Why Spanish at Monash?

Monash University has been teaching Spanish for over forty years and the lecturers and tutors have an excellent reputation. In 2010 staff were awarded eight “Dean’s Commendations of Excellence in Teaching” and Dr Sarah McDonald was “Highly Commended” in the Dean’s Teaching Awards for her unit on Spanish and Latin American cinema. At Monash we aim to develop your language skills and foster an interest in the rich diversity of Spanish and Latin American cultures. We believe that you cannot truly speak the language unless you understand the culture and that you cannot understand the culture unless you speak the language. For this reason, all language levels contain a cultural component which are taught in English (initially) and later in Spanish. Language classes – even beginners – are taught in Spanish, so that you get used to hearing the language from the very first class. The tutors and lecturers are native speakers or non-native speakers who have lived in different parts of the Spanish-speaking world and several of them learned Spanish at Monash.

As your language skills improve, we offer a number of exciting specialist second- and third-year options on different aspects of Spanish and Latin American cultures, literatures, cinema and music taught by internationally recognised specialists in their field.

To enable you to perfect your language as well as develop a greater understanding of the cultures of Spain and Latin America Monash Spanish also offers the opportunity to study abroad in Mexico, Chile, Spain, and there are new intensive summer-length courses in Colombia.

But don’t just take our word; here are some of the things that students said about their experience in the anonymous student unit evaluations in 2010:

“The best aspects about learning Spanish at Monash are that it is very intellectually stimulating. Activities such as watching films/documentaries, listening, reading about many Spanish-speaking nations, learning about the art/culture/history make it very interesting and encourage me to want to learn to speak the language and visit other countries.”

(First-year student) 

“The feeling of belonging to a big ‘Spanish Studies’ family is something that, in my experience, is particular to the Spanish department and it’s great. It is so good to receive emails updating us on all things Spanish outside of Monash, and also for the Spanish department to organize social events for Spanish students across different levels.”

(Second-year student) 

“All of the teachers were very approachable. Easy to ask questions, they seemed to take a genuine interest in my learning.”

(Second-year student) 

“I enjoyed this unit, and I found the textbook to be quite good and the supersite exercises fantastic. I liked the pace of our classes, and I like the fact that we get plenty of opportunity in class to practice our spoken Spanish.”

(Third-year student)

“I like that the tutorial hours are split into 3 separate hours because it prevents you from losing focus and getting restless, and also provides 3 styles of teaching. I also enjoy the culture component, which is interesting, well structured, and I like the weekly online tests because they keep you focused, whereas I would otherwise forget about culture.”

(First-year student)

“I have been thoroughly enjoying this unit. It has been very interesting, and the staff are extremely committed to providing help for the students, and assisting them to get the most out of the subject. The three weekly tutes as well as the lecture have all been very fun and stimulating.”

(First-year student)

“The atmosphere is great. It is fun, but also very stimulating for learning. Its relaxed nature makes it easier for students to go outside their comfort zone, which enhances the learning experience.”

(First-year student)

“The lecturers for Grammar and Culture were engaging, and the tutors were very helpful and informative, so the class was enjoyable.”

(First-year student)