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Spanish Program

The Spanish Program introduces you to the language, literature and linguistics of Spain and Spanish America.

Discover the fascinating social and cultural context of the Spanish speaking world. Our courses explore a range of topics from the development of the Spanish language to an examination of Renaissance and Baroque literature when Spain's prolific playwrights rivaled Shakespeare; from the literature of the Spanish Civil War to the vast, innovative work of Latin America's writers.

The Spanish Program enables students to:

  • Explore the rich cultural heritage of Spain and Spanish America, and develop a command of Spanish through intensive practice in listening, reading, writing and speaking;
  • Publish in the student literary magazine "Entre Voc/zes";
  • Connect with community and univerisity-wide activities, lecture series, theatre and music/literary events;
  • Gain valuable research and cross-cultural skills, and build your international networks by participating in faculty-led research projects

What Can Spanish Do for My Career?

Spanish is an ideal foundation for work in many different areas. Qualified bilingual and multilingual graduates are in demand in fields such as law, business and finance, media, social services, medicine, education and hospitality.

The ability to read and speak Spanish allows you to communicate in one of the major international languages. With the NAFTA agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Spanish has become even more essential in the world of international commerce. Graduates have also gone on to graduate studies in literature, cultural studies and other fields.

Interesting Facts About Spanish

Spoken by over 400 million people, Spanish is the second most widely spoken language worldwide. It is the official language in over 20 countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ecuatorial Guinea, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela. A significant percentage of the world's Spanish-speaking population resides in North America (Mexico, U.S., Canada, with over 34%). In Canada it is the mother-tongue of growing and vibrant Latin American and Spanish communities and it is the fifth most common home language in Toronto.

Spanish Speaking Population by Region

Region Population
(Number of People)
Percentaje of the
Total Spanish Speaking Population
North America 154,276,438 34.10 %
Central America 40,982,389 9.06 %
South America 191,225,429 42.26 %
Islands 24,889,213 5.50 %
Europe 40,491,051 8.95 %
Africa 616,459 0.14 %
Total Worldwide 452,480,979 100.00

Spanish Speaking Population by Country


(Number of People)

Percentaje of the Total Spanish Speaking Population

1. Mexico 109,955,400 24.30 %
2. Colombia 45,013,674 9.95 %
3. United States 44,321,038 9.80 %
4. Argentina 40,677,348 8.99 %
5. Spain 40,491,051 8.95 %
6. Perú 29,180,899 6.45 %
7. Venezuela 26,414,815 5.84 %
8. Chile 16,454,143 3.64 %
9. Ecuador 13,927,650 3.08 %
10. Guatemala 13,002,206 2.87 %
11. Cuba 11,423,952 2.52 %
12. Dominican Republic 9,507,133 2.10 %
13. Bolivia 9,247,816 2.04 %
14. Honduras 7,639,327 1.69 %
15. El Salvador 7,066,403 1.56 %
16. Paraguay 6,831,306 1.51 %
17. Nicaragua 5,785,846 1.28 %
18. Costa Rica 4,195,914 0.93 %
19. Puerto Rico 3,958,128 0.87 %
20. Uruguay 3,477,778 0.77 %
21. Panama 3,292,693 0.73 %
22. Equatorial Guinea 616,459 0.14 %
Total Worldwide 452,480,979 100.00 %


New Program Coordinator!

Professor Michol Hoffman is the new Coordinator of the Programs in Spanish and in Portuguese Studies. Please contact Professor Hoffman by email ( with any questions related to these programs or to set up an advising appointment.

Prof. Maria Figueredo's research has been included in the following publications

  1. "The Rhythm of Values: Poets and Musicians in Ekphrasis and the Case of Uruguay, 1960-85." Chapter 6.
    In Pablo Vila, ed., The Militant Song Movement in Latin America: Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. New York: Lexington (RLPG), 2014. Pp. 282. 143-164.
    in The Militant Song Movement in Latin America: Chile, Uruguay and Argentina (Lexington Books, 2014) , edited by Pablo Vila.

  2. "El lugar de las cosas indecibles: El silencio en la estrategia novelística de Verónica Lecomte que desmorona el orden discursivo de la violencia." [The Place of Unsayable Things: Silence in Veronica Lecomte's Narrative Strategy of Deconstructing the Discursive Order of Violence] Itinerarios: Revista de estudios ingüísticos, literarios, históricos y antropológicos. [Itineraries. Journal of linguistic, literary, historical and anthropological studies] Warsaw: Institute of Iberian and Iberoamerican Studies. Vol. 18 (2014).

