Certificate of Academic Spanish for Heritage Speakers

The Certificate of Academic Spanish for Heritage Speakers provides students who place into the Spanish heritage basic language program the opportunity to further develop their formal linguistic proficiency in Spanish. The main objectives of the Certificate are to:

  • Help students develop oral, reading, and writing skills in Spanish beyond those acquired informally in their homes and communities.
  • Promote and support heritage speakers’ linguistic pride, cultural identity, and sense of belonging as members of a larger Spanish-speaking community.
  • Guide Spanish heritage students in the professional presentation of their language skills and cultural competencies, expanding future educational and career pathways.

Students from other disciplines who want to pursue the Certificate of Academic Spanish for Heritage Speakers must complete a minimum of 16 semester hours, as outlined below. 

Required Courses
SPAN 114Spanish for Bilinguals II4
SPAN 202Spanish Grammar in Practice3
SPAN 204Extensive Reading and Writing for Heritage Speakers of Spanish3
Two SPAN courses (6 hours) at the 200, 300, or 400 levels. Only one SPAN course taught in English may count toward this requirement.6
The following is a list of recommended courses for the elective requirement. While all SPAN courses are appropriate for the elective credit hours, the following courses focus on skills and topics of especial relevance to Spanish Heritage students.
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
Introduction to the Formal Analysis of Hispanic Texts
Bilingual/Bicultural Hispanic American Writers
Introduction to Translation Theory
Advanced Oral Presentation, Writing, and Analysis
Introduction to Spanish Creative Writing for Heritage Speakers
Advanced Translation
Spanish in Society
Studies in Language Policy and Cultural Identity
Theory and Methods in Teaching Heritage Speakers
Total Hours16
  • All courses, required and electives, must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  • A Spanish Heritage student who places into and completes a 200-level course may earn retroactive credit for SPAN 114 as per LAS policy.
  • With approval from the director of undergraduate studies, transfer credit for a course earned with a B or above from another institution may satisfy one of the core requirements.
  • Students who receive AP or IB credit for SPAN 202 have to take an additional elective.
  • At least half the credits for the certificate (eight) must be completed in enrollment residence at UIC.