Spanish 101

SPAN 101: Spanish I Beginning Spanish

Credit Hours: (3)

An introduction to written and oral communication in Spanish with emphasis upon the present tense. Independent laboratory practice required. This course has been approved for credit in the Foreign Languages Area of the Core Curriculum.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course is conducted primarily in Spanish and represents the first semester of a four-semester sequence. The course is designed to develop the speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in addition to instruction in basic information about Hispanic cultures in Latin America and Spain.

Communicative functions focus on: sharing information in Spanish about yourself, your classes, your family, your friends; discussing daily routines and the weather, seasons, time and dates; talking about activities in the past.

Grammatical functions include: Present and past tense verbs; stem-changing verbs; constructions with “reverse verbs” like “gustar,” “encantar,” etc.; negation and negative words; introduction to Spanish pronouns.

Task functions focus on: collecting information; creating and filling out charts; writing brief compositions, reading authentic materials (i.e. produced for native speakers) for information and pleasure.

Cultural sections include information on: the structure of the Spanish and the Spanish American family, the last name system, university life in Spain, art, holidays, food, and other customs.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Class instruction targets communication practice utilizing the situations, intentions, vocabulary, culture, and grammar introduced in a given chapter. Other activities include: grammar and vocabulary explanations, pronunciation practice, listening comprehension exercises, writing, and grammatical drills. Students must hand in workbook assignments based on taped materials in the laboratory and brief elementary compositions summarizing noncomplex texts dealing with cultural readings conducted on the WEB. Class is taught primarily in the target language.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Speaking and listening goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): Students will be able to communicate minimally with learned material. Students will produce oral speech using isolated words and learned phrases with predictable areas of need. Students will only be minimally able to recombine learned oral elements. Students will be able to pronounce most Spanish sounds accurately (if not in rapid speech). As regards listening skills, students will be able to recognize learned material and isolated words and phrases when strongly supported by context. Students will be able to comprehend some words and phrases from simple questions, statements, high‑frequency commands, and courtesy formulae about topics that refer to basic personal information or the immediate physical setting.

Reading and writing goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): Students will be able to identify learned material without assistance and to understand some new material when strongly supported by cognates, context, or dictionary assistance. In writing, students will be able to meet limited practical needs (e.g., write short messages, postcards, and take down simple notes). By the end of the semester, students will be able to create statements or questions within the scope of limited language experience.

Students will achieve a degree of competence in a foreign language and culture. 


Students will be able to:

a. demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study

b. analyze similarities and differences between their own and the target cultures

c. explain contemporary international issues from the perspectives of their own and the target cultures


Assessment Measures

Speaking progress is evaluated in class and in conversational practice. In addition, each student is required to pass two oral interviews. Written homework assignments provide a basis for the evaluation of writing progress. Listening and reading comprehension and grammatical accuracy are tested in homework assignments, hourly exams, chapter tests, and on the final exam. In most of these testing situations, Spanish 101 students will also either demonstrate or further expand (in the case of new linguistic excerpts containing new cultural topics) their familiarity with cultural topics and current global issues. Students’ success in using Spanish will therefore demonstrate not only their linguistic abilities but also their cultural competence to anticipate, identify, and to simulate the use of different cultural perceptions and behaviors through the new language.


Other Course Information

To supplement linguistic and cultural encounters in class, students are expected to participate in some extracurricular activities such as conversation with native speakers, watching Spanish movies, and inquiring about Spanish-speaking cultures by means of the multitude of media available as informational resources. Additional taped materials, representing Spanish speakers from different areas and authentic video materials accompanying the subject matter of the text’s lessons are available in the department’s media center. The Foreign Language Department’s Homepage contains links to newspapers from every Spanish speaking country and to the most important newspapers published in Madrid, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires. Spanish 101 is for beginners and students who have had no more than one year of Spanish in high school.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Date Action Reviewed by
September 2005 Reviewed Philip Sweet