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Spanish Language Studies

Thinking about majoring or minoring in Spanish Language Studies?

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Interact  with Diverse Communities.

In the U.S., Spanish is the unofficial second language.  50 million people speak Spanish; that is one in six Americans, over 16%. In New Jersey, Hispanics and Latinos make up 17.7%.  Hispanic consumers, who represent 40% of the population growth, are the fastest growing market segment.  In the world, Spanish is the fourth most spoken language with only Mandarin, Hindi and English ahead of it, and in native speakers it’s ahead of English. The total 400 million native Spanish speakers make up 6% of the world’s population.

Learn from Diversity.

Spanish majors, as diverse as New Jersey itself, are made up of about half native or heritage speakers and half non-native second language learners. This not only makes for a diverse, rich classroom experience, but it also allows students to use their unique strengths and gaps in linguistic and cultural knowledge to learn from one another.  In this way, students have the opportunity to acquire a key skill in mastering any language – understanding how we learn language itself.  Studying language is one of the best ways to become culturally competent, that is, being able to interact effectively in more than one culture.  Everyone knows the U.S. and the world today are highly globalized and in order to negotiate successfully in them, we need to understand and appreciate diversity.  Your college experience should do this for you.

Double Major or Minor with Ease.

With only 10 required courses, the major is designed to pair with another discipline. Spanish majors can complete a second major or minor in most disciplines and graduate on time with a clear plan.  Often times, studying abroad facilitates this process. If Spanish is a the first major, students have to complete no school core after FYS, as it is subsumed in the language proficiency!  Some students have even graduated on time with two majors, education, and student teaching!  The secret is getting good advisement from your Spanish major advisor as early as possible.

Learn Efficiently Through Immersion.

The Spanish program at Ramapo employs the most efficient and effective means of getting students to the proficiency needed to perform in professional settings:  total immersion and communication in real-world contexts. This approach is fun and challenging and offers linguistic and cultural competency.  Many high school students have been led to believe they cannot learn languages because of boring grammar-driven methods, where classes focus on conjugating verbs instead of using the language. With the right kind of training and dedication, what Ramapo provides, most everyone can reach near-native fluency.

Improve Your Communication Skills.

In the School of Humanities and Global Studies (HGS), we emphasize that our majors acquire effective communication and expression skills that not only make them highly marketable in any career, but also more successful and fulfilled in life.  Studying a second language is a great way to improve writing and public speaking in English also.  Thus, by studying Spanish or any second language, students can expand their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar, idiomatic expressions and other linguistic features of their own language.