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   Spanish Brochure


Why study Spanish? First and foremost, learning Spanish is much more than learning a second language. Languages cannot be separated from their cultural, historical and artistic contexts. All of our Spanish classes, from elementary to graduate level, focus on both communicative language skills and the diversity of Hispanic culture.

These two elements, language ability and multi-cultural sensitivity, are highly marketable skills in today’s world. A brief look at some statistics shows this importance:

  • Spanish is spoken as the official language of approximately 460 million people in 20 independent countries.
  • An estimated 50 million Hispanics live in the United States.
  •  PA Hispanic population is 5% or 600,000 in 2010.
  • Some reports indicate that the need for foreign language teachers will increase 20% over the next 10 years in the US.
  • Berks County’s Hispanic population saw a significant jump – 44.5%, from 24,820 in 2000 to 60,000 in 2010.

Based on the growth of the Hispanic population and the increase of Spanish-speakers world-wide, bilingual English/Spanish ability and cross-cultural understanding are valued assets within all fields, but especially so within the business world, health care fields, government, education, social work, and law enforcement.


The Spanish Program offers a variety of courses for all learners and all levels. The introductory and intermediate Spanish courses focus on learning the Spanish language for communication and studying Hispanic cultures for appreciation.

The advanced and graduate Spanish courses continue to refine language use, while exploring literary and cultural topics fundamental to historical and contemporary issues of Spain, the Americas, and the Caribbean.

In all courses and in all locations, classroom activities, such as lecture, group discussion, and pair work, are enhanced by the use of computer technology, music, video, and other techniques that our diverse faculty has acquired through their world experiences.

The Undergraduate Program in Spanish consists of four programs of study:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education
  • Minor
  • Elementary Education Concentration
These programs are always undergoing evaluation in order to reflect contemporary topics in the professions


The Spanish Program at KU is complemented by various international education programs, which allow students to earn credit while living and studying in other countries. With these programs students can earn between 6-15 KU credits. The programs are affordable: most do not exceed the total cost of tuition/room and board at KU.

International education programs not only increase second language fluency and understanding of the host culture, but also offer insight into one's own native culture and identity.  They are truly life-changing experiences that the Spanish Program faculty support and encourage for students from all disciplines.


Students who want to continue in the language with which they have previous experience may be able to "jump start" their language learning at KU! They must take the placement exam before taking a language course.  The test can be found at http://www.kutztown.edu/academics/liberal_arts/language/placement.shtml.
Follow the directions and you will get your results.  Credits for lower-level courses can be earned. Check with the Department for details.



In addition to courses and advising, the faculty of the Spanish Program is involved with a number of extra-curricular activities created to enrich both learning skills and teacher/student contact. These activities are free and open to all students. Specific information and schedules are available at the Department Office, on the web site, on our Facebook page!.

  • Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor society, recognizes and encourages academic excellence while providing leadership experience.
  • The Organization for Latino Awareness is a student-run group that organizes cultural and community activities.
  • The Hispanic Film Series presents several films per semester that are either in Spanish or related to Hispanic topics.
  • Spanish Conversation Table


The Ruth B. DeFrancesco Scholarship for Excellence in a Modern Language is awarded to a major who as completed at least 60 credits of coursework.

The Linda Oswald Bogert Scholarship for Study Abroad is available to students who take at least 6 credits abroad.  For more information please see the Department's Scholarship website.


The Spanish Program faculty is committed to excellence in teaching and we are also active participants in research and service. We represent a wide range of educational and research interests, as listed below, and we welcome the opportunity to serve the KU and local community in any capacity.

Dr. Carolina Moctezuma (Texas Tech University) concentrates on contemporary Latin American literature, with an emphasis on emerging literary groups and trends, particularly the Mexican literary group known as Crack. She is also interested in contemporary Latino literature. moctezum@kutztown.edu

Dr. Christine Coleman Núńez  (Temple University) concentrates on theoretical linguistics and sociolinguistics, with a current focus on Puerto Rican Spanish. She is also researches foreign language methodology and both the application and development of instructional technology and computer-based materials. nunez@kutztown.edu

Dr. Karen Rauch  (University of Virginia) specializes in Caribbean studies and 18th- and 19th- century Peninsular literature. Her current research focuses on national identity in Cuban and Puerto Rican texts, literary as well as musical.  Additional concentrations include feminist and psychoanalytical approaches to literary criticism.  Dr. Rauch is one of the co-authors of Plazas: Activities Manual (Thompson-Heinle, 2011).  In addition, she is current Chair of the Department of Modern Language Studies.  rauch@kutztown.edu

Dr. Angelo Rodríguez  (University of California-Davis) focuses on Spanish linguistics: phonetics/phonology with an emphasis on second language acquisition and applied linguistics. arodigu@kutztown.edu

Dr. Jesús Rodríguez (University of Pennsylvania) centers his research studies on the literature of modern Spain. He is the author of El senimiento del miedo en la obra de Miguel Delibes (Madrid: Editorial Pliegos, 1989), and Almodóvar y el melodrama de Hollywood: Historia de una pasión (Valladolid: Editorial Maxtor, 2004.) rodrigue@kutztown.edu

Dr. Nina Shecktor  (Temple University) concentrates on Peninsular literature of the Golden Age. She also deals with contemporary literature of Latin America. She is the author of The Achillean Hero in the Plays of Tirso de Molina (New York: Peter Lang, 2009) shecktor@kutztown.edu

Dr. Dawn Slack  (Ohio State University) specializes in contemporary Latin American literature and culture, with an emphasis on Mexico. She is interested in the changing role of literary and cultural genre, gender and indigenous identity, and resistance literature as well as secondary methodology and international education.  Her most recent publication is a chapter on Cristina Pacheco in The Boom femenino in Mexico: Reading Contemporary Women's Writing (Cambridge Scholars Publisher, 2010). slack@kutztown.edu

Dr. Maximiliano Zúńiga  (Pennsylvania State University) specializes in contemporary Spanish American literature and culture.  He is focusing his present scholarship on Cervantes, colonial and 20th-century Spanish American literature, particularly the narratives of Ricardo Palma, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, Mario Vargas Llosa, Julio Cortázar and the poetry of César Vallejo. He is the author of Las voces narrativas de Alfredo Bryce Echenique (Bucaramanga: (Sic) Editorial Ltd., 2008). zuniga@kutztown.edu 

The Spanish Program
Modern Language Studies
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
(updated 9/2011)

Secretary, Modern Language Studies:
Mrs. Wendy Yenser
Phone: 610-683-4427
Fax: 610-683-4618

Campus location:
      deFrancesco 106

Mailing Address:
      Modern Language Studies
      Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
      PO Box 730
      Kutztown, PA 19530-0730


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