Spanish 201

SPAN 201: Spanish III Intermediate Spanish

Prerequisