In an effort to recognize NC State’s linguistic and cultural diversity as well as to address the gradual loss of their heritage language skills by a growing population of students with a Spanish speaking background, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures revamped its FLS 335 Spanish for Native and Heritage Speakers course.
In a recent interview with The Technician, Jim Michnowicz, the Spanish upper-division coordinator and main driver force behind the initiative to revamp the class, explained that often Native and Heritage speakers may have a good command of the spoken language, but lack formal writing or grammar training. The class aims to provide a more formal setting in which these students can further develop their language skills and gain full literacy in their Heritage or Native language. The class fulfills a Humanities and Global Knowledge GEP requirement, and will form part of a four-course Spanish minor available to Native and Heritage speakers.
The class will be offered starting this fall and will be taught by Inma Navarro, a lecturer from Spain who has been involved in the revamping process since the beginning. During the interview, Navarro emphasized that the idea of the class “is to have a very different approach to the heritage speakers,” beyond simply teaching “grammatical terminology and things like that.” “We are going to make them see how important language and identity is. What are the varieties of Spanish spoken in the United States, and across the world? How different is their Spanish to the Spanish that their parents speak?,” she explained.