The Department of Latin-US and Linguistics is an interdisciplinary unit made up Chicano Studies, Languages, and Linguistics. The overarching mission of the Department is to promote multiculturalism, multiliteracy, and multilingualism. Through cutting-edge interdisciplinary research on cultural diversity, literacy, and language processing and production in multilinguals, the Department aims to create and disseminate knowledge about cultural identity as well as the linguistic, psychological, and social processes that influence language attainment, language use, and language maintenance.
The Department houses the Chicano Studies Program, which is an instructional and research program dedicated to the study of the Mexican origin population specifically and Latino communities in general in the United States. Centered on diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, Chicano Studies provides an interdisciplinary curriculum that promotes critical thinking skills, leadership skills, computer literacy, and community engagement. The Chicano Studies Program offers an undergraduate academic major and four academic minors both on-campus and 100% online. An additional field of study in Chicano Studies is available under the Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies degree.
The Department also houses Languages, which emphasizes the study of Spanish, English for Speakers of Other Languages, French, Portuguese, and a few other languages, as well as Spanish-English Translation. For Spanish, French, and Portuguese, the Languages curriculum extends to research on the analysis and interpretation of diverse artifacts (e.g., text, film, music, art) from the corresponding language communities. By offering a targeted selection of language, culture, literature, and translation courses, the Languages Program aims to enhance students’ language proficiency, multiculturalism, and multiliteracy, thereby preparing them for a broad range of professions (e.g., arts, business, diplomacy, education, government, health, international law, publishing, tourism, translation) in the linguistically and culturally diverse world as well as in the region. Through its program for English for Speakers of Other Languages, the Department also fulfills the essential and inclusive mission of the university to enable all students to have an active and successful academic life at UTEP.
Additionally, the Department houses Linguistics, the scientific study of human language—its representation in the mind, its use in daily life, and its learning across the lifespan. The Linguistics curriculum targets the linguistic, psychological, and social processes that influence language learning and attainment, language use, language maintenance, and cultural identity, with primary focus on bilinguals. Courses are also offered on the best practices of second language instruction in the classroom. By educating future linguists and language practitioners through theory-informed methods and community-engaged work, the Department seeks to meet the critical challenges of language education in the 21st century.
As part of an R1 research university, the Department of Latin-US and Linguistics is committed to a 21st century vision that promotes access to excellent higher education while positively impacting the health, culture, education, and economy of the region and the distance learning communities it serves. Faculty, students, and community members participate in a wide range of research, fellowship, internship, and community engagement initiatives, as well as international academic exchange and research programs.