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Spanish (TSM)

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Is this the right course for you?

Spain, currently one of Europe’s leading industrial nations, was in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the foremost Western power, and Spanish is today the native language of over four hundred million people. In terms of the number of countries – more than twenty – in which it is officially spoken, it is second only to English. If you are interested in reading and in the language and culture of Spain and Spanish America, then this is a course you will enjoy.

Course content

Spanish at Trinity College is taught by a variety of methods to equip you with a comprehensive range of skills in the accurate, fluent and sensitive understanding and use of the written and spoken language. If you are a beginner the teaching provided offers a realistic opportunity for you to reach the same standard within a year as those who have studied the language previously.

The development of the skill of textual analysis through close and careful reading, together with the organisation and expression of ideas in written and verbal form, are integral aims of the department.

The Junior Freshman year

The primary focus of the Junior Freshman (first) year is to establish and consolidate your competence in understanding and using the Spanish language. Students studying Spanish ab initio (from beginner level) attend nine hours of classes per week, while non-beginners attend seven hours of classes.

The course covers four main areas:

  • Introduction to language study
  • Language classes (beginners attend seven per week and non-beginners attend six per week). These comprise classes in grammar, text analysis, practice in speaking and listening to Spanish
  • Introduction to modern Spain
  • Literature: close study of a different range of modern Spanish and Spanish-American literature, based on five texts

Years two and three

You will continue with language tuition taking three classes each week:

  • Spanish language
  • Syntax and vocabulary of Spanish
  • Spoken Spanish

Starting in the Senior Freshman (second) year and extending into the Junior Sophister (third) year you follow courses in Hispanic linguistics and the literature of the Spanish Renaissance, modern Spain and modern Spanish America. A course on the history of early-modern Spain is also given. Each of these courses in the second and third years are semester-long courses. The format is one lecture followed by one tutorial per week. Students are encouraged to give oral presentations on the texts followed.

The Senior Sophister year

If you elect to study Spanish in the Senior Sophister (fourth) year, you will work more independently and with significant freedom of choice. As well as studying Spanish language, theory of translation and medieval Spanish literature, you will choose two other subjects from a range of special subjects. These include contemporary prose fiction, Spanish and Latin American cultural politics, and a course in the literature of exile. You will also research and write a dissertation under the supervision of a member of the department on either a given topic or one that is of special interest to you.

Assessment

Essays submitted throughout the year are combined with written and oral examinations at the end of each year.

Study abroad

Students are encouraged to spend a year in Spain or Spanish America, especially at one of the universities with which we have close associations, such as Granada, León, Salamanca, Seville, or the Colegio de México. At a minimum, you will be required to spend two months in a Spanish-speaking country prior to taking your final exams.

Career opportunities

The main career opportunities are: teaching, journalism and the visual media generally, while some recent graduates have gained EU placements in Brussels.

A substantial proportion of students engage in further study, particularly diploma and masters’ courses in interpreting and translation. Ample opportunities exist in several universities, both in the U.K. and in Ireland, with Trinity College’s new M.Phil. in Literary translation and comparative literature proving popular. A steady stream of undergraduates have also chosen to pursue M.Litt. and PhD research degrees at Trinity College.

Further information

www.tcd.ie/Hispanic_Studies/pages/undergraduate.php

Tel: +353 1 896 1257

Specific Entry Requirements

Leaving CertificateHC3 In a language other than English
Advanced GCE (A-Level)Grade C In a language other than English
Other EU examination systems
See www.tcd.ie/Admissions/undergraduate/requirements/matriculation/other/

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