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Spanish Language Programs

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and with nearly 39 million Spanish-speakers, the United States is the second-largest Spanish-speaking country worldwide, second only to Mexico. The Spanish-speaking population continues to grow and is expected to reach around 41 million by the year 2020, rendering Spanish an essential tool for success in many professions, including business, marketing, communications, social services, education, politics, international relations and a plethora of other areas as well.

There are two Spanish Language Programs at UH

These programs are designed for students seeking credits for degrees. Non-credit Spanish courses are not offered at UH.

The Department of Hispanic Studies offers two separate language learning tracks for students based on their language background:

  • The Spanish as a Second Language Program is designed for students who learned Spanish formally while in school and those students with no previous Spanish language knowledge or background.
  • The Spanish Heritage Language Programis designed for students who grew up in an environment where Spanish was spoken. They may be fluent in Spanish or just understand it.

Both tracks offer several undergraduate-level courses in Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Spanish, designed to develop all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as culture.

Each program covers the same basic grammar content at the same level (neither of these programs is more advanced or moves faster than the other.) The two programs diverge in the use of different teaching approaches and classroom activities specifically created to facilitate the learning process of students from diverse language backgrounds. Placement in the correct course is based on specific Placement Exams

Spanish Placement Test for Second Language Learners

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Placement Test for Spanish Heritage Learners
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First-year Spanish: focus on building core vocabulary and basic grammar structures with intensive practice of four skills emphasizing oral competency.

  • SPAN1501 “Elementary Spanish I”
  • SPAN1502 “Elementary Spanish II”


  • SPAN1505 “Intensive Elementary Spanish”

First-year Spanish for HL: focus on building vocabulary and basic grammar structures with intensive practice of reading and writing.

  • SPAN1507 “Intensive Elementary Spanish for HL”

Second-year Spanish: focus on expanding vocabulary and advancing accuracy with intensive practice of four skills emphasizing oral competency.

  • SPAN 2301 “Intermediate Spanish I”
  • SPAN 2302 “Intermediate Spanish II”
  • SPAN 2610 “Intensive Intermediate Spanish”

Second-year Spanish for HL: focus on expanding vocabulary and advanced grammar structures with intensive practice of reading and writing.

  • SPAN 2307 “Spanish for Heritage Learners I”
  • SPAN 2308 “Spanish for Heritage Learners II”
  • SPAN 2615 “Intensive Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Learners”
    * Spanish 2615 is a 6-hour intensive intermediate course that combines 2307 and 2308 in one semester.

Important Note:  To fulfill the Foreign Language Requirements at UH students need to successfully complete 6 credit hours at the Intermediate Level.