Foreign languages faculty
Rick Clark, M.A.
Instructor in Spanish
M.A., University of Northern Iowa
B.A., Wheaton College
Professor Clark is the 2007 recipient of Northwestern's Teaching Excellence Award and chair of the college's modern foreign language department. In addition to teaching Spanish and working with the college's education majors, he serves as a translator in the community. Born and raised in Ecuador as the son of missionary parents, Professor Clark has led summer study abroad trips to that country. He has also lived in Spain, led mission trips to Mexico and Ecuador, and served as a lay pastor for a Hispanic congregation. Prior to joining Northwestern's faculty, he taught for 22 years at the high school level.
- Beginning Spanish Language and Culture
Beginning Spanish Language and Culture (3 credits) Combined study of language and culture. Study of major social systems and themes of Hispanic culture. Building on previously acquired ability in Spanish, elementary study of the language in a communicative context. Emphasis upon integration of developing language skills with cultural understanding and sensitivity in oral communication settings. Prerequisite: SPA101, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.
- Hispanics in the United States
Hispanics in the United States (3 credits, alternate years, consult department) A wide-ranging study of the current situation of Hispanics in the United States. After an historical overview, a thematic approach will be taken to better understand the role of Hispanics in the United States and their growing influence. Possible topics include demographics, voting tendencies, purchasing power, Hispanic media, religion, labor laws, immigration, Spanglish and bilingualism, among others. Using interviews and research, the course will conclude with a study of our Hispanic neighbors here in northwest Iowa. Prerequisites: SPA202 and one 3-credit 300-level course.
- Written Spanish Translation
Written Spanish Translation This course is an introduction to the theory, methods, techniques and
problems involved in basic translation. The first half of the semester
will focus mostly on translating from Spanish to English. The second half
of the course will involve general material from specific areas of life:
popular culture, music, social sciences, education, business, medicine,
the legal profession, etc., with translation exercises from both Spanish
to English and English to Spanish. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites:
Spanish 202 and one 3-credit 300-level course. (3 credits; alternate
years, consult department)
- Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture
Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture (3 credits) Combined study of intermediate language and culture. Study of primary sources in print, audio and visual forms to develop appreciation for the ways culture in general and the language's culture in particular shape a variety of social contexts. Building on previously acquired ability in Spanish, continued study of language in a communicative context with considerable emphasis upon precision and expansion of linguistic skills. Prerequisite: SPA201, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.
- Methods of Teaching Secondary Foreign Language
Methods of Teaching Secondary Foreign Language
- Advanced Spanish Conversation
Advanced Spanish Conversation (1 credit) The main goal of this course is to improve oral communication, which includes speaking as well as listening, comprehension. Since successful communication also involves cultural awareness of the Spanish speaker's feelings, thoughts and attitudes, part of this course involves studying sources of these important underlying constructs. Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency.
- Advanced Grammar and Composition
Advanced Grammar and Composition (3 credits) Advanced development of writing skills and a review of difficult grammar concepts. Students will be expected to write in a variety of contexts. Emphasis will be on the writing process. The majority of the assignments will be completed in steps including multiple drafts. Additionally, students will be expected to review grammar and complete some grammar exercises. Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency.
- Beginning Spanish Language and Culture
Beginning Spanish Language and Culture (3 credits) Combined study of language and culture. Study of major social systems and themes of Hispanic culture. Elementary study of the language in a communicative context. Emphasis upon integration of developing language skills with cultural understanding and sensitivity in oral communication settings. Prerequisite: No previous study of Spanish, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.
- Survey of Hispanic Literature from Spain
Survey of Hispanic Literature from Spain (3 credits, alternate years, consult department) A study of peninsular Spanish literature from El Cid to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor.
Publications and presentations
- Translation of Plymouth County Jail manual
- Translation of 35 labels for Van Beek Scientific
- Presentation at NACFLA Conference on Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages
- Assistant Men's Basketball Coach, Northwestern College
- Youth Director, Trinity Reformed Church, Orange City
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
- North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA)
- Teaching Excellence Award, Northwestern College, 2007