The Spanish language is spoken by over 300 million people, in different parts of the world, and is the second most widely spoken language by native speakers. Spain accounts for about 40 million of these speakers, Mexico for about 100 million, and South American countries such as Colombia, Argentina, and Venezuela for another 115 million. There are also over 40 million native speakers of Spanish in the U.S.
As a Romance language, Spanish evolved from Vulgar Latin, reaching its first distinct form resembling the Castilian dialect in the 9th and 10th centuries. The classical period, beginning roughly in the 16th century, saw works of great cultural significance, particularly “Don Quixote,” which is considered by many scholars to be one of the greatest works of fiction ever published.
Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, alongside Arabic, English, French, Mandarin, and Russian.
About the Curriculum
All Spanish language courses are oral-intensive (with additional hours required in the Language Laboratory) and all include individual oral examinations at the end of each term. In Western languages, enrollments are limited to 15 to 18 students in the first three years of study; fourth-year courses use a seminar format, with a usual enrollment of four to eight students.