Heritage Language Programs - Spanish

Colorado Mountain College
College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Spanish

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Address: 150 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO 81632

Contact: Sara Ann Smith, PhD
Associate Professor of Spanish

Email: sasmith@coloradomtn.edu

Telephone: (970) 569-2933

Web address: http://www.coloradomtn.edu/

Type of institution: Community college

Languages taught: Spanish

Undergraduate level courses: 2 course sequence—Spanish 211/212 for Heritage Speakers

Program Description

Purposes and goals of the program: AA or AS program that prepares students to transfer to other universities at the junior level.

Type of program: Part of a foreign language program. We offer both non-transfer conversational Spanish classes and academic transfer classes at the first- and second-year level. Heritage Spanish is taught at the second-year level and consists of two courses.

Program mission statement: The primary goals of the course are to develop cultural awareness and proficiency in Spanish literacy, including grammar, reading, writing, and vocabulary.

Program origin: The program was founded in the fall of 2006 due to an instructor’s proposal.

Faculty's and administration's expectations for the program: To increase and retain Latino student enrollment, to develop bi-literacy in students, and to help in the acquisition of English


Since this is a new program, we aren't sure what the ethnicity of the students will be. We expect the majority to be first- and second-generation immigrants.

Countries of origin: Mexico and Central America

Total student enrollment: About 30

Age of students: 17-24

Identification of heritage speakers: The class description states, “This course is designed specifically for native or heritage speakers of Spanish with some oral proficiency and little or no formal training in the language. Generally, these are learners who were raised in homes where Spanish was spoken.”


Total number of faculty teaching in the program: 2

Number of tenure-track professors: 1

Number of part-time instructors: 1

Languages in which faculty members are proficient: Spanish and English. They are fluent and bilingual.


Professional development opportunities faculty have: Conferences and other training

Professional development opportunities faculty need: Since this is a new course offering, the faculty need more information on teaching heritage Spanish speakers.


Student grouping: Students are not grouped according to level.

Face-to-face course title: Spanish 211/212, Intermediate

Number of hours: 3 hours per week during 15 weeks

Language Skills

Heritage Skills

Skills and levels of language proficiency students reach by the end of the program: Our expected goal: academic proficiency in Spanish


Kind of student identity the program fosters: We hope to foster positive self-esteem, which stems from pride in one's language and cultural heritage.


Methodologies and instructional strategies: Emphasis on the four skills, communicative approaches, and a strong student-centered philosophy


Textbook: Nuevos Destinos para Hispanohablantes (McGraw-Hill, 1998)

Other materials are used for instruction: Workbook and CD-ROM

Technology used in the program: Internet research, videos, and CD-ROM resources are used to enhance cultural projects and homework. In addition, we use email, telephone, and other online resources.



Local connections:

Opportunities heritage students have outside the college to use their heritage language or develop their cultural knowledge: There is a large heritage community in the Vail-Eagle Valley.

How the program promotes involvement: Interviews with community members for local Spanish language papers; service projects

What the program has in place

Financial support: Institutional support

Special Challenges and Comments

Special challenges: Unknown. This program is a new course offering.

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