According to U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population living in the United States in 2012 represented approximately 16.9% of the U.S. total population, making people of Hispanic origin the nation's largest ethnic or race minority. And every year this percentage is increasing, due to immigration. Among these new arrivals, people with little or no knowledge of English at all are included, which implies the need for professionals who are able to address them in Spanish. This course provides the students with basic skills, both linguistic and cross-cultural, that will allow them to communicate with Spanish speaking patients in their mother tongue, and understand written health and medical texts, reports, etc. Although basic clinical knowledge is helpful, it is not required.
Research has demonstrated that study abroad can enhance every aspect of language ability. One of the most important general findings of this research is, however, that study abroad is most beneficial for the development of abilities related to social interaction. Students who go abroad can learn to do things with words, such as requesting, apologizing, or offering compliments, and they may also learn to interpret situations calling on such speech acts in ways that local people do…In short, and logically, study abroad has been shown to enhance the aspects of communicative competence that are most difficult to foster in classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6).