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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: SPA3012 Module Title: VARIETIES OF SPANISH
Module Provider: Language & Translation Studies Short Name: SPA3012
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: MENENDEZ-LOPEZ MM Miss (Lang & Trans)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
All Year
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Oral in-class presentation
Discursive writing

Qualifying Condition(s)
a weighted aggregate of 40% is required to pass the module
Module Overview

This module focusses on varieties of Spanish from a sociolinguistic perspective, following their historical and socio-political development, and the interaction of Spanish and other languages in situations of language contact.


Completion of Level 2 Spanish modules, including LIN2002 or equivalent

Module Aims

In this module, students will:

  • develop an understanding of geographical varieties of Spanish and their historical and socio-political development.
  • develop an understanding of a wide range of sociolinguistic issues involved in multilingual situations, with special reference to the Spanish of Spain and of America.
  • be introduced to (if the student has not taken a previous module on research methods, like LIN2002) or apply (if the student has taken a previous module on research methods like LIN2002) basic qualitative and quantitative research sociolinguistic methodology applied to Spanish.
  • analyse and interpret a range of oral and written linguistic data in multilingual situations and present the results in an appropriate written and oral form.
  • Compare and contrast situations of language contact in the Spanish-speaking world and present the results in an appropriate written form.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, the students will:
Knowledge and understanding
  • understand the historical and socio-political development of Spanish in Spain and America.
  • understand the historical and socio-political development of other languages of Spain and their relationship with Spanish.
  • critically analyse and interpret complex sociolinguistic issues involved in multilingual situations, with reference to Spanish, using the sociolinguistic framework of language planning and contact.
  • compare and contrast a range of multilingual situations in the Spanish-speaking world.
Cognitive skills
  • be able to use and apply sociolinguistic terms to describe and discuss the languages of Spain and America.
  • be able to analyse and evaluate a multilingual situation using a range of theories, interpretations and arguments.
  • Be able to compare and contrast complex multilingual situations.
Key skills
  • competence in writing about a complex multilingual situation in the Spanish-speaking world in Spanish
  • competence in oral presentations and discussions in Spanish.
  • competence in analysing and evaluating oral and written speech from a sociolinguistic perspective.
  • be able to understand different varieties of Spanish.
  • speak and write in an appropriate register in Spanish.
Independent study
  • be able to study and learn independently.
  • be able to undertake basic independent research into related areas using appropriate methodologies.
Group work
  • be able to give peer feedback effectively and work collaboratively.
Reflection on own and peer learning
be able to reflectively evaluate self and peer learning and progression, through self and peer assessment of performance.
Module Content
History and evolution of the Spanish language and the other languages of Spain:
  • Middle Ages and Reconquista.
  • Unification of Spain in the 16th century.
  • Spanish in America and contact with native languages.
  • The Real(es) Academia(s) Española(s) and the standardisation of Spanish.
Regional varieties of Spanish:
  • Peninsular Spanish.
  • American Spanish.
  • Sefardí or judeoespañol.
Languages in contact: multilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking world.
  • Spanish in the United States.
  • The politics of language in Spain: diglossia and standardisation of regional languages.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Two contact hours per teaching week in semester one, or one hour per week throughout the year. The module is taught entirely in the target language.
The module is introduced by a series of lectures in the main areas of study, followed by student-led seminars where students have the opportunity to prepare their topic for the oral presentation and receive structured feedback from the rest of the class. Finally, the students will give an oral presentation on their topic, which will be the basis of comparison for the writing assignment.

Selected Texts/Journals
There is no set text for this module.
Apart from the following recommended bibliography, the students are encouraged to make use of online resources and materials given in class.



Alvar, M. (1996). Manual de dialectología hispánica. El español de América. Barcelona: Arial.


Alvar, M. (1996). Manual de dialectología hispánica. El español de España. Barcelona: Arial.


Chambers, Jack and Trudgill, Peter (1998) Dialectology. Cambridge : CUP.


López Morales, H. (). Sociolingüística. Lipski, J. (1994) Latin American Spanish. London : Longman.


Penny, R. (2000) Variation and Change in Spanish. Cambridge : CUP.


Pountain, C. (2003) Exploring the Spanish Language. Oxford: OUP.


Siguan, M. (1992) España Plurilingüe. Madrid: Alianza.

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