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Foreign Languages


For information about a minor in this or another foreign language, see the academic catalog.

Diana Spinar, M.S.

Adjunct Professor of Spanish

Diana graduated from Black Hills State University and her first Spanish teaching position was in a remote part of South Dakota. After her first year of teaching, Diana married and moved back to the family farm with her new husband.

The demographic change the rest of the country had been experiencing for decades arrived in rural South Dakota in the early 1990s when a Spanish-speaking family moved to Plankinton. Diana, as the only Spanish-speaking person in town, was asked to teach English. She became an English as a Second Language teacher and developed an ESL instructional program that would be used for the K-12 students at Plankinton.

After five years of teaching ESL, she pursued her master’s degree from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minn. Her thesis related to the affects of second language acquisition at the elementary school level.

Diana started teaching Spanish at Dakota Wesleyan in 1996 and for the past three years she has taught 1012-week Spanish courses at the elementary level for neighboring schools. She has also served as translator and interpreter for schools, the police, the courts, medical clinics, the hospital and private businesses.

When not reading, she enjoys watching her son play basketball, encouraging her daughter’s obsession with cats and chasing her younger son around the farm.

Why study Spanish?

  • More than 500 million people in the world speak Spanish!
  • Spanish is the main language of 21 countries around the world.
  • Spanish is the second most used language in international communication.
  • In the U.S. 13 percent of the population speak Spanish as their primary language.
  • The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown by 60 percent in just a decade.
  • Because of the increase of Spanish speakers in the U.S. there is a demand for media to be in Spanish also: radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
  • In the United States and Canada, Spanish is the most popular foreign language to learn.
  • Spain has become the third most desirable country to live based on standard of living, health and economy.

Job possibilities in:

  • Business
  • Medical Field
  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Social Services Field
  • Law Enforcement

Requirements for a Spanish Minor
Successful completion of the following 20 credits:

LAN 101
Beginning Spanish

   Four credit hours
   Offered every Fall semester
   No prior knowledge of Spanish is required
   Focus on speaking, reading, writing and
       listening skills

LAN 102
Beginning Spanish

   Four credit hours
   Offered every Spring semester
   Continuation of LAN 101

LAN 201
Intermediate Spanish

   Three credit hours
   Fall semester
   Continuation of 102 with focus on literature
       and culture

LAN 202
Intermediate Spanish

   Three credit hours
   Spring semester
   Continuation of 202

LAN 301
Spanish Conversation and Composition

   Three credit hours
   Fall semester (as needed)
   Focus on linguistic proficiency via conversation and compositions

LAN 302
Spanish Conversation and Composition

   Three credit hours
   Spring semester (as needed)
   Continuation of LAN 301

An individualized major in Spanish is also available.

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Last updated: 11/11/09