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SHL Classes

“Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue—my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”

Gloria Anzaldúa • Borderlands/La Frontera

The classes below are especially appropriate for heritage learners of Spanish. SPAN 218, 228, and 312 are designed especially for SHL students.

SPAN 150 Cultures of the Spanish-speaking world
Spanish is the official language of over twenty American countries and Spain, and it is the de facto second language of the United States. Even those with a superficial knowledge of Spanish know that there are vast geographical and social differences in the language. In this class we will explore variation in the Spanish language, focusing on the historical sources of modern-day dialects, the lexical and grammatical features that distinguish them, the social factors that determine current usage, and the future of the language in the different contexts where it is used. The course is taught in English; knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not required.

SPAN 218 Voces latinas I
Intermediate Spanish course designed specifically for Heritage learners of Spanish. This class allows students to explore important cultural production from the Spanish-speaking world, with a focus on Latino culture in the U.S., while building their communicative skills in Spanish. This course cannot be combined with SPAN 201, 202, 203 for more than 15 credits of second-year Spanish.  Course taught in Spanish and Spanglish.

SPAN 228 Voces latinas II
Intermediate-level oral skills and academic Spanish development for heritage language learners of Spanish. Helps students establish a personal connection between their Spanish language heritage and the wider Spanish-speaking world. Course taught in Spanish and Spanglish.

SPAN 238 Spanish Around the World
Spanish is the official language of Spain and over twenty American countries, and it is the de facto second language of the U.S. But even those with a superficial knowledge of Spanish know that there are vast geographical and social differences in the language. In this course, students will learn to identify places, peoples, historical, cultural and linguistic influences that made the Spanish language what it is today, starting with its origins in the Latin of Iberia, through colonial expansion and the African diaspora to its role as an international language today. Students will also identify the phonetic, lexical, and syntactic features that distinguish major dialects of Spanish. We will study the linguistic and cultural stereotypes associated with English and Spanish dialects, and the power dynamics that underlie them. By the end of the course, students who initially had limited comprehension of Spanish comprehension will be able to identify the origin of speakers of different varieties. Course taught in English, Spanish, and Spanglish; one year (or equivalent) of Spanish is recommended.

SPAN 248 Spanglish as a U.S. Discourse Community
Spanish has been present and in contact with English in the territories now occupied by the U.S. since colonial times, as an integral part of the cultural matrix of the U.S. This course will survey the historical origins of the different groups of Spanish speakers in the U.S. and examine the dynamics of language choice and relative prestige. The class will also study the role that Spanish instruction in the U.S. has had on perceptions of the Spanish language and its associated cultures; we will attempt to redefine the boundaries of language study and of relevant concepts such as the “native  speaker,” “monolingualism,” “bilingualism,” and “speech community.” Students will be encouraged to speak in English, Spanish, or use code-switching, empowering them to build communicative competence and develop self-confidence around the linguistic knowledge they already possess. Students will take their analysis outside the classroom, carrying out activities in bilingual communities here in the Eugene-Springfield area. The focus on oral skills in this class aims to demonstrate how instances of code-switching between English and Spanish, as well as lexical borrowings, which have been previously considered taboo in L2 instruction, are an effective means of developing proficiency, since these phenomena naturally occur among most bilingual speakers around the world. Course taught in English, Spanish, and Spanglish; one year (or equivalent) of Spanish is recommended.

HIST 248 Latinos in the Americas
This course introduces students to the histories of Latino migrants and Latino Americans while helping students develop strategies for Spanish reading comprehension. The course focuses on the numerically largest group, Mexicans, and course themes will emphasize not only the ways these migrants and Latino Americans have fit into U.S. history, but also the ways they have shaped societies of origin in Latin America. By the end of the course, students will be able to derive meaning from Spanish-language documents in the following genres: Newspaper articles, transcribed oral interviews, and written correspondence. They will acquire increased confidence in their comprehension skills along with a basic understanding of the histories of Latinos in the United States. Course taught in English, Spanish, and Spanglish; one year (or equivalent) of Spanish is recommended.

SPAN 308 Comunidades bilingües
The focus of this course is to explore the many linguistic communities where Spanish comes in contact with other languages and cultures. Students will study Spanish language beginning with its historic origins and its growth into the different regional and dialectal varieties that currently exist in the United States and in other countries throughout the world. Course taught in Spanish.

SPAN 312 Spanish in the Media / El español en los medios de comunicación
Advanced writing course for Spanish heritage learners. This class examines the presence and role of Spanish in various forms of media, including television, internet, social media, telenovelas, and recent literature. Students will practice the advanced writing skills necessary to participate in 21st-century discourse communities (argumentative writing, close textual readings. Students cannot receive credit for both SPAN 311 and SPAN 312. Prereq: instructor approval only.

SPAN 348 US Latino Literature and Culture
A lo largo de su corta historia, la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y México ha sido una grieta y un imán, interrumpiendo las relaciones de pueblos y familias que habitan esta región de las Américas. Las historias de estos pueblos y familias revelan la existencia de un “tercer país,” un “borderlands” tanto psíquico como geocultural, donde las experiencias personales y colectivas de opresión y liberación se entrecruzan. En este curso analizaremos la producción cultural chicana y transfronteriza, enfocándonos en algunos momentos claves de construcción y reformulación de la frontera desde la expansión capitalista estadounidense de mediados del siglo XIX hasta nuestros días. Dos de nuestros objetivos serán familiarizarnos con las perspectivas chicanas, mexicanas y centroamericanas sobre ciudadanía y pertenencia en los Estados Unidos y evaluar con ojo crítico la construccion de categorías como “hispano,” “latino,” “ciudadano,” e “ilegal” en el discurso dominante angloamericano. Analizaremos las maneras en que en el contexto de capitalismo tardío, las/los artistas, escritores, y activistas crean nuevas metáforas de identidad cultural y formas alternativas de pertenencia y permanencia frente al olvido histórico y la hostilidad cotidiana de la sociedad dominante angloamericana.

English Version: The histories of the communities and families inhabiting the region surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico reveal the existence of a “third nation”, a borderland where personal and collective experiences of oppression and liberation intertwine. This course analyzes some of the Chicano and transborder cultural production that arises from these communities, and examines the construction of categories such as “hispanic,” “latino,” “citizen,” and “illegal alien.” Course taught in Spanish.

SPAN 428 Spanish in the U.S.
This course provides the background knowledge and analytical tools to critically explore the use of the Spanish language, its linguistic characteristics, and narratives about its use within the United States. The goals of this course include the assessment of language stereotypes, common beliefs, and media discourses, as well as one’s own positioning on the borderlands. Course taught in Spanish.

SPAN 448/548 National Identities & Border Cultures in the Americas
This seminar focuses specifically on contested national identities and border cultures in the Americas. It introduces current research on nation building and subaltern cultural politics, focusing specifically on several multi-ethnic regions in the Americas where dominant ideals of nationhood are contested by immigrants and historically marginalized groups within national borders. Course taught in Spanish.

For more information, please contact the Spanish Heritage Language Program at

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