Loyola University Chicago

Modern Languages and Literatures

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able:

  • to demonstrate familiarity with works of Latin American and Peninsular literature
  • to demonstrate familiarity with the general characteristics of several traditions and trends within the literary contexts of Latin America and Spain
  • to use the Spanish vocabulary necessary for discussing literature critically
  • to understand broad historical events, cultural currents, and current academic trends as they are represented in Latin American and Peninsular literature
  • to read, write, and speak Spanish fluently
  • to demonstrate the ability to do independent, scholarly research by integrating, comparing, and evaluating ideas and materials from various sources, both literary and critical
  • to develop and sustain a coherent argument in both oral and written Spanish
  • to know how to foster a collegial, collaborative learning environment that encourages self-expression
  • to comprehend the social and historical function and significance of literature, culture, and art in Spain and Latin America, and more broadly
  • to understand and incorporate the national standards for the teaching of foreign languages into the teaching of Spanish at various levels
  • to understand from a task-based perspective the theoretical and practical issues of communicative language teaching for all skill areas
  • to demonstrate competence in a language other than English or Spanish, for the purpose of research 

Our tradition: Eloquentia perfecta

Jesuit education is steeped in a tradition that reaches back five centuries, to the flourishing of Renaissance humanism in sixteenth-century Europe. The humanists immersed themselves in the study of language, rhetoric, grammar and literature, with the aim of achieving eloquentia perfecta. Their ability to speak and write well would reflect their values as good citizens who stood to uphold the common good.

 The graduate program in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures of Loyola University Chicago rests on this tradition. Candidates for the Masters degree in Spanish, as well as students of our new five year BA/MA in Spanish (2016), immerse themselves in the language, the literatures and the cultures of the Hispanic world with the same goal: eloquentia perfecta. Not only do they strive to master the Spanish language, they study the past and present of the Hispanic world with the aim of understanding it and its peoples more fully. While our graduate students write and research in the areas of linguistics, literature and culture, they also teach undergraduates, translate tax documents for Latin American immigrants in the United States and wrestle with the complex issue of societal injustice. For example, in February of 2016 our graduate students hosted and participated in a symposium on the theme of social justice in Hispanic literatures. The 2017 symposium will focus on immigration, border issues and hybrid identities.

 As students complete their Masters degree in Spanish, they discover how linguistic and cultural competency begins to open many doors. Some further their graduate education by earning doctorates in Spanish, History, and International Education, while others use their degree to teach Spanish at all levels. Graduates of our program also start careers in business and social work, while others use their Spanish proficiency to gain employment as translators and interpreters. Whatever career path they take, all of our graduates agree that the study of language and culture leads to adventure. But as they go on to face the challenges of an imperfect world, they aim to engage it by relying on the tradition of eloquentia that has been passed on to them as students of a Jesuit university.