SPANISH

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures is to promote academic excellence by providing UNF students with the opportunity to learn to communicate effectively in writing as well as orally in a language other than English. Additionally, the department fosters human understanding by exposing students to a multiplicity of textual constructs and by urging them to undertake cultural experiences that enhance their vision as global citizens. Such a commitment to excellence requires that faculty members pursue in earnest academic research and publication to stay abreast of new developments in literary criticism, cultural studies and language acquisition, that they integrate results of their inquiry effectively in the courses they teach, and that they publish or present their research in highly regarded professional forums. The Department’s pedagogical focus is to underscore at all times the importance of language as a window to human understanding. The Languages, Literatures and Cultures faculty strives to instill in students the critical skills necessary to analyze a variety of texts—literary and otherwise—in their original language and social context, so that they may discern and appreciate cultural differences. Programmatic relevance is ensured by a shared teaching methodology that blends language instruction at its most practical level with academic approaches in the humanistic tradition, which assert the inherent value of multiculturalism. In order to ascertain success in its mission, the Department assesses its students yearly through instruments tailored to the program as well as to the desired learning outcomes. This commitment to rigorous assessment promotes self-reflection on the part of a committed faculty willing always to renovate and upgrade the language program for the benefit of UNF students as well as to address the needs of the community the university serves.

Student Learning Outcomes

UNF Spanish graduates will be able to:
  Communication Skills
  • Demonstrates oral fluency and understandable pronunciation at the Intermediate-Mid level. (Third-year students)
  • Demonstrates oral fluency and understandable pronunciation at the Intermediate-High level. (Graduating seniors)
  • Writes well organized paragraphs using accurate and comprehensible discourse. (Third-year students)
  • Writes well organized paragraphs using accurate and comprehensible discourse. (Graduating seniors)
  • Understands most oral communication and responds adequately to it. (Third-year students)
  • Understands most oral communication and responds adequately to it. (Graduating seniors)
      Content Discipline Knowledge/Skills
  • Possesses a broad vocabulary at the Intermediate-Mid level that allows for ready understanding of the main ideas of a literary or cultural text. (Third-year students)
  • Possesses a broad vocabulary at the Intermediate-High level that allows for ready understanding of the main ideas of a literary or cultural text. (Graduating seniors)
  • Demonstrates command of grammar and syntax at the Intermediate-Mid level. (Third-year students)
  • Demonstrates command of grammar and syntax at the Intermediate-High level. (Graduating seniors)
  • Understands similarities and differences between Hispanophone cultures. (Third-year students)
  • Understands similarities and differences between Hispanophone cultures. (Graduating seniors)
      Critical Thinking Skills
  • Analyzes, interprets and assesses in writing and speech literary and cultural texts at an Intermediate-Mid level. (Third-year students)
  • Analyzes, interprets and assesses in writing and speech literary and cultural texts at an Intermediate-High level. (Graduating seniors)
  • When writing in the target language, shows originality or independence of thought, presents a clear thesis and supports ideas coherently. (Third-year students)
  • When writing in the target language, shows originality or independence of thought, presents a clear thesis and supports ideas coherently. (Graduating seniors)

    Assessment Approaches

    In fall 2009 and spring 2010, the Spanish faculty assessed students enrolled in a variety of courses. The assessment process was monitored by the Department Curriculum Committee, comprised of two Spanish professors and a French professor who served as chair. The department decided to assign this responsibility to the Curriculum Committee in order to involve French and Spanish faculty in the assessment process. Given the increasing number of Spanish majors who are conventional language learners rather than native or heritage speakers, the Spanish faculty anticipates that third-year students demonstrate Intermediate-Mid skills by the end of fall semester. Graduating seniors assessed in spring 2010 were expected to demonstrate Intermediate-High skills. 1. In order to assess students, evaluators employ rubrics based on ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and AP (Advancement Placement) guidelines. These rubrics distinguish quite clearly between satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance at the level desired (intermediate-Mid for third-year students; Intermediate-High for graduating seniors). 2. In fall 2009, the Spanish faculty assessed exclusively the oral skills of students enrolled in one section of SPN 3242, Spanish Conversation. The assessment was based on pre-tests and post-tests conducted at the beginning and the end of the semester, and evaluated blindly by two Spanish faculty members. The assessed SLOs were the following: "Demonstrates command of grammar and syntax at the Intermediate-High Level" and "Demonstrates oral fluency and understandable pronunciation at the Intermediate-Mid level." 3. In spring 2010, ten graduating seniors were assessed on the basis of reflective essays produced in advanced (3000-4000 level) literature courses. The SLOs assessed were: "Possesses a broad vocabulary at the Intermediate-High level that allows for ready understanding of the main ideas of a literary or cultural text," "Analyzes, interprets and assesses in writing and speech literary and cultural texts at an Intermediate-High level," and "Writes well organized paragraphs using accurate and comprehensible discourse." Three members of the Spanish faculty evaluated blindly the samples provided by instructors. 4. Two Spanish faculty members assessed blindly oral samples recorded in vocaroo.com. The samples were responses to questions focusing on language, literature and culture. The evaluators focused on the following SLOs : "Demonstrates command of grammar and syntax at the Intermediate-High Level" and "Demonstrates oral fluency and understandable pronunciation at the Intermediate-Mid level." The lack of a capstone course prevents the Spanish faculty from assessing exclusively a single class. Therefore, the current assessment strategy requires some modification from year to year in order to enhance its validity.

    Career Opportunities

    For information on the many career opportunities available to Spanish majors, go to "What Can You Do with a Spanish Major" at: http://www.unf.edu/dept/cdc/majors/spanish.html

    For More Information

    To learn more about the UNF Department of World Languages and majoring in Spanish, go to: http://www.unf.edu/coas/world-languages/