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CCOG for SPA 217 Winter 2024

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

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. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores.

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 completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ability to speak Spanish with increased accuracy and appropriate register.
  2. Write in Spanish applying established rules of spelling, and punctuation, with appropriate register.
  3. Apply metalinguistic knowledge into language skills.
  4. Read and comprehend a variety of authentic texts in Spanish.
  5. Use critical thinking skills to demonstrate an understanding of the issues of bilingualism and identity among heritage Spanish speakers in the US.
  6. Identify the linguistic and cultural diversity within the Spanish-speaking world.

Integrative Learning

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to reflect on one’s work or competencies to make connections between course content and lived experience.

General education philosophy statement

Heritage speakers of Spanish are people who grew up using Spanish at home, but for the most part, their formal education has been in English. SPA 217 explores and analyzes products, practices and perspectives of cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, and encourages students to reflect upon the cultures of their own local communities. This course also examines a variety of social constructs and historical events relevant to the Spanish-speaking world, which help students gain appreciation of history both from a global perspective, and from a personal perspective. While studying Spanglish, the different variations of Spanish, grammar, punctuation and spelling, students improve their critical thinking skills. Students analyze, find connections, compare and contrast. Students in SPA 217 practice oral and written communication using the appropriate linguistic register, which prepares them to engage more effectively in a range of settings (informal, academic, professional, etc.). Because of the above mentioned, students who take SPA 217 are better equipped to participate effectively and responsibly in multilingual communities at home and around the world.

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

  1. Students will be assessed by any combination of the following:
  2. Active participation in small groups and class discussions
  3. Individual and/or group presentations
  4. Short writings and essay writing
  5. 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. Spanglish: linguistic analysis and its validity

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

  5. The evolution of the Spanish language (origin, words of indigenous origin, etc.)

  6. Key historical figures in the Spanish-speaking world

  7. Literary authors and writings

  8. Political geography of the Spanish-speaking world


  1. Metalanguage

  2. Grammar: infinitives, conjugation, modes, tenses, etc. 

  3. Register: formal and informal

  4. Accents rules and other spelling rules 

  5. Punctuation

  6. Similarities and contrasts between Spanish and English