Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
SPA 217
Course Title:
Spanish for Heritage Speakers - 1st Term
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Builds upon existing Spanish linguistic and cultural knowledge and experiences of Spanish heritage speakers. Develops accuracy and appropriate register for professional situations. Improves oral communication and writing skills, with strong emphasis in vocabulary enrichment and spelling. Addresses linguistic and cultural variations within the Spanish-speaking world. Improves reading comprehension, reviews grammar terms, and practices translation. Recommended: For students who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household or community, who can speak in Spanish, and want to develop their writing, reading and conversational skills. Students with other extensive prior experience are encouraged to contact the instructor before enrolling in the course. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course satisfies part of the foreign language requirement for the B.A. degree, counts towards Arts and Letters distribution requirements for the A.A. degree, and contributes to the General Education requirement for other Associates Degrees.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

1. Speak Spanish with increased accuracy and appropriate register.
2. Write Spanish in an organized, appropriate and clear manner, applying established rules of spelling and accentuation.

3. Read and comprehend a variety of authentic texts in Spanish.
4. Begin to recognize and appreciate issues of bilingualism and identity among heritage Spanish speakers in the US.

5. Recognize and begin to appreciate the linguistic and cultural diversity within the Spanish-speaking world.

6. Start to consider the professional advantages of bilingualism and biculturalism.

Course Activities and Design

  1. Regular attendance

  2. Assigned readings

  3. Class discussions

  4. Research of specific themes individually and/or in groups

  5. Presentations given individually and/or in groups

  6. Short writings and essay writing

  7. Quizzes

  8. Optional: Community-Based Learning

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed by any combination of the following:

1.Active participation in small groups and class discussions

2.Individual and/or group presentations

3.Short writings and essay writing

4. Quizzes and homework

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  1. Identity of heritage speakers of Spanish in the US

  2. Historical events and current issues related to Hispanic groups in the US

  3. Spain: critical historical events, Castilian vs. Spanish, Spain€™s role in the Spanish-speaking world

  4. Linguistic and cultural variations within the Spanish-speaking world

  5. Key figures in the Spanish-speaking world

  6. Literary authors and writings


  1. Grammar structures and terminology

  2. Formal and informal register

  3. Use of accents and other spelling rules and issues

  4. Punctuation

  5. Similarities and contrasts between Spanish and English

  6. False cognates, literal translation vs. accurate translation