use and improve your writing skills through autobiographical, ethnographical, journalistic and professional writing pieces. You will also have an opportunity to record your own podcast and get your opinion piece published at ¿Qué Pasa, OSU?!

Read more: A student perspective.         Read more: About the program

Please contact spanport@osu.edu for more information.