Latina Authors and Culture Highlight New SAU Course

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katy_de_leonLearning another language has become mandatory to be able to communicate effectively world wide. It is unavoidable. The Spanish language seems to have become just as common as the English language in the United States. In any area of business both languages are vital to increase your business and to become more marketable. Beyond a person’s four year comprehension of a foreign language, they can step it up when they take classes at the college level which require a higher level of application to master it, “Most majors come to St. Ambrose with a background in Spanish from High School classes,” Dr. Kathy Leon, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Chair of Language and International Studies Department said.
There is a new course that St. Ambrose University is offering this spring semester, the  300 level course called U.S. Latina Literature and Culture, “If you’re bi-lingual, you can’t know another language without knowing another culture,” Leon said. Dr. Leon holds a Ph.D. in the Spanish language and has taught courses in the language for three and a half years at St. Ambrose University. This new course will include written works by Latina authors like Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Cristina Garcia, and Esmeralda Santiago. This course is cross listed with Women’s studies 310. The course is set apart from the others for a couple of reasons, “It (the course) is being taught bi-languidly. It is the first course in our department taught explicitly in a bi-lingual format,” Leon said.
Although coming into this course with previous education in the language is a plus it is not a mandatory requirement that the student speak the language, “Students enrolled in this course for Spanish credit will do their small group work and writing in Spanish. In order to accommodate those who do not speak the Spanish or who are enrolled in Women studies, the lecture and large group discussions are done in English. I want this course to reach a broader audience,” Leon said.

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