College of Arts and Letters2018-2019

Department of Global Languages and Cultures

Spanish, Master of Arts in Teaching

The Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish is designed to prepare you to apply the most current methods, strategies, and technologies for teaching Spanish in a classroom environment that fosters cultural diversity.

The M.A.T. Spanish offers a professional foundation in the academic areas of Teaching and Pedagogy, Literature and Culture, and Linguistics to prepare teachers to excel in a rapidly changing classroom with an increasing number of bilingual and heritage language speakers.

Students (both native and non-native Spanish speakers) will be enrolled in graduate-level courses conducted entirely in Spanish. This will allow you to attain a high level of proficiency in the language.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish?

As our society becomes more multicultural and multilingual, demand for second-language speakers and educators is rising. If you're interested in advancing your education in Spanish-language teaching, you can polish your skills and build your resume in our Teaching Spanish program.

We prepare you to apply the most current methods, strategies, and technologies for teaching Spanish in a classroom environment that fosters cultural diversity. We provide you with the tools to become a master of knowledge directly related to classroom practices. Through linguistics, literature, and pedagogy, you will gain theoretical knowledge and practical expertise for understanding language acquisition in general and Spanish in particular.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Spanish teacher
  • Corporate educator
  • Interpreter
  • Spanish-language reporter

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Foreign Language A foreign language is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The M.A.T. Spanish Education allows candidates to obtain an Arizona Secondary Teaching Certificate in Spanish. Candidates take graduate courses (46 hours) in Spanish linguistics, literature, second language acquisition theory, and foreign language methods, as well as required courses in professional education (including educational psychology and Structured English Immersion). The linguistics courses foster abilities and knowledge about language (phonology, syntax, morphology, pragmatics) as well as sociocultural knowledge. Literature courses foster aesthetic awareness as well as Peninsular and Latin American history and culture. Our foreign-language methods courses are taught by aculty actively involved in research on foreign-language pedagogy and second-language acquisition. Candidates must complete Methods of Spanish Instruction to develop skills in current teaching strategies and approaches. They must also complete Curriculum Design to develop an entire curricula based on best practices and standards. Additionally, candidates complete Media and Technology in Spanish Language Instruction to develop in-depth understanding of the current theories (e.g., psycholinguistic, cognitive) of second and foreign-language acquisition.

To develop expertise in technology-enhanced instruction and use of technology in their own teaching, we require candiates to complete Media and Technology in Spanish Language Instruction, which fosters teachers' abilities to effectively create, utilize, and assess video, technology and other media for L2 classroom use. Candidates receive preparation in assessment and data literacy through SPA 511 Methods of Spanish Instruction and are summatively assessed through Student Teaching. Field experience (SPA 601) and capstone experiences (ECI 595) allow candidates to integrate theory and practice learned in their
coursework into instruction in applied secondary settings.

It is important to note that, while the program seeks to offer initial certification, candidates are expected to meet certain content area standards at the moment that they begin the program. Most candidates entering the program will have a bachelors in Spanish or a related major. Candidates entering the program are expected to have the oral proficiency that undergraduate teaching candidates must demonstrate at "the end of their programs. This program purports to provide such a path to certification and professional preparation by challenging candidates to gain an in-depth understanding of the language and culture of Spanish and modern foreign-language teaching practices through courses offered exclusively in Spanish. Additionally, while most candidates enroll in the program with extensive study or residency abroad experience, we offer two incentives for study abroad during the summer between their first and second years: (1) Candidates may compete
for a teaching position scholarship in our NAU Costa Rica program (San José, Costa Rica); (2) Candidate may compete for a $5000 scholarship to study in Spain.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, the graduate students will be able to:

  • develop detailed lesson-plans and assessment instruments, as well as effective activities and resources for teaching secondary and/or junior college level Spanish
  • teach Spanish at the secondary and/or junior college level using the latest methodologies
  • integrate technology into the teaching of Spanish to enhance students’ learning
  • participate in scholarly activities related to the teaching of Spanish in the state of Arizona and in the US
  • critically examine a variety of methods of Spanish Instruction
  • critically examine current theories of Second-Language Acquisition
  • integrate literature into the Spanish classroom to promote cultural awareness and provide context to language instruction
  • develop teaching-related research projects that combine knowledge of the three areas of the MAT program: Teaching, Linguistics, and Literature
  • analyze the linguistic features of the Spanish language at the sound, word, sentence and discourse levels and explain how they change across time, place and social groups


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Academic essay written in Spanish
    • Spanish oral sample that talks about a past experience to gauge your speaking abilities in Spanish
    • Personal statement or essay 
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Teaching and Pedagogy

    Literature and CultureLinguisticsCapstone ProjectComprehensive Exam

    Please note that this academic plan does not lead to Arizona state teacher certification. See the "College of Education" section of this catalog for information about certification programs.


  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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