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Non-Native Speakers (101-104)

The Spanish Basic Language Program at UIC for non-native speakers (SPAN 101, 102, 103, and 104) introduces students to Spanish and to the wealth of cultures of the Spanish-speaking world within a socially conscious curriculum. Through an approach based on relevant, motivating and intellectually engaging tasks, the Program seeks for students to become functional speakers of Spanish at least at the intermediate-mid level, acquire cultural communicative competence, develop critical-thinking skills, and insight into the nature of language and culture. The program seeks for students to participate in engaging, face to face conversations with native speakers from diverse Spanish-speaking countries, and to carry out projects beyond the classroom in the vibrant Spanish-speaking communities of Chicago.  At the end of Spanish 104, students will have acquired a solid cultural understanding of the Hispanic world, and the basic language proficiency necessary to further continue their study of Spanish, to make connections with other disciplines of their majors/minors, and to be better prepared to become global citizens who thrive in diverse cultural contexts. Because it is a hybrid program, students get exposure to the language both in the classroom and through computer instruction, actively engage in technology-based activities to acquire technology literacy, and learn to be independent, life-long language learners.

Once students finish the basic Spanish courses, they are encouraged to join the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies undergraduate Program at the 200-level, where they can further develop their language proficiency in courses such as Spanish Grammar in Practice, in Spanish for specific purposes (medical, teaching, business and law), and Intensive Reading and Writing. At the same time, they can start exploring opportunities for life-changing experiences such as studying abroad in Spanish-speaking countries.

Once you begin, the sky is the limit!


Explore our courses Heading link

Are you interested to see what our courses are like? Take a look at our syllabi online!

Here you’ll find information like course descriptions, what books and materials are needed for our courses, what homework is like for our courses, how our courses are graded, and much more!

Basic and Intermediate Spanish Syllabi

Placement procedure Heading link

The Spanish Basic Language Program at UIC is specially designed for non-native speakers. These are students who have either never before taken a Spanish course or have been exposed formally to the language only in a classroom setting. If you learned Spanish in a “natural”, non-academic environment (during childhood at home, during residence abroad, etc.) you may be considered bilingual, native speaker or heritage speaker and you then may not take 101, 102, 103, or 104. Please go to the Heritage Language Program to get more information. As a heritage speaker you cannot receive credit for courses in the Spanish Basic Language sequence (SPAN 101, 102, 103, 104).

Please note that all students who are non-native speakers must take the placement test no matter how many years of Spanish have taken or even if they have never studied Spanish before.

Please see the Placement page for more details.

Placement criteria Heading link

If you have... Then you must take...
...transfer credit from another institution
...had 0 to 4 years of high school Spanish
...have never studied Spanish
...either Spanish 101, 102, 103, or 104 depending on the results of the UIC Spanish Placement Test
...taken Spanish 101 at UIC ...Spanish 102
...taken Spanish 102 at UIC ...Spanish 103
....Spanish 103 at UIC ...Spanish 104

Course Policies Heading link

The SBLP consists of four multi-section courses (SPAN 101, 102, 103 and 104) taught by multiple instructors. Each course in the SBLP is governed by different policies and procedures and each level has a Level Coordinator. Please familiarize yourself with the policies for your course.

If you have questions or concerns about your class, direct them first to your instructor.

Any issue not resolved between the student and their instructor may be brought to the attention of the Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program.


  1. No over-enrollments under any circumstances are allowed. No instructor, professor, secretary, or department head can change this rule, which is based on fire codes and room sizes.
  2. It is your responsibility (the student’s) to enroll and to attend the correct section. No one else can register you.
  3. Your name should be officially listed on the course roster by the end of the add/drop period, Friday of the second week of classes (consult the Timetable for the specific date). It is also your responsibility to drop a course if you stop attending class. No one else can drop you from the class. You are NOT automatically dropped if you stop attending.
  4. No student may enroll in more than one SBLP course during the same semester.
  5. If you have questions about placement once you attend the first day of class, please talk to your instructor immediately and explain your concerns.
  6. Auditing courses is not allowed but contact the Director of the Spanish Basic Language Program for further information.
  7. In order to receive an incomplete for this course you must have completed 70% of the course. Only medical reasons or very serious circumstances will be considered.