Spanish is the world’s fourth most spoken language after Mandarin, Hindi and English, and ranks second in terms of native speakers. Presently, about 350 million people speak Spanish as their native tongue in 21 countries on four continents. When combined with the many millions who speak Spanish where it is not an official language, there are some 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide.
In 2005 42.7 million Hispanics were living in the United States, and 42 million of them the spoke Spanish at home. This means that this segment of the U.S. population has increased by 60% in the last decade. The Hispanic community now represents 13% of the total U.S. population. By the year 2050, it is projected that the Hispanic population will be 24% of the total population, and that Spanish is expected to be the first language of 50% of the country’s inhabitants within 50 years.
What does all this mean?
It means that the United States is becoming a bilingual country.
It also meansthat a working knowledge of Spanish is becoming essential for employment in many areas of the country.
U.S. Hispanics is the fastest growing consumer market in North America, and represent a buying power is presently estimatedto be at one billion dollars. It is estimated that there are 16,000 Spanish language publications, 250 Spanish television stations and 5,100 radio stations.
In addition to these trends, Latin American countries are becoming important global commercial partners. Given the newly created MERCOSUR and NAFTA trade agreements, it is anticipated that they will bring further growth to these economies.
Becoming proficient in Spanish will greatly enhance your opportunities for a multitude of career options. Simply put, employers are seeking applicants who can speak Spanish in nearly every profession. Social workers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, sales personnel, government employees, translators, interpreters, educators and immigration/law enforcement officers are among a long list of possibilities.
Spanish is the key for the comprehension of the creations in the world of visual arts. These include the masterpieces of Velázquez, Rivera, Goya, Dalí, Picasso and Botero. In literature, Nobel Laureates are numerous: Mistral, Asturias, Neruda, Paz, Cela, Jiménez, García Márquez, etc. One of the greatest works of literature was written in Spanish 400 years ago by Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote de la Mancha. It is considered one of the most translated books in history, second to the Bible. In recent years, Hollywood has recognized film directors Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar as well as star actors Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek.
Studying Spanish at NCCU provides students with essential skills for communicating with those who live both outside and inside of our own borders. Students learn to see the world through the eyes of others, and grow attuned to a diversity of voices and different ways of thinking. Such exposure dramatically improves critical skills, leads to a deeper knowledge of oneself and a more profound awareness of the diversity of cultures that make up our own country’s heritage and future.
The Spanish faculty offers an integrated curriculum in introductory and specialized, advanced instruction in language, literature and culture. The objectives of the Spanish major include the skills of advanced proficiency in oral and written communication, an understanding of Hispanic cultures and a general familiarity of aspects of Hispanic literatures.
SPAN 1152 – Spanish III
SPAN 2100 – Intermediate Spanish I
SPAN 2200 – Intermediate Spanish II
SPAN 2300 – Introduction to Hispanic Literature
SPAN 3080 – Syntax & Composition
SPAN 3100 – Oral & Written Practice I
SPAN 3110/3120 – History/ Civilization
SPAN 3210/3220/3300 – Literature/ Afro/History Lit
SPAN 4110 – Advanced Grammar & Composition
SPAN 4200 – Oral & Written Expression II
SPAN 4210/4220 – Survey of Spanish Literature
SPAN 4800 – Senior Seminar
SPAN 1150, SPAN 1151, SPAN 1152 (or placement exam)
SPAN 2100, SPAN 2200
2 additional Spanish courses