Being bilingual can get you very far in the business world and the Spanish department is making some new changes this year to help students start speaking fluently.
The Spanish program has developed more classes for students to not only major in, but to also minor in as well. Students are able to get a teaching certificate when completing the program and soon they will also be able to get a translation certificate as well. The department is working on adding classes to attract students who don’t necessarily want to teach or go to graduate school and will be able to use their knowledge in other ways such as translating or something practical.
Spanish program coordinator Cristina Ortiz said this program is a good opportunity for students to not only advance their knowledge in another language, but also benefit them in the real world for when that time comes to find a job.
“We have a lot of students who are already very good at understanding the language,” Ortiz said. “Being here in South Texas we have a lot of Spanish speakers already, but the problem is they often don’t see themselves as Spanish speakers because they know that their grammar is weak, or they can understand but they can’t speak fluently, and they never truly consider themselves as being fully bilingual, but we can help fix that here.”
Even though students have other majors Ortiz encourages every student to look into the program because not only is it very doable, but there is also a test on blackboard that allows students to know where they stand in the Spanish language. Depending on how students do on the exam will determine which level of class they are put into.
“We designed this test to help students to gain a better knowledge for the language,” Ortiz said. “I hear very often about students taking Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 and they do very well in it, but they don’t fully learn how to have that conversational style in the language. That is why we designed this exam because if you take it and do well you could be placed in Spanish three where you would be benefitted more.”
Many students are not aware of this program and the ones that are said they learned about it. Sophomore Teegan Specht said she was required to take a foreign language and was stuck because she did not want to back track into taking a class she had just recently taking in high school until she heard about the black board test for Spanish.
“With the Spanish language being around me quite often I have been able to gain the knowledge of understanding it, the main problem for me is carrying a conversation,” Specht said. “I am glad that I am aware of the program now and how it works because at first I was a little discouraged that I would have to take something I have somewhat already taken before, but now that I know about this placement exam it would be more efficient.”
With course registration now available for students, it is important to take into consideration of your options. For more information about the Spanish program you can go to tamucc.edu/humanitites/Spanish/.