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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

Remote Spanish Placement Tests

(ATTENTION: Do not use Chrome web browser, the Testing Services website does not support Chrome).

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

There are two Spanish Language tests offered at the University of Houston Testing Services for students based on their language background.

  1. Spanish Placement test is for students who learned Spanish formally while in school and those students with no previous Spanish language knowledge or background.
  2. Spanish Heritage test is for students who grew up in an environment where Spanish was spoken. They may be fluent in Spanish or just understand it.

The test you choose depends on the answers to the following questions. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you will need to take the Spanish Heritage test. Spanish Heritage test allows you to receive course credit based on your test score.

Misrepresenting your background in Spanish in terms of living experience or prior academic study is a violation of the University of Houston Honesty Policy (article 3.03, item I.) and will be dealt with accordingly.

  • When I was a child, Spanish was spoken in my house.
  • 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 my family and friends.
  • My parents and/or grandparents often speak to me in Spanish.

If you answered Yes TO ANY of the five questions you need to request the Spanish Heritage Test

Test Fee: $15
Remote Testing Fee: $25

Upon submission of your Test Registration Request Form you will be provided information to schedule your remote test session. This information is e-mailed to you within 24 hours.

Submit Test Registration Request

If you answered NO TO ALL of the questions above, you need to take the Spanish Placement L2 test:

Test Fee $17.90
Remote Proctoring Fee $25

Upon submission of you Test Registration Request Form you will be provided information to schedule your remote test session. This information is e-mailed to you within 24 hours.

Submit Test Registration Request

You will be provided information to schedule your test remotely.


AP and IB Credits

If you have Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate Degree (IB) test scores, please submit your test scores to UH. Contact Patrick Daniel, pdaniel@uh.edu 

Go to this site for more information

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