Spanish, the official language in 21 countries (including Puerto Rico), has at least 3 million native speakers in a total of 44 countries, and is ranked the fourth most widely spoken language behind English (112 countries), French (60), and Arabic (57) (Ethnologue). However, according to studies published by the Instituto Cervantes, with 329 million native Spanish-speakers, Spanish has reached the second most spoken language in the world after Chinese in terms of number of native speakers, currently exceeding English by 1 million. The U.S. has more than 41 million native Spanish speakers and 11.6 million who are bilingual, bringing the nation’s Spanish-speaking population to over 52 million. This makes it the second largest Spanish-speaking country after Mexico. Additionally, the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California and Texas have the highest concentrations: 38 percent of California’s population is Spanish-speaking. It is predicted that by 2050, the U.S. could have more Spanish-speakers than any other country. With these facts in mind, it is essential to make Spanish-language study a possibility for Biola’s students through the Spanish program.
To help students meet the general education foreign language requirement, and as a foundation for upper-level Spanish language study, the Department of Modern Languages offers three semesters of Spanish similar to the three-semester sequence of other offered languages. These three courses are: Elementary Spanish 101, Elementary Spanish 102, and Intermediate Spanish 201. This course of study alone will allow you to satisfy the G.E. foreign language requirement with Spanish, and will begin to prepare you to live, work and serve in a country where Spanish is spoken. Additionally, this course of study prepares students to broaden their Biola Spanish language education to interact with advanced grammar, vocabulary, conversation, composition, Spanish-American literature, Latin-American faith and culture, drama and history.
A Bachelor of Arts in Spanish is conferred upon the completion of the university baccalaureate with a Spanish major in one of the three concentrations: Generalist in Spanish, Professional Spanish and Spanish for Secondary Education. All students are expected to maintain a portfolio with the department that will cumulatively showcase their progressive language development over time; the portfolio will also provide students the opportunity to integrate faith and discipline. Please visit the Spanish major information page for concentration course requirements.
All Spanish majors are strongly encouraged to take HUFS 299 Travel Practicum, HUFS 334 Community Spanish, and/or to study abroad for a semester. See the Department of Modern Languages for more information.
The Modern Languages Department is pleased to offer classes in French ranging from the elementary level to Conversational French. The courses are taught primarily in French and will introduce you to a full range of competencies in French, from basic language to culture and idioms.
Students desiring to enroll in French should do so during their freshman and sophomore years. It is impossible to complete the requirements for general education (B.A. degree) if one starts in the senior year. Students with high school French should consult with the department to confirm placement.
Students desiring to enroll in Arabic should do so during their freshman and sophomore years. It is impossible to complete the requirements for general education (B.A. degree) if one starts in the senior year. Students with any previous training in Arabic should consult with the department to confirm placement.
Students desiring to enroll in American Sign Language should do so during their freshman and sophomore years. It is impossible to complete the requirements for general education (B.A. degree) if one starts in the senior year. Students with any previous training in American Sign Language should consult with the department to confirm placement.
The department of Modern Languages currently offers three semesters of Swahili: Elementary Swahili 101, Elementary Swahili 102, and Intermediate Swahili 201. This course of study will allow you to satisfy the G.E. foreign language requirement with Swahili, and will begin to prepare you to live, work, and serve in a country where Swahili is spoken.
Please note: Swahili is offered on a rotating course sequence. Contact the Modern Languages Department for information about the next beginning Swahili course sequence.