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WEC Unit: Spanish and Portuguese Studies

Spanish and Portuguese Studies, the largest of the College of Liberal Arts’s language departments, enrolls approximately 300 students in its two majors, Spanish Studies and Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Departmental instructors also provide language instruction to hundreds of non-majors each year. To accommodate these two distinct student populations, the department’s 14 faculty members are joined by roughly 25 Professional and Academic (P/A) Staff and 35 Graduate Instructors (GIs), who teach many of the Spanish and Portuguese language and upper-division courses. Spanish and Portuguese Studies also houses its own writing center, where students taking 3000-level courses can receive face-to-face and online writing support.

In developing their Writing Plan, faculty members and instructors in Spanish and Portuguese determined that the most critical task they faced involved gaining clearer understanding of the ways writing instruction was being included across their curricula. Toward that end, they held a series of meetings, and, using curricular maps as a prop, clarified the kinds of assignments and instruction offered in all language courses and courses in the majors. Early discussions also focused on using an online instructional tool, Cuaderno, to assess student writing using the writing abilities articulated in the Writing Plan. In November 2009, presentations focusing on WEC and Cuaderno were provided by four members of the faculty and instructional staff (Emilce Lopez, Joanna O’Connell, Frances Matos-Schultz, and Susan Villar) at the 2009 Symposium on Second Language Writing at Arizona State University.

Writing Plan


Center for Writing  10 Nicholson Hall&nb=sp;   216 Pillsbury Dr. SE    Minneapolis, MN 55455    Phone: 612-625-0791   Fax: 612-626-7580