MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES
WHY STUDY SPANISH?
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:
These programs are always undergoing evaluation in order to reflect contemporary topics in the professions
STUDY ABROAD OPPORTUNITIES
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education
- Elementary Education Concentration
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.
THE CAPE EXAM
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
Follow the directions and you will get your results. Credits
for lower-level courses can be earned. Check with the Department for
EXTRA CURRICULUAR ACTIVITIES
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
- 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
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
She is also interested in contemporary Latino literature.
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.
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
In addition, she is current Chair of the Department of Modern Language
Dr. Angelo Rodríguez (University
of California-Davis) focuses on Spanish linguistics:
phonetics/phonology with an emphasis on second language acquisition
and applied linguistics.
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
(Madrid: Editorial Pliegos, 1989), and
Almodóvar y el melodrama de Hollywood:
Historia de una pasión
(Valladolid: Editorial Maxtor, 2004.)
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
(New York: Peter Lang, 2009)
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).
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
(Bucaramanga: (Sic) Editorial Ltd., 2008).
The Spanish Program
Modern Language Studies
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Secretary, Modern Language Studies:
Mrs. Wendy Yenser
Modern Language Studies
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
PO Box 730
Kutztown, PA 19530-0730
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