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Heritage Track

Overview

Spanish as a Heritage Language Program

The Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) Program offers courses for individuals who grew up in Spanish-speaking environments and are able to communicate, to some extent, in more than one language. Some students are immigrants who have recently arrived in the US and have had extensive schooling in their native countries. Others are first, second, or third generation bilinguals whose abilities in the heritage language vary widely. While some are highly proficient in Spanish, others only possess basic speaking and listening skills, or merely understand the language.

To serve these different individuals' needs, the Spanish Heritage Language Program was developed as an independent track at the University of Houston. SHL courses are specifically designed to use the student's preexisting contact with Spanish.

The MAIN GOAL of this Program is to develop academic language skills through materials and activities designed for Spanish heritage students. These classroom activities focus on developing oral and written abilities in a variety of formal and informal contexts. In addition, each course incorporates specific materials and projects to develop greater familiarity with U.S. Hispanic cultures.

These courses cover all levels of abilities: Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. Students who have successfully completed the intermediate level in this program will fulfill the foreign language requirement and are encouraged to enroll in more advanced classes. The Hispanic Department offers a variety of undergraduate-level classes that includes linguistics, literature and cultural topics. For more information on Spanish Minor and Major visit the Spanish Undergraduate Program.

In order to enroll in any of the classes offered students must take the Heritage Placement Exam.

Marta Fairclough, Ph.D.

Director of the Heritage Language Program
Marta Fairclough Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Office: 440 AH
Email: mfairclough@uh.edu

Eugenia Ruiz

Coordinator of the Heritage Language Program
Eugenia Ruiz, M.A.
Office 438 AH
Email: emruiz2@central.uh.edu

COURSE OFFERINGS

The following courses are taught on Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. (Before registration please check the semester course listing.) Enrollment is subject to Placement

Level

Course

Description

Elementary

SPAN1507

It is a basic language class designed for students who enter with some knowledge of Spanish but are not prepared to work at the intermediate level. Emphasis on basic grammar structures, conversation on familiar topics, and reading and writing activities. 

Prerequisites: Placement by exam or by Director of the Language Program.

Intermediate

SPAN 2307

This course is designed for Hispanic students and other students from a Spanish-speaking background. Main goals of this class are developing basic skills in reading and writing in Spanish, advancing knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary, improving orthography with emphasis on the use of written accent and developing a greater familiarity with U.S. Hispanic culture.

Prerequisites: Completion of SPAN 1507 with a minimum grade of C- or placement exam.

SPAN 2308

This course is a continuation of SPAN 2307. Main goals of this class are developing skills in reading and writing advanced texts in Spanish, advancing knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary, improving orthography with emphasis on the use of written accent and developing a greater familiarity with U.S. Hispanic culture.

Prerequisites: Completion of SPAN 2307 with a minimum grade of C- or placement exam.

SPAN 2615

Combining 2307 and 2308, this course is an intensive intermediate course designed for Hispanic heritage learners and other students from a Spanish-speaking background at the intermediate level. Development of reading and writing skills and control of formal Spanish.

Prerequisites: Completion of SPAN 1507 with a minimum grade of C- or placement exam.

Advanced

SPAN 3307

This course is designed to continue expanding oral skills in Spanish. Special emphasis is given to pronunciation, diction, and elocution as well as discourse presentation. Students work involves research and reading on specific topics which will be the basis to compose and deliver academic and professional presentations.

Prerequisites: SPAN 2308 or 3301, or placement by exam.

SPAN 3308

This course is designed to continue developing and expanding writing skills in Spanish. Special emphasis is given to active grammar, textual production, and critical thinking for writing in academic and professional settings. Students work involves research, reading, composing, writing and proof reading different type of essays.

Prerequisites: SPAN 2308 or placement by exam.

Placement

Spanish as a Heritage Language Program

UH Spanish Language Heritage Learners Placement and Credit Exam - OVERVIEW

Based on performance, students may be placed in Spanish 1507, 2307, 2308, 3308, or higher, and may earn up to 12 credit hours in Spanish.

The exam may take up to two hours and consists of several sections on vocabulary, dictation, grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Who should take the test?

If you answer YES to  one or more of the following statements, you need to take the Placement-Credit Exam for Spanish Heritage Learners: 

  • When I was a child, Spanish was spoken in my home
  • I lived in a Spanish-speaking country for two years or longer
  • My first language was Spanish (or both Spanish and English)
  • I speak Spanish, or both Spanish and English with family and friends
  • My parents and/or grandparents often speak to me in Spanish

Important Note:  Students cannot enroll in any Language Program (Second Language or Heritage Language) if they have not taken the Placement Exam required in each track. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in being dropped from the class.

Test-takers information

  • Students must present I.D. at test time
  • Register online. Students only need to register once, no confirmation will be given.

What can I expect on the exam?

A $15.00 payment is required for administering test.

What if I took the AP exam?

AP scores should be submitted through Testing Services.

If you have questions, contact:

Ms. Debra Frazier: dfrazier@uh.edu

I am not a Heritage Learner...

The Department of Hispanic Studies offers the Spanish as a Second Language Program for non-native and non-heritage Spanish speakers. Students who have taken Spanish in high school need to take the Spanish Placement Exam at the UH Testing Center. (For more information please call 713-743-5444 or visit University Testing Services)

Resources and Materials

COURSE

TEXTBOOK

PUBLISHER

SPAN 1507

eBOOK: Más allá de las palabras

Wiley Plus

SPAN 2307

eBOOK: Más allá de las palabras

Wiley Plus

SPAN 2308

eBOOK: Más allá de las palabras

Wiley Plus

SPAN 2615

eBOOK: Más Allá de las Palabras

Wiley Plus