Second-Year Spanish

prepares students for study abroad alongside native speakers of Spanish through increasing focus on presentational discourse, with emphasis on academic and professional registers of the language.

Second-Year Spanish

The Spanish Language Program at Stanford University has organized its program of study based on current research on second language acquisition and on an understanding of the extraordinary talents and abilities that Stanford students bring to the study of language. The primary focus of our two-year program is to develop students’ abilities to:  

  • engage in interactions with speakers of Spanish for a variety of purposes and in a variety of contexts using socially and culturally appropriate forms for participating in conversations, establishing relationships with others, providing and obtaining information, expressing feelings and emotions, and expressing opinions;
  • understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics and manifest growing awareness of the social and cultural influences shaping the production and use of knowledge in the Spanish- and English-speaking worlds;   
  • present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of academic topics;   
  • develop strategies that will allow students to continue to acquire and develop their Spanish outside of the classroom and throughout their lifetimes.

It is our goal to help you develop your proficiency in the language so that at the end of two years of study, you will be able to enroll in courses abroad taught in Spanish for native speakers. You will, of course, also be able to continue developing your Spanish proficiency in upper level Spanish courses here at Stanford including courses in Latin American and Spanish culture, language, and literature.


The overarching goal of the second-year program is to prepare students for study abroad alongside native speakers of Spanish. This preparation is realized through increasing focus on presentational discourse, with emphasis on academic and professional registers of the language.

As in the first year of Spanish study, program objectives revolve around three key axes, but in the second year the emphasis shifts from interpersonal to presentational language:


Using academic/professional language to, e.g.,

  • write reports of increasing length and complexity, including persuasive papers and a research paper of 5-7 pages by the end of the third quarter 
  • give increasingly lengthy and more extemporaneous oral presentations, of 10 to 20 minutes in length 
  • compare and analyze extemporaneously


Understanding spoken and written Spanish in, e.g., 

  • analyze and synthesize the main ideas and supporting data in authentic written texts
  • follow shifting topics in a conversation
  • compare different regional varieties and registers of Spanish


Interacting with others with, e.g.,

  • socially appropriate expression of respect, politeness, gratitude, friendliness, and distance
  • appropriate use of tú and usted
  • increasing sophistication in discussions of academic and professional topics

Second-Year Courses

Valparaíso, Chile

Valparaíso, Chile by Loïc Mermilliod

Cultural Emphasis Series

SPANLANG 11C, 12C, and 13C integrate the study of culture and language. For further information, contact the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator).

Bulevar Villa Deportiva, Guatemala

Bulevar Villa Deportiva, Guatemala by Clovis Castaneda

Interrnational Relations Series

SPANLANG 11R, 12R, and 13R integrate the study of geopolitics, socioeconomics, and language. For further information, contact the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator).

by Jeison Higuita

Community Engaged Learning

SPANLANG 11SL, 12SL, and 13SL provides unique opportunities to engage with and learn alongside native speakers, and to witness the connections of course materials to community phenomena. These courses are designated as Cardinal Courses by the Stanford Haas Center for Public Service and subscribe to the Haas Center's Principles of Ethical and Effective Service. Each course also satisfies the Exploring Difference and Power (EDP) requirement. For further information, check Explore Courses or contact the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator).

Too busy to take a full language course?

Oral communication courses offer an opportunity to maintain your Spanish until you have an opportunity to take advantage of more rigorous language course.