Student Learning Goals
The Department of Hispanic Studies offers avenues to explore diverse Hispanic cultures
through coursework in language, literature, linguistics and culture. Basic Spanish
language courses also develop speaking, reading, listening and writing skills. Spanish
literature courses focus on literary and cultural analysis, where students learn key
literary terms, theories and an appreciation for literature as an art form. Linguistic
courses center on the study of sound, sentence structure and language change. Courses
in cultural history examine important cultural shifts in Hispanic society and enable
students to make connections between artistic production and the sociopolitical context
from which it emerges. In addition, all intermediate and advanced-level courses emphasize
how to make an argument, appropriately use primary and secondary sources, and write
in the conventions of the discipline. The department strives to provide an environment
where broad knowledge can be acquired: it encourages students to bring into class
their knowledge of other disciplines and distinctive viewpoints, and to carry their
knowledge from the classroom into other classes and beyond IWU.
Spanish courses at the upper level are divided between studies of linguistics and
the literature and cultures of Spain and those of Latin America. It is recommended
that students seek a balance between these, striving for a broad knowledge of intellectual
currents on both sides of the Atlantic.
Student Learning Goals for Hispanic Studies majors & minors
Communication: Students will demonstrate an advanced level of communication in Spanish
speaking, reading, listening and writing. They will be able to communicate effectively
in both speech and writing; develop and express an extended argument using linguistic
data, historical or literary text analysis.
Cultural Understanding: Students will gain an understanding of the variety and complexity
of Hispanic cultures around the globe. In addition to learning about Hispanic culture
in the classroom, majors are required to spend at least one semester abroad in a Spanish-speaking
Critical Thinking: Students will read and interpret Spanish texts/sources, examine
cultural interactions/nuances, and learn to make evaluative judgments. Students will
learn to synthesize arguments, articulate their opinions and think analytically about the
underlying grammatical Spanish system literary, cultural and linguistic topics in
Spanish both in speaking and writing; distinguish and appreciate different literary
styles and linguistic phenomenon; and make connections between literature and culture.