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KNOXVILLE — People who work in the manufacturing, medical and teaching professions are increasingly in contact with Spanish-speaking employees and clients.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is offering three new online Spanish courses designed for these specific work environments.

“Spoken Spanish for the Manufacturing Professional,” “Spoken Spanish for the Teaching Professional” and “Spoken Spanish for the Medical Professional” are available through UT’s Distance Education and Independent Study program.

The courses teach students vocabulary specific to their jobs. Students who enroll receive access to UT’s BlackBoard online course management system and 20 or more hours of online instruction. The self-directed course also comes with a workbook, audio files and vocabulary cards.

The courses for teaching and medical professionals were rolled out this summer while the course for manufacturing professionals is new this fall.

“Whether you’re a doctor, teacher or engineer, you have a set of words that you use throughout the week. And that vocabulary is relatively limited. Our courses are designed for your work environment, and they give you the tools to quickly and easily pull that vocabulary into sentences,” said course developer Robert Hodge.

Hodge created “Spoken Spanish” after realizing employees in these work environments do not need to be fluent in Spanish to be able to communicate with people who speak Spanish.

“I find great joy in giving students a smaller-scale knowledge that opens huge doors for them in talking with and working with Spanish speakers,” he said. “These courses are really about bridging the gap, and for the Spanish speaker, your new skills will lower the barriers and draw people deeper into our culture.”

Hodge, a graduate of UT and Fuller Theological Seminary, worked for 15 years in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Miami. He also was a production supervisor and later a corporate trainer for Monterey Mushrooms in California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida and Mexico.

Here are more details about the courses:

• “Spoken Spanish for the Manufacturing Professional” is for managers and human resources personnel who need to communicate with employees for hiring or promotions, job training, safety training and providing performance evaluations.

• “Spoken Spanish for the Teaching Professional” is for teachers, principals or secretaries who want to better communicate with students and their families.

• “Spoken Spanish for the Medical Professional” is for people working in hospitals or doctors’ offices who need to learn medical vocabulary to help them speak to patients and their families without confusion.

The cost is $295 per student, and a 20-percent discount is available to businesses when three or more employees enroll.

For more information or to enroll, go to http://www.anywhere.tennessee.edu/is or call (865) 974-5134 or (800) 670-8657.


Elizabeth Davis, UT media relations, (865) 974-5179, elizabeth.davis@tennessee.edu

Darrin Devault, UT Outreach and Continuing Education, (865) 974-0270, ddevault@utk.edu