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FAQs 

Who is a heritage speaker of Spanish?

You are considered a Spanish heritage speaker if you have a personal, familial or community connection to Spanish but received the majority of your formal education in English.

Some typical situations are the following:

·You were raised in a Spanish speaking household where one or both parents spoke Spanish and received your formal education in English.

·You were born in a Spanish speaking environment (i.e., Colombia, El Salvador, etc.) but then moved to an English speaking community (i.e., USA), when you were still a young child.

Heritage students comprise a broad range of experiences and levels of competency in Spanish: from mostly being able to understand the language or speaking it with some difficulty, to feeling comfortable talking and reading about a wide variety of topics in the language.

Spanish heritage classes vs. regular Spanish classes?

Spanish heritage speaker classes, like Spanish classes as a second language, focus on all skill areas: writing, speaking, reading, listening and culture. Generally speaking, heritage speakers are strong in listening and speaking skills, while they need more training in formal aspects of the language. Heritage courses are designed to meet the unique needs of heritage learners by focusing on vocabulary acquisition, spelling and grammar, oral expression and academic writing as well as on issues of English-Spanish bilingual identity.

Why should I take a placement test?

Given that there are a great variety of levels among heritage speakers, the placements test allows us to group similar levels together, and it gives students a more tailored instruction.

What is the heritage speakers Placement test like and when can I take it?

The placement test for heritage speakers is an assessment of your skills in the areas of speaking, reading, listening and writing. It consists of reading comprehension, short essay writing, and an oral interview.  The test usually lasts about fifty minutes and it may only be completed on-campus. 

Do Spanish for heritage speakers classes satisfy the A&S requirement?

Yes, the Spanish for Heritage Speakers classes do satisfy the A&S language requirement.  The Spanish 111 class is usually enough to complete the requirement.  Spanish 210 and 211 can be taken to satisfy a humanities requirement and/or can count towards the major or minor in Spanish. 

Can Spanish heritage students take SPAN 203-204 classes?

Spanish heritage students should not take Span 203 and 204. Instead, they should take Span 210 and 211, which are specifically designed for heritage learners. After completing Span 210 and 211 students can pursue a Spanish major/minor or a LALS minor. 

Who do I contact if I want to major or minor in Spanish?

If you want to major or minor in Spanish or SIS, contact Dr. Daniel Colón at colon@cua.edu