Medical Spanish for Heritage Learners


Project Objectives

Our project is guided by four integrated objectives. Each objective is tied to specific student learning outcomes. Achieving these objectives will result in a health care workforce that is highly qualified to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients.


Accelerate the attainment of superior levels of proficiency in Spanish and enhance the develeopment of critical skill sets through the development of innovative context-specific heritage language pedagogies.

Student Learning Outcomes for Objective 1

  • The ability to use a professional register of Medical Spanish with ease and fluency in both written and oral channels
  • The ability to accurately translate and interpret a wide variety of medical concepts from English to Spanish and Spanish to English
  • The ability to identify salient features of Spanish pragmatics and their effect on the provider-patient relationship


Enrich language development with theoretical and practical perspectives on health issues in multilingual and border communities through faculty training and development in the core disciplines of public health.

Student Learning Outcomes for Objective 2

Greater understanding of the role of language in health care Ability to critically evaluate language practices in clinical and public health settings and their effects on subsequent health outcomes. Enhanced knowledge of the field of public health and its intersection with multilingualism.


Embed language development in evidence-based learning through hands-on learning experience in community health centers

Student Learning Outcomes for Objective 3

  • The ability to discern complex language issues in real life situations
  • Practice in developing health communication materials for Spanish speaking patients
  • The ability to translate theory to practice and practice to theory


Create and nourish visible and attainable pathways for allied health students to progress towards advanced degrees through a shared program across two-year and four-year colleges.

Student Learning Outcomes for Objective 4

Lower inhibitions about transferring to a 4-year university by engaging STC students through close interaction with UTPA faculty Engender a sense of community among health professions students at both institutions by opening the course of study to students enrolled in both associate and baccalaureate degree programs Create highly visible and attainable pathways for students to advance from the associate level degree to the baccalaureate level degree by allowing STC students to enroll in upper division courses.