¡Arkansas en español!
Spanish is a language spoken by 406 million speakers in 31 countries, and it is the fourth most commonly spoken native language in the world. Spanish is also, of course, a rapidly growing second language in the U.S., and in many new destination areas such as Arkansas and the so-called “new south”: Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States, at some 17% of the population, and in some cities in our corner of Northwest Arkansas, such as Rogers and Springdale, Latinos now constitute more than 30% of the population.
U of A students increasingly recognize that cultural competency and linguistic fluency in Spanish will significantly enhance their communication skills, their professional preparation and competitiveness, no matter what their future field of endeavor. As a result, 3000- and 4000-level Spanish enrollments continue to grow dramatically.
Our Spanish program, at the undergraduate level, currently offers a Spanish major, a Spanish minor, and a Spanish minor with business orientation. We also offer a fast-track to the Spanish minor and the Spanish major, popular among the growing population of native and heritage speakers of Spanish on campus: their presence creates a rich mixture of native and non-native speakers in our classes.
The Spanish program is committed to staying current with new directions and the latest developments in our field. In addition to a wide array of courses in language, literature and culture, the program offers new and expanding course options in service learning (both at home and abroad), in language for special purposes and professions, in oral proficiency development, as well as an upcoming three-course sequence in Spanish for Heritage Speakers.
Study abroad is also a strength of the U of A Spanish program. We currently offer two U of A faculty-led summer programs, one in Madrid and one in Puebla, Mexico, the latter of which includes internship options in health care, business, education, and community service. Additionally, working through our Office of Study Abroad, we send our students on many programs in such countries as Chile and Argentina, Perú and Bolivia, and Costa Rica: in 2012-13, some 180 U of A students studied abroad in Spain and Latin America.
Opportunities with Spanish
The Spanish faculty participate actively and extensively in many interdisciplinary programs across campus, such as European Studies, and our strong program in Latin American and Latino Studies. Students are encouraged to be involved in the many co-curricular and outreach activities we help organize and sponsor or co-sponsor, such as the Cineclub, the Tertulia, our local chapter of the National Spanish Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi, the volunteer interpreter programs in local schools, and the annual Hispanic Heritage Month author event.'