The United States is now home to over 41 million native speakers of Spanish plus 11 million English-Spanish bilingual speakers, making this country the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world only second to Mexico with 121 speakers (www.cervantes.es). There is now a widespread need for professionals who can show Spanish proficiency in professions such as criminal justice, national security, social work, business and banking and nursing, as well as in education–where the need for Spanish teachers for K-12 grades is also increasing.
The Spanish program at Fairmont State is designed to address the linguistic and cultural proficiency needs of our students by gradually developing speaking, comprehension, reading and writing skills while gaining an understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures both outside and inside of the United States. The Spanish program adheres to the Standards of Foreign Language Learning established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Students are strongly encouraged to integrate Spanish into their chosen careers as double majors, or as minors. In addition, both Elementary and Secondary Education students can choose to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a teaching specialization in Spanish for grades PreK-Adult, or may add this specialization to another teaching field. The program offers a variety of courses aimed at helping students reach their career goals, including Spanish for the Medical Professions, Spanish for Criminal Justice and Spanish for the World Economy (Business). Spanish majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, preferably but not necessarily in their junior year. Students have the option of traveling to a Spanish-speaking country and doing research on an approved topic, for which they will receive 3-6 credit hours (SPAN 4402). Students in approved internships (SPAN 3300) will receive 3-6 upper-division credit hours, depending upon the type and duration of the internship.
All students who have taken Spanish in high school should take a placement test to determine at what level they should begin. Students who test out of beginning courses may receive credit for these courses by asking their instructor to complete Credit by Exam paperwork, and paying a fee.
Students in the Spanish BA in Education program and the MAT program with a concentration in Spanish must take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview and attain a score of Advanced Low on this exam in order to graduate with a Spanish Education degree from Fairmont State. Students must have their scores officially reported to Fairmont State School of Education. Students may repeat SPAN 4410 Advanced Skills to increase their chances of success on this exam. Spanish Education students who fail to attain the Advanced Low level may qualify for a BA in Spanish until they can meet this standard.