Spanish and Portuguese | Hispanic Colloquium
S495 | 21272 | Professor Kimberly Geeslin

HISP-S 495  Hispanic Colloquium  (3 credits)     LINGUISTICS
Prerequisite:  S310 or equivalent for those students who
matriculated prior to Fall 2003.
S326 for those students who matriculate Fall 2003 or after.

Topic:  Sociolinguistics and language teaching

One key component of language teaching and language learning that is
often neglected is the incorporation of knowledge regarding the
variation that exists across Spanish-speakers. To make appropriate
linguistic choices one must understand the role of geography,
gender, social class, ethnicity, and the situational context. Still,
this skill is rarely taught and is difficult to learn. This course
unites information about second language acquisition and current
practices in language teaching with research on sociolinguistic
variation and the particulars of Spanish grammar. The ultimate goal
of the course is to examine how the former is improved by knowledge
of the latter. The course begins with an overview of variation in
the Spanish language and addresses issues such as the identification
of a linguistic standard, prescriptive grammars vs. descriptive
grammars, and linguistic bias. Taking such knowledge as a starting
point, current practices in language teaching are assessed and
evaluated based on the degree to which they incorporate such
knowledge. This course will be especially helpful to students
interested in teaching Spanish in the future and to those who enjoy
examining the varieties of Spanish spoken by populations around the

Required Texts:
A coursepack of required readings will also be made available.

Course Requirements: Daily preparation, including coursepack
readings and homework assignments, and active class participation
are essential for success in this course.  In addition to periodic
graded homework assignments, students will complete three short
exams and a final project.  This project will include the
development of teaching materials focused on a specific construct
addressed in the course.

S495  #21272  1:25P-2:15P MWF  BH011    Professor Kimberly Geeslin
Note: This course meets jointly with HISP-S 498, #16872.  This HISP-
S 495 will count for the 400-level linguistic requirement.