Spanish Basic Language Program


The Spanish Basic Language Program at UIC for non-native speakers introduces students to Spanish and to the wealth of cultures of the Spanish-speaking world within a socially progressive 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!


Direction of Basic Language Program

Any questions or concerns please direct them to:

Dr. Claudia Fernández, Director of the Program
Claudia Fernández
(312) 996 - 0491
1714 UH
Elizabeth Aguilar, Assistant Director
Elizabeth Aguilar
(312) 355 6053
1726 UH 

Placement in a Spanish Course
Registration Information


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 Prof. Claudia Fernández,, the Basic Language Program Director, 1714 UH / (312) 996-0491.

Placement in a Spanish Course


PLEASE NOTE: 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/Bilingual Basic 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).

Non-Native Speakers of Spanish

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.  Please note that all students who are non-native speakers should take the placement test no matter how many years of Spanish have taken or even if they have never studied Spanish before. The Spanish Placement Test is a requisite to register in any of the courses of the Spanish Basic Language Program including Spanish 101.

How to request and take the Spanish Placement exam: Log into On the Registration tab, request the Spanish Exam on the placement testing portlet.  Once approved, a link will be available to take the exam. There is only one Spanish placement exam for all students.  

According to University policy, students will not receive credit for taking courses below the level at which they place. Our Departmental placement guidelines are as follows:


Registration Information: 

  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 Prof. Claudia Fernández 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.