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Language Programs

The Language programs for Portuguese and Spanish at UNM help develop student’s speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills at the elementary and intermediate level (100 and 200). For students who are taking the 4 course sequence (or intensive 2 course sequence) it is recommended that these classes be taken in successive semesters. In this way the lessons learned in one semester may be easily accessed and developed in the next semester, facilitating the student’s deeper understanding of the culture and language usage.

Português na Universidade do Novo México

The Portuguese program at UNM is one of the oldest Portuguese programs in the U.S., with a full range of undergraduate and graduate courses that emphasize both the culture and the literature of Brazil. The beginning Portuguese language courses (Portuguese Language Program) are designed with the student’s background in mind. These courses do not require a placement evaluation.


Español en la Universidad de Nuevo México

The beginning Spanish language courses are accessed through two Spanish language programs that address the needs of our diverse language learners:

Sabine Ulibarrí Spanish as a Heritage Language Program SHL - Spanish classes numbered 111, 112, 211, and 212 are designated for students who grew up in a Spanish-speaking environment, understand Spanish but may not speak it themselves. In the Sabine Ulibarrí Spanish as a Heritage Language Program, we recognize that the cultural connection to the language serves as a powerful motivating factor. Because of this, we design classes from the point of view that language learning must take place in a context in which the students' culture is honored and explored.

Spanish as a Second Language Program- SSL - Spanish classes numbered 101, 102, 201, 202 - or - 275 (equivalent to 101 & 102) and 276 (equivalent to 201 & 202) are designed for students of Spanish whose native home language is not Spanish.

Both Spanish language programs are designed to prepare students of Spanish for 300 and 400 level courses, each has four levels that are similar to one another as far as materials and concepts covered. Neither program is inherently superior or inferior to the other, they are simply catered to the educational needs of different types of learners. The main difference is found in the approach:

  • In SHL classes - students come together to learn about a language to which they have a cultural connection. Often, they are able to share experiences, cultural background, and linguistic knowledge with one another.
  • In SSL classes - students come together to learn about a language to which they might not have a cultural connection. These students share in the experience of learning about cultures different from their own and in learning its language.

Required Course Placement for Spanish

All UNM students who choose Spanish to fulfill their language requirement(s) must take a Spanish Placement Evaluation for placement at the appropriate level.
Students taking courses should know:

  1. An evaluation should be taken BEFORE enrolling in a Spanish class.
  2. Spanish Placement Evaluation scores are valid for one year only.
  3. If a period of one year or more has passed between Spanish courses, you must take the placement evaluation again.

The Benefits of Placement:

Students who place into higher-level Spanish courses advance through degree requirements faster. Students who place out of Spanish language courses have options:

The CLEP test has a small fee that pays for taking one test. Depending on your score, it is possible to earn from 3 to 12 Spanish language credit hours.

Course Challenges – allow student to purchase credit hours for specific 100 and/or 200 level courses.