Description of the Major. The Spanish major at Westmont develops advanced proficiency in Spanish and provides students with intercultural sophistication to function comfortably and effectively in a Spanish-speaking environment. At the elementary, intermediate, and upper-division levels, professors teach Spanish communicatively (so that grammar is mastered but not at the expense of oral proficiency). The emphasis is on the culture, civilization, and literature of the people who speak this language.
Distinctive Features. The Spanish major combines the perspective of a liberal arts background, cross-cultural experience, and advanced competency in the language. Students achieve these goals through classroom instruction and residence in a culture where Spanish is the native language. Spanish majors complete one semester (14-16 units) abroad at an approved university in Spain or Latin America. Students are eligible to study abroad (in either fall or spring semester) after having completed at least four units of upper-division work in Spanish. The courses offered vary from year to year and from program to program, but always include language, literature, and civilization and culture
Classes. Students may choose from the following programs and locations in Spain and Latin America: Barcelona (Brethren Colleges Abroad), San Sebastián or Bilbao (University Studies Abroad Consortium), Santiago de Compostela (University of Kansas), Sevilla (Trinity Christian College), Heredia or Punta Arenas, Costa Rica (University Studies Abroad Consortium), San José, Costa Rica (University of Kansas), Quito, Ecuador (Brethren Colleges Abroad), Santiago, Chile (University Studies Abroad Consortium).
Students benefit from small class sizes, close student-faculty relationships, a flexible curriculum, and first-hand experience in a Spanish-speaking environment. The curriculum for the Spanish major develops an understanding of Spanish and provides the training which prepares students for professional pursuits or advanced study in Spanish at the graduate level.
As our society becomes more bilingual, all graduates entering careers in education, ministry, business, and public services would benefit from fluency in Spanish. The major lends itself well to doubling with majors in religious studies, education, economics and business, and sociology, among others.
Career Choices. Proficiency in another language and understanding of other peoples and cultures are essential tools in many careers. These include primary, secondary and bilingual education; international journalism; foreign and home missions; foreign service; international business and law; medicine; social work; translation and interpretation.