Did you grow up speaking Spanish at home or in your community? We have a Spanish class just for you!

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures is proud to announce that we will offer our first Spanish heritage language (SHL) course in the Fall 2017 semester. The course will offer bilingual students an opportunity to recover and/or develop their language abilities while exploring topics related to their cultural backgrounds and communities.

Who can take our Spanish heritage language course?

For our program, we consider Spanish heritage speakers to be any student who has a cultural connection with the Spanish language (either through community, family or cultural heritage). Our SHL course serves Spanish heritage speakers who have developed an ability to communicate verbally in Spanish and are interested in developing academic skills in the language.

If you have questions about whether the course is right for you, please e-mail Dr. Rachel Showstack at rachel.showstack@wichita.edu.

Why are Spanish heritage language courses unique?

Spanish heritage speakers have different learning needs from second language learners because they have developed language skills and cultural awareness outside of an academic context and are able to bring these skills with them when they begin their academic study of the language.

SHL courses allow students to:
• Build on existing linguistic and cultural knowledge
• Recognize the value of the Spanish language as it is used in the United States
• Develop academic skills in Spanish, including writing for different audiences
• Create a community with other students who share a cultural connection with the language and similar linguistic backgrounds
• Contribute to positive social change for local Spanish-speaking communities and critically reflect on the politics of Spanish in the U.S. context

Why is Spanish heritage language education needed at Wichita State?

The new Spanish course for heritage speakers at WSU was developed in response to an increasing number of heritage speakers enrolled in our courses and an expanding demographic of Latino/a students at WSU and in Kansas in general. Spanish courses designed for second language learners often do not focus on the areas that heritage speakers need to develop. We aim to provide Spanish heritage speakers with a language learning experience designed for their unique learning needs and cultural backgrounds.