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Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes for Majors in Spanish and Minors in Spanish, French and Italian

Students majoring in Spanish will be required to demonstrate an intermediate-high* to advanced* level of proficiency in Spanish communication skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and the understanding of Hispanic cultures sufficient to allow them to function effectively in careers in teaching, business, the media, government, the arts, etc. Students minoring in French, Italian, and Spanish will be required to demonstrate a level of proficiency sufficient to converse comfortably on everyday topics, to attain intermediate* levels of proficiency in writing and reading the target language, and to understand and appreciate the target language cultures *Intermediate, Intermediate-high, and Advanced levels are determined through the guidelines set up by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Assessment Items:

All graduating seniors pursuing majors and minors have to complete the following assessment documents:

  1. An Oral Proficiency Test (OPI)
  2. A Written Proficiency Test (WPT)
  3. A senior survey ** In addition

**In addition Spanish majors have to complete a senior portfolio.

Target Learning Outcomes:

The above items allow us to assess the following core outcomes:  
  1. Communication: The communication outcome stresses the use of the target language for communication in "real life" situations. It emphasizes "what students can do with language" rather than "what they know about language." Students are asked to communicate in oral and written form, to interpret oral and written messages, to show cultural understanding when they communicate, and to present oral and written information to various audiences for a variety of purposes. We measure our student’s communicative proficiency through the standards established by the American Council on the teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). 
  2. Cultures: Cultural understanding is an important part of the target language education. Experiencing other cultures develops a better understanding and appreciation of the relationship between languages and other cultures, as well as the student's native culture. Students become better able to understand other people's points of view, ways of life, and contributions to the world.   
  3. Connections: Target language instruction must be connected with other subject areas. Content from other subject areas is integrated with the target language instruction through lessons or courses that are developed around various themes. Students are then able to connect the Spanish language to other subject areas and use Spanish to learn content.  
  4. Comparisons: Students are encouraged to compare and contrast the target language and its cultures with their own. They discover patterns, make predictions, and analyze similarities and differences across languages and cultures. Students often come to understand their native language and culture better through such comparisons. 
  5. Communities: Extending learning experiences from the target language classroom to the home and multilingual and multicultural community emphasizes living in a global society. Students learn that Spanish exists outside of the classroom and use it to become part of a larger community. Activities may include: field trips; use of e-mail and the Internet; participation in clubs, exchange or study-abroad programs, and cultural activities; school-to-work opportunities; and opportunities to hear speakers of the target language at the University and in the classroom.
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