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Dr. Rosario Espinal
Latin American Studies Center
411 Anderson Hall
(215) 204-7527

Dr. Jonathan C. Holmquist
Spanish & Portuguese Department
427 Anderson Hall
(215) 204-1710

Latin American Studies Semester Program

The Latin American Studies Semester (LASS) has been offered every Spring semester since 1973. It is a program designed to provide a total immersion experience in the study of the Spanish language and an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the life and contemporary problems of Latin America. LASS is intended to show that foreign languages are practical. Students who participate in the LASS program, even if they are absolute beginners in the language, develop considerable fluency in Spanish in only one semester.

The Program

  • LASS students study the Spanish language intensively and learn about Latin America in Spanish from the first day of classes.
  • They develop knowledge of the people, culture, and history of Latin America and of Latin American economic and social developments.
  • Faculty from different disciplines teach in LASS.
  • Morning sessions, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., offer conversation and drill in Spanish guided by a group of native or near native speakers.
  • The afternoon component, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., teaches about Latin America by way of lectures, films, documentaries, and class discussion.

A Trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico

  • An integral part of the LASS program is a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico during the spring semester recess.
  • The trip is akin to a laboratory in that students can practice their developing language skills.
  • Students are placed in local homes where the only language of communication is Spanish. They experience at first hand something of one Latin American country's culture, history, and social development.

Courses and Class Schedule

  • LASS is an integration of several courses, totaling 15 semester hours credit and must be taken as a package.
  • Since classes meet every day, Monday through Friday, both morning and afternoon, no other courses may be taken.
  • Students who register for LASS take the following courses:

Spanish 76 (or Spanish 176): Intensive Practice/Four Skills - 9 credits.
Latin American Studies 100: Latin America in Film and Fiction - 3 credits.
Sociology 163: Area Studies: Development in Latin America - 3 credits.
Spanish 76 carries partial upper division credit. Latin American Studies 100 and Sociology 163 count as upper division Social Science courses.

Contact the Latin American Studies Program

811 Anderson Hall | 1114 Polett Walk | Temple University | Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
Phone (215) 204-1644 | Fax (215) 204-9618 | Email LAS