Professional Development Institute

Simmons School of Social Work is a leader in providing professional continuing education for social workers. We offer Category I Continuing Education credits to social workers.

Professional Development Institute


Intermediate Spanish for Social Workers (Note: Registration for the Fall 2013 Session is full).

Spanish is the most popular second language in the United States. Latin culture is having a great impact on American culture. Being able to understand not just the Spanish language but also its culture goes along way toward forming meaningful bonds between communities. The need for more social workers in all human service organizations to learn a second language has never been greater. As globalisation increases, all of the borders that previously separated language groups are becoming indistinguishable by the advances in technology and internationally focused economic systems. Simmons School of Social Work has responded to this demand, understanding that when social workers can communicate comfortably in a shared language they learn more about their clients. The more comfortable your clients are, the less they see themselves as "outsiders" and the more helpful they can be. On its own this class will not qualify you for full bi-lingual practice, however it can help prepare you for working in agency settings and will help you to strengthen your Spanish language skills.

This 13-week course uses an integrated approach to teach Spanish listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in a cultural context. The course requires basic knowledge of the language and focuses on the use of Spanish in Human Services. Class sessions are conducted entirely in Spanish and the language is used in communicative, creative and critical thinking activities. Students will re-enact real life situations where they learn culturally appropriate responses. Lectures will introduce and clarify grammatical structures, as well as compare and contrast cultural differences around the Spanish-speaking world. Weekly preparation prior to the class and active participation is required.

A verbal proficiency level test must be taken prior to starting the course to ensure that students are at a similar level. Simmons Social work students and human service professionals will be integrated in this course. The class will be limited to 15 participants.

Required Textbook: Basic Spanish for Social Sciences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2011)

Instructor: Leticia Meza-Riedewald is a native of Mexico. She has been teaching Spanish for more than fifteen years at various universities in the United States, including Cornell University, Boston University, Boston College and Simmons College. She specializes in teaching language in context and the introduction of culture and society in language teaching.

Schedule: Mondays, September 9-December 16, 2013, 6pm-8pm.

Tuition: $495; Simmons SSW Alumni and Field Instructors: $295

Please register and pay online here. (Note: Registration is Closed for the Fall 2013 Session.)

26 CEs available for social workers.

Email questions to SSW Registration Coordinator,


If you have any questions or comments about our professional education programs, please contact the Professional Development Institute by filling out our contact form or by calling 617-521-3903.

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