SPAN 430: Spanish in the United States

SPAN 430-001: Spanish in the US
(Fall 2017)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR

Aquia Building 347

Section Information for Fall 2017

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 38 million people over the age of five speak Spanish at home, making Spanish the most commonly spoken non-English language in the US. These demographic data raise questions such as: Who speaks Spanish in the US? Where are they from and what varieties of Spanish do they speak?  Do people who speak Spanish also speak English? How and why do bilinguals combine English and Spanish in their speech?  What ideologies and ideologies impact Spanish language in the US?   Is the US becoming a bilingual country?

In this class, we will address these questions by considering the history of Spanish in the US, analyzing demographic trends and survey data, and studying the linguistic characteristics of Spanish speakers in the US. In addition, we will attempt to answer a wide range of macro sociolinguistic questions about Spanish in the US such as: How is Spanish portrayed in public discourse? Why is Spanish sometimes perceived as a threat to English? Is speaking Spanish an essential component of Latin@ identity? What is the difference between “Hispanic” and “Latino,” and should either of these be considered a racial identity?

In addition to basic knowledge of the varieties of Spanish spoken in the US, and of the people who speak them, readings and class discussions will provide students with a theoretical base in issues such as ethnolingusitic vitality, language ideologies, linguistic variation, language contact, code switching and translanguaging, language and identity, official languages, and minority language education. In addition, we will examine and utilize a wide range of research methodologies and data sources, including censuses and large-scale surveys, perceptual dialectology, ethnography and critical discourse analysis. Other important goals are for students to examine the Spanish they encounter in their communities, to explore the experiences of local speakers of Spanish, and to critically analyze representations of Spanish and Spanish-speakers.

Taught in Spanish


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Covers both formal and sociolinguistic aspects of Spanish in the U.S. by discussing demographic aspects and a historical overview of the varieties of Spanish spoken in the United States. Gives a foundation in issues such as linguistic variation, language choice, the relationship among race, ethnicity, and language; official language policies; individual and societal bilingualism; and language diversity in education. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: SPAN 385, or advanced ability in Spanish, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.
Additional Course Details: Taught in Spanish

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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