  3. "Poetry Installations for the Toronto2015 Pan / ParaPan American Games: The Poetry of Sport and the Sport of Poetry"
    Maria L. Figueredo
    ISSN: 2188-1111 The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2015: Official Conference Proceedings
    Posted: September 24, 2015
    ECAH2015 Thistle Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom ECAH2015 Conference Theme: "Power" Monday, July 13 - Thursday, July 16, 2015 ISSN: 2188-1111
    PDF available online.

  4. "Networked Poetries: Two Latin American Perspectives."by Maria Figueredo, in the inaugural issue of Journal of Communication and Media Studies.
    The Journal of Communication and Media Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1a, pp.23-29. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 21, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.367KB)).
Connect with Spanish-speaking international students: through the new Wor(l)d Buddy Project

Connect with Spanish-speaking international students at York by becoming a Wor(l)d Buddy at DLLL! For more information, visit:

  Course News

AP/SP2020 Intermediate Spanish Abroad offered this summer 2016!

Take Intermediate Spanish in Ávila, Spain!

Unlike learning in a regular classroom, this abroad course was able to teach me so much about the Spanish language in ways that I was able to retain the material being taught through the use of Spanish in daily interactions." – Hanna Kim (Summer 2015)  

group of students in spain

DESCRIPTION: This course is an extensive review of the fundamentals of Spanish grammar and emphasizes the four skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing through compositions, written exercises, oral presentations and conversations. The objective of this course is to broaden communicative language skills through written and oral exercises. Grammar is reviewed and multimedia resources are used to expand vocabulary, reinforce grammatical points, and improve oral skills. This is an interactive course that provides ample opportunity to explore and deepen previous knowledge of Spanish through written work, oral interactions in pair and group work with other students in the class, and with various types of multimedia resources. Since the second half of the course will be led by York faculty in a Spanish-speaking environment, students will benefit not only from the in-class activities, but also from immersion in Spanish-speaking culture.

PREREQUISITES: AP/SP 1000 6.0 or equivalent or permission of instructor


York University: May 2-27, 2016
Ávila, Spain: June 2—July 1, 2016


COURSE DIRECTOR: Professor Maria Figueredo (email:

 Click here for more information about Summer Abroad Courses.

New Course! AP/SP 2100 3.0 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

Explore the structures and systems of the Spanish language in this new course, offered in Fall 2015.

Redesigned AP/SP2200 Course!

AP/SP2200 has been redesigned for Fall-Winter 2015-16. Its new title is Approaching Hispanic Literature: Texts, Times and Tributes and it will offer a thematic approach to  literature of the Spanish-speaking world.

Fall-Winter Course offerings

The following literature and linguistics courses are scheduled for  F/W 2015-16

  • AP/SP2100 3.0 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
  • AP/SP 2200 6.0 Approaching Hispanic Literature
  • AP/SP 3150 3.0 Spanish Applied Linguistics
  • AP/SP 3220 6.0  Hispanic Caribbean Literature: The City, The Nation, and the Sea
  • AP/SP 3360 3.0  Spanish Poetry of the Golden Age
  • AP/SP 3540 3.0 El mal de siglo: 19th-Century Spanish Poetry
  • AP/SP 4140 3.0  Spanish Sociolinguistics
  • AP/SP 4640 6.0  The Spanish-American Novel of the Twentieth Century
  • AP/SP 4650 6.0  Literature and Music in Spanish America"


Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos Professor Shanna Lino has recently published a special edition of the Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos on the topic of "Tráfico y producción cultural: trazas de una globalización fragmentada" ("Trafficking and Cultural Production: Traces of a Fragmented Globalization" Vol. 38.1).

This monographic issue, which Professor Lino co-edited with Dr. Luis Molina Lora (Ph.D. University of Ottawa), drew together eleven critical essays from scholars in Canada, the US, and Latin America and is the first of its kind to theorize the notion of trafficking in the Spanish-speaking world, including that of people, narcotics, literature, cultural heritage, and history.

Poesía y canto popular: Su convergencia en el siglo XX. Uruguay, 1960-1985 [Poetry and Popular Song: Their Convergence in the Twentieth Century. The Case of Uruguay, 1960-1985] published "the work of Maria Figueredo on the resemantization of the poetic text when it is articulated with a musical structure, to integrate a new reality of language, that is, the song, is the first systematic investigation in this field. There existed periodic journalistic articles and reports on writers and musicians, as well as references inserted into various works of literary criticism, but never had a global and comprehensive work of this nature been undertaken on this fundamental aspect of contemporary culture" (Cosse, 9). The book studies the socio-cultural process of poetry that is set to music in relation to context of Latin America, with particular focus on the case study of Uruguay in response to particular socio-political challenges faced in the latter half of the twentieth century."

  Alumni News

We invite you to learn more about some of our recent graduates and share in their post graduation accomplishments.

Spanish Studies Program Brochure study abroad 2016 - opens pdf