Contact Information:

Drew University
Department of Spanish
212 Brothers College
Madison, NJ 07940
tel. 973.408.3615
fax. 973.408.3768

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Drew University

Department of Spanish

Linguistic Studies

Latin American Studies

International and
Off-Campus Programs

Drew International Seminars (DIS)

Language and Culture in Barcelona


Center for Civic Engagement


Courses Taught at Drew

Fundamentals of Oral and Written Spanish I
Spanish 1 is an introduction to the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. The course concentrates on the acquisition of the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Using a communicative, proficiency-oriented approach set in real world contexts, the course has as its objective that students be able to: handle a limited number of interactive, task-oriented and social situations with linguistic accuracy, such as introducing oneself and ordering a meal; asking and answering simple questions; maintaining face-to-face conversation; and developing a cultural awareness of Spanish-speaking countries.

Oral and Written Skills for Heritage Learners
This course focuses on written and oral development of Spanish in addition to the practice of reading and listening skills in a dynamic culturally-based context. Students will learn about grammar and spelling issues as they expand their writing skills. They will also improve public speaking skills through class activities and presentations.

Spanish Grammar and Conversation for Heritage Learners
This course will further develop reading and writing skills. Students will improve their control of grammar and written expression. They will explore the implications of bicultural identity and recognition of regional variations of Spanish. They will use short stories, articles, films, and other materials as a starting point for discussion, reflection, and writing.

Cultural Contact and Conflict in the Spanish-speaking World
This course explores the notions of cultural contact and conflict in several socio-geographic contexts in the Spanish-speaking world including: the U.S.-Mexico border region, indigenous and mestizo communities in Mexico and Central America, and the sociocultural and political influence of the U.S. in Puerto Rico. The course examines the concepts of cultural hybridity, contact and conflict, ethnicity and race, adaptation, and cultural/language contact. Course readings draw on a combination of historical analysis, ethnographic studies, autobiography, fiction, poetry, essays, and film in order explore the many manifestations of contact in these three unique contexts. 

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
This survey course introduces the primary fields of Spanish linguistics including: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, historical linguistics, and sociolinguistics. We will examine the terminology and theoretical frameworks used in each field for the analysis of the Spanish language. Students will put linguistic theory to practice through the completion of exercises and the analysis of speech and text. We will also examine the social contexts that structure the use of language and its speakers by exploring the Spanish language in various settings around the world.

Spanish Sociolinguistics
This course will familiarize students with issues of language use in context in Spanish-speaking communities around the world. Students will learn the field’s main findings and methods for sociolinguistic analysis. They will become familiar with concepts such as linguistic variation, linguistic change, standard vs. non-prestigious varieties, bilingualism, diglossia, language attitudes, language planning, and conversation analysis.

Community-Based Learning: The U.S. Latino/a Experience    
This course explores the experiences of the Latino/a community in the U.S. by examining regional and national trends in topics such as immigration, labor, family, community, cultural adaptation, education, and language. Students will engage in critical, reflexive thinking and civic responsibility through their participation in a community-based learning project.  Using the concept of cultural citizenship as a starting point, students will learn about Latinos/as in various social settings and the impact they have on the communities where they live.  This course will be complemented by an off-campus component in collaboration with a community partner.   Students will partner with organizations that serve the local Latino/a community, and will examine their role and responsibility in relation to issues of citizenship, social and economic justice, and social change.

The Making of the U.S.-Mexico Border
This interdisciplinary course examines the sociopolitical construction of the border between the United States and Mexico. Students will examine the history and culture of the border region on both sides of the international boundary and how the border has defined each nation. We will examine environmental issues, labor and economic systems, tourism, immigration and migration, grassroots activism, and border security in our exploration of the complex relationship between these two countries and their citizens. This course is taught in English.

College Seminar: You Are What You Speak
What is the role of language in defining membership in a society? Do you need to speak English to be an American? In this course, students will explore the intersection between language and society by examining how the language(s) we speak and how we speak them influence our place in society. We will discuss several controversial language issues in the United States, such as our lack of an official national language, the English Only movement, bilingual education, and the growth of Spanish throughout the country. We will also explore how language varieties such as Chicano English, African American Vernacular English (i.e. Ebonics), or Valley Girl English mark their speakers as being members of a particular social group. This course is taught in English.