Posted at 2:56 p.m., Sept. 24, 2014

Class explores Spanish film, literature

Going from one student last semester to three this semester, one Laramie County Community College Spanish instructor has worked hard to offer a new independent study credit for those interested in advancing their own Spanish-speaking skills.

“Introduction to Literature and Film in Spanish” has been in the works since last semester. Courtney Wenta has spoken to the other faculty in the Spanish department to grow interest and excitement for this new class.

“My background is in Spanish literature, and for me this was a personal interest and passion,” she said. ”This class was one thing we could offer that was different than what was normally offered before.”

Looking at cultures and dialects in certain Spanish films, “Advanced Spanish through Literature and Film” is not the typical Spanish class, Wenta explained. The live literature pieces covered in the class are taken from Spain and Latin America, along with other countries and cultures, which will give students perspectives from a variety of Spanish-speaking nations.

The class is offered Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., which includes an online component. Wenta shared her thoughts on the advanced characteristics of the class, which does call for a prerequisite of Spanish 2030 or instructor approval. “It gives the opportunity to have students go beyond the four semesters that are offered,” she said. “It’s really a snapshot of students learning Spanish literature.”

Wenta stressed the class is based off works of literature and the   teaching of linguistics in those pieces.

According to an article in The New York Times “Fry & Gonzales” in 2008, a statistic of the growth of the Hispanic population in America indicated it would be 166 percent, or 28 million individuals from the years of 2005 to 2050. This is causing educational institutions to offer more Spanish classes in order for native-born Americans to learn to speak with other Spanish-speaking citizens.

Wenta believed her course is a good gateway class for students to go on and progress their studies in the Spanish language. She also wants them to feel confident in the literature and verbal aspects of speaking with other fluent Spanish-speaking individuals.

“Developing students’ skills through exposure: students are reading short stories, poems, and watching films to learn Spanish literature,” Wenta explained was the central theme of her class.

Wenta believed this class will continue to open many doors into various career fields for which a Spanish major is inclined to apply. Knowing the literature and the culture of a Spanish nation can help find the right job for a student searching for a career in speaking Spanish.

For more information or to contact Courtney Wenta about “Advanced Spanish through Literature and Film,” email cwenta@lccc.wy.edu or call 432-1664.