SPAN 305X from a Student’s Perspective

CATEGORIES: October 2020
Lupe Duran Sanchez and her mother

Lupe Duran Sanchez (sophomore, psychology) was one of the students to take SPAN/USLS 305X: Spanish for Heritage Speakers when it was first offered in Fall 2019. Here, she shares her thoughts about the course.

Q: Tell us a little bit about the role Spanish language in your family growing up. Was it mostly spoken/through TV or radio or also print like books and newspapers? 
A: I was born in Guanajuato, Mexico in a very small town. My family and I moved to the United States when I was around nine. Even when we moved to the United States, my family and I never lost our Spanish and traditions. To this day, both of my parents don’t speak English, so my whole life has been surrounded by Spanish. In the U.S., there was defiantly a switch. Before, I was surrounded with Spanish at school, at home, and everywhere I would go. But in the United States, my Spanish was only in at home, and it was portrayed by my parents, the novelas that would come out every week night on Univision, and all of my mom’s music that she would blast every Sunday morning as we would clean our house.

Q: What made you decide to take SPAN305X? What were you hoping to get out of the course?
A: All throughout middle and high school there was a switch, as I said, where before, in the morning, I would only speak English. And once I would go home, I would completely switch to Spanish. But once I started college, there wasn’t a switch anymore. My whole routine was in English, and I missed my Spanish so much. That is why when I learned about SPAN305X I knew I had to take it. I hoped that this class would help me improve my writing and that it would give me a chance to feel comfortable with speaking my language.

Q: What did you like about the course? Was there a particular assignment that you enjoyed doing or seeing others do?
A: I loved everything about the course. My favorite part of this class was talking and meeting everyone. It felt so nice to be surrounded by students who spoke Spanish and who I knew wouldn’t judge me. The class had many assignments that helped and improved my Spanish and for that I am thankful. Profesora Marta was amazing and she helped me understand and improve my Spanish. My favorite assignments were the readings and the presentations that we would have to give to the class. This gave me the opportunity to learn and share with the class about the things I was passionate but in my native language, which was amazing.

Q: What would you say to a fellow heritage Spanish speaker considering taking this class? Any advice?
A: I would defiantly recommend a heritage Spanish speaker to take this class. Attending a PWI* is hard, especially if you are used to speaking Spanish at home. But this class helps you feel more at home. And that is why I would forever recommend it. Heritage speakers sometimes have trouble with how to write, read, or translate in Spanish, and this class defiantly helps you improve your Spanish knowledge. My one advice for heritage Spanish speakers would be to find a place on campus where you can feel more connected to your roots and where you feel 100% confident in speaking your language. And I can 100% assure you this class is all of those.

*Predominantly White Institution (PWI)