Studying Spanish offers access to a very rich culture, both ancient and modern. The main linguistic roots of Spanish come from Latin Vulgaris but it also has imported vocabulary from many other languages and cultures such as Celtic, Arabic, Nahuatl, Mayan and other Native American indigenous languages. The first substantial written texts in Spanish appear in the twelfth century in Spain but Spanish was spoken earlier. Since 1492 Spanish is spoken in two continents and in more than 20 countries. Spanish is today the world's third most frequently spoken language (after English and Mandarin Chinese), and is one of the United Nations' six official languages (alphabetically, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish).
In the Americas Spanish is the language that has the largest number of speakers. The United States is the fifth largest country in terms of the number of Spanish speakers, reflecting the fact that Spanish has become the second most spoken language there due to the increasing Hispanic population. In Brazil, after Portuguese, Spanish is the second official language of study. In Australasia Spanish was one of the languages spoken in the Philippines until 1898. Today Spanish is also a language of strategic importance to New Zealand's trading future.
Spanish at UC
Spanish was introduced at Canterbury in 2003 at undergraduate level, with postgraduate studies commencing in 2006.
In 2004 the Spanish Programme established an exchange programme with the University of Castilla-La-Mancha in Spain. This unique opportunity provides an authentic environment to improve your linguistic skills in Spanish. Students have a chance to study in Spain for one or two semesters, usually in their second year of Spanish studies at UC, and suitable courses at Castilla-La-Mancha can be credited towards their degree.
For students studying towards degrees in areas such as Law, Commerce, Engineering or Science, the Diploma in Spanish Language provides a tertiary qualification in a foreign language which will enhance their employment opportunities, especially internationally.
In order to qualify for the degree of B.A., a student must pass courses with a total value of at least 360 points. A minimum of 215 of the required 360 points must be for courses coded above the 100 level and at least 90 points must be for courses at 300 level.
Students intending to complete the BA with a minor in Spanish must be credited with at least 75 points in Spanish, which must include at least 45 points at 200-level or above.
Students who are intending to major in a different subject while continuing their language studies are strongly encouraged to consider enrolling for a Diploma in Spanish Language. This will give them an added qualification without the need to take many extra courses.
|Please see the postgraduate pages on the Spanish web site.|
|Please see the University's CertArts and GradDipArts web pages.|
The language courses cater for total beginners as well as those with some prior knowledge of the language. SPAN 101 is for total beginners, while SPAN 201 is the normal entry point for those with NCEA Level 3 Spanish. Placement tests are also available for those who have acquired proficiency by other means.
Spanish graduates find employment in a wide range of sectors including the teaching professions, casual translations, governmental institutions, research-based institutions, journalism, diplomacy and international law. Spanish will also benefit students majoring in a science who wish to work or do further studies in Spain, the USA or Latin America.