The border region is a linguistically diverse area that offers many opportunities for students to practice Spanish.
The borderlands is a bilingual region, which presents rich opportunities for language learning. You will no doubt hear both Spanish and English being spoken in various locations. You will also hear creative and fascinating uses of language. The Border Studies Program offers flexibility in language use and offers programming for those with higher-level language skills as well as for those who are newer to Spanish.
Students are required to have one year of college-level Spanish (or equivalent) prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Students with more Spanish language skills will find their language level to be very beneficial towards their learning process as a part of the program. BSP staff encourage all participants to improve their Spanish as much as possible before the program begins.
Prior to arrival in Tucson, student Spanish language ability is evaluated by the BSP Spanish Instructor. According to the range of Spanish language experience exhibited by the group, language ability appropriate classes are formed by the Spanish language instructor.
Spanish Language and Borderlands Culture
All Spanish coursework blends an examination of borderlands culture and the themes touched on in the other program coursework with Spanish language instruction. Coversational skills are emphasized over grammar in Border Studies Program Spanish courses, though both are covered. One of the goals of the program is to prepare students to interact in Spanish language with folks we meet during travel and field study experiences outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Other Ways BSP Students Improve Their Spanish Language Skills
- By taking advantage of using and practicing Spanish, you can ask to live with a Spanish- speaking or Bilingual homestay family while in Tucson
- By taking advantage of opportunities when appropriate to interact in Spanish throughout extended travel seminars in Mexico
- Choosing to read some assignments in Spanish
- Participating in a field study placement where Spanish is the dominant language
- Interacting in Spanish as much as possible
- Listening to Spanish radio stations, watching TV programs in Spanish, and reading other materials in Spanish
Heritage Speakers of Spanish and Advanced Spanish Speakers
Program participants that arrive in the borderlands with the ability to speak Spanish at an advanced level are assigned an Independent Study Project that is conceived of and organized with the assistance of Border Studies Program faculty.