Spanish Courses

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.” Flora Lewis

                                 

INTRODUCTION

In this globalized world, learning a second language is more important than ever. Not just as a way of beefing up your resume, but also because finding new ways of expression reshapes your experience and broadens your perceptions. Experiencing a new language and a different culture allows learners to look at themselves and the world around them through new eyes.

Although learning a different language is never easy, it is a beautiful and rewarding task.  “But that doesn’t make sense!” is one of the first things that springs to mind when you’re faced with alternative ways of expressing ideas or different rules of grammar, but the way you grapple with this apparent nonsensicality is your first step on the road to restructuring and revaluing the world around you. With a little practice and right kind of teaching, learners soon begin to use and enjoy their new language.

 

*These courses are included in the MSSG tuition cost.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This set of three courses—Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Spanish 3—focuses on the development of students’ communicative skills so that they attain a working knowledge of everyday Spanish. Classroom activities and tasks are designed to improve your ability to communicate in the real world while you seamlessly build up your knowledge of its rules, its refinements, and its quirks. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll start to see everyday situations through new eyes, as your awareness of how the language and the culture interact grows and you learn what is okay to say and what is definitely not!. The classes in this course are intrinsically intertwined with how to move in a different culture, and will help you navigate the cultures of various Latin American countries, especially their literature and visual arts.

In the classes, the three communication modes—interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational—are active. Through the interpretative mode, learners will encounter new vocabulary and grammar rules in listening and reading activities; through the interpersonal mode, learners interact with each other and negotiate meaning; and through the presentational mode, students present and explain information in an appropriate way. Through the semester, students will also be encouraged to compare and contrast their own language and culture, reflecting about themselves and the world around them.

Classroom time is devoted to using the language in conversation and activities, and the classes are conducted mostly in Spanish. The learning activities are student-centered and students are expected to work in pairs, groups and interact with each other.

STUDENT PROFILES
Spanish 1 Spanish 1 is a course designed for students with little or no background in Spanish. You belong in this course if you have never taken Spanish language courses before or if you have studied one year of Spanish at high school level.
Spanish 2 Spanish 2 is a course designed for students who have already taken two years of Spanish at high school level. You also belong in this course if you have successfully passed Spanish 1 or obtained the required grades in the Proficiency Exam. If you have taken one or two semesters of Spanish at university level, you need to take the placement test to assess which course is right for you.
Spanish 3 Spanish 3 is a course designed for students who have already taken three or more years of Spanish at high school level. You also belong in this course if you have successfully passed Spanish 1 or obtained the required grades in the Proficiency Exam. If you have taken one or two semesters of Spanish at university level, you need to take the placement test to assess which course is right for you.

 

By the end of the semester, students are expected to develop the skills detailed in the table below.

SPANISH 1 SPANISH 2 SPANISH 3
  • Understand and use the vocabulary and grammar necessary to meet basic needs in particular situations.
  • Introduce themselves and others.
  • Ask and give personal information.
  • Ask and answer questions on everyday topics such as school, work, hobbies, weather, food, clothes, and in familiar situations such as going shopping and ordering at a restaurant.
  • Ask and give directions.
  • Describe people and places.
  • Talk about their daily routine.
  • Talk about what they like and dislike.
  • Talk about past experiences.
  • Describe briefly a picture or a painting.
  • Write short compositions, letters, and emails about familiar topics.
  • Understand and use familiar everyday expressions and basic sentences concerning themselves, their family and their surroundings.
  • Understand the main idea in simple texts.
  • Understand the main idea in conversations and presentations about familiar topics.
  • Compare and contrast the cultural uses of the target language in everyday situations with their own.
  • Identify relevant Latin American traditions and works of art.
  • Recognize and illustrate cultural differences.
  • Understand and use the grammar and the highest frequency vocabulary necessary to meet their needs in a variety of situations, such as going shopping, going to the doctor, ordering food, making plans for the holiday, answer questions about their background, telling a short story, understanding ads or recipes, etc.
  • Talk about what they normally do.
  • Make recommendations and give advice.
  • Express difficulty and intention.
  • Express what they like, dislike and prefer.
  • Describe and compare different objects, people and places.
  • Invite people to events.
  • Ask for permission or for a favor.
  • Make excuses.
  • Narrate and describe past experiences.
  • Talk about emotions.
  • Describe symptoms.
  • Talk about past habits and circumstances.
  • Argue and debate.
  • Give instructions.
  • Make plans and talk about the future.
  • Express condition.
  • Write short compositions, letters, and emails: describing objects, works of art, places or people; narrating and describing past experiences; giving advice and debating a point of point of view.
  • Write short biographies, ads and simple recipes.
  • Understand the main idea in simple texts.
  • Understand the main idea in conversations and presentations about familiar topics.
  • Adopt a broader and less conditioned view of the target culture.
  • Understand cultural differences in everyday situations.
  • Understand and use the vocabulary and grammar necessary to deal with most situations likely to arise in everyday life.
  • Narrate in the present and the past.
  • Express prohibition, obligation and impersonality.
  • Summarize the plot of a film or a book.
  • Tell jokes and anecdotes.
  • Express wishes, claims, and needs and proposing solutions
  • Pass on messages, orders, petitions and advice.
  • Talk about causes and consequences.
  • Show interest and disagreement in formal and informal style.
  • Describe the characteristics of something and the way it works.
  • Give your opinion about something.
  • Assess situation and facts.
  • Speculate and hypothesize.
  • Show different levels of certainty.
  • Write short compositions, letters, articles, and emails describing experiences, events, their hopes and wishes; narrating short stories or relating the plot of a book or film.
  • Write a cover letter for a job.
  • Write an open letter denouncing a problem.
  • Understand the main idea in texts with high frequency everyday language.
  • Understand the main point in conversations, radio and TV programs on current affairs or personal/professional topics when the delivery is slow and clear.
  • Reconcile cultural differences as a source of educational and intellectual enrichment and personal growth.
  • Explore and value new cultural knowledge

Bibliography

Alonso, R., Castañeda, A., Martínez P., Miquel, L., Ortega, J., Plácido, J. Students’ Basic Grammar of Spanish Barcelona: Difusión ISBN: 9788484434375

Spanish 1 Ariza, E., Corpas, J., García, E., Garmendia, A., Nieto, G.V., Molina, G. (2018) Aula América 1. Barcelona: Difusión. ISBN: 9788416943616
Spanish 2 Arévalo, M.E., Bautista, E., Corpas, J., Garmendia, A., Jiménez, H., Soriano, C. (2005) Aula latina 2. Barcelona: Difusión. ISBN: 9788484432630
Spanish 3 Arévalo, M.E., Bautista, E., Corpas, J., Garmendia, A., Jiménez, H., Soriano, C. (2005) Aula latina 3. Barcelona: Difusión. ISBN: 9788484432654
   

Support sessions

2 hours a week or per student request