College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

World Languages and Cultures

Spanish Heritage Language Program

Since 2012, the School of World Languages and Cultures (WLC) at CSUMB has offered a course designed for Spanish heritage language learners (students who grow up speaking and/or listening to Spanish at home or within a Spanish-speaking community but whose dominant language is English). WLC joins a growing number of departments across the country that recognize the distinct needs and abilities of this population as opposed to those of traditional second language learners who have not been in regular contact with Spanish growing up.

The goal of our program is to promote Spanish language development and maintenance by providing a supportive learning environment that takes into consideration the rich bilingual/bicultural background of our diverse student body. We welcome and nourish our students' linguistic resources and cultural heritages while aiming to expand their oral, reading, and writing skills in Spanish. We seek to do this through exploring topics related to the experiences of U.S. Latinxs as well as Spanish-speaking cultures both in and outside the United States. Moreover, we aim to build community among heritage language learners at CSUMB in addition to fostering learning opportunities in the classroom and beyond.

Our course designed for Spanish heritage language learners is Spanish 212 (Spanish for Spanish Speakers I). It fulfills CSUMB's language requirement and prepares students to enroll in upper-division courses leading to a major or minor in Spanish. To find out if this course is appropriate for you, please take the placement test and email WLC with your score to obtain a permission code.

SPAN 212 is the right course for you if:

  • You earned a score between a 441 and a 750 on the placement test.
  • You speak Spanish at home and/or you learned to speak Spanish in an immersion context.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the program coordinator, Dr. Becky Pozzi, Director of Spanish Lower Division Language Program.


"Span an engaging course that showed me a way to discover my identity and to be comfortable with myself, because I am me."

"Span 212 changed me to become a better bilingual and have more respect for my heritage. Be more open about my race and language."

"If you speak Spanish but don't know where the acentos go this class helps a lot."

"This [course] has made a difference in my life because now I feel way more confident with my writing abilities. I feel that this will help me in the outside world, for example when it comes to my career."

"Spanish 212 truly made me appreciate and value my culture and traditions even more."

"...thanks to the course I definitely became proud of the languages I speak (Spanish and English)."

"...there are frequent discussions during the class with other classmates that make it feel like a small like-minded community in the classroom."

Heritage Spanish Faculty

Dr. Rebecca Pozzi 
Marco Barbosa