Please enable Java in your browser's "Options" (or "Preferance") menu to view this page Concordia's Thursday Report____________November 19, 1998

Time to specialize in Spanish

by Eugenia Xenos

Spanish registration

Lovers of Spanish: From the left and going clockwise, Professor Lady Rojas-Trempe and students Elena Ribarova, Nancy Cloutier, Leonidas Arias De Leon, and Stéphanie Gingras.

Spanish-language programs at Concordia have more students than at any other university in Quebec. That's why it was important to introduce a 60-credit Specialization option into the department, says Catherine Vallejo, one of two full-time professors in the Spanish section of the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics.

The Specialization will attract students who want a more extended study of the subject than the Major, but who don't wish to take the literature-based Honours program. They will learn more about translation, effective writing, and the Spanish language and Hispanic civilization, among other things. Senate approved the new option at its last meeting, which means the program should be accepting students by next September.

"All kinds of students study Spanish," Vallejo said. "There are those who are interested in Spain and Latin America in and of themselves, and there are also those who think it's a good idea to know Spanish for future job prospects."

In fact, studying Spanish has become more and more important to North Americans as trade and other ties with Latin America have become stronger. Knowing three languages today is quite desirable, and Spanish is a natural alternative for North Americans. As evidence, the Spanish programs started out small at Concordia, but have been growing 10 to 15 per cent over the last few years.

But is Spanish as easy to learn as many people contend? Vallejo says it depends on three things: how many other languages you speak (especially other Romance languages like French or Portuguese), your aptitude for languages, and how hard you work at it. "If you have all three, it's really not hard," she said.

Courses for the Specialization will be drawn from those that already exist, and the department will continue to provide a service component for other Faculties, whose students normally take Beginner Spanish courses.

There are about 270 students enrolled in the Honours, Minor and two Major programs now offered.

Copyright 1998 Concordia's Thursday Report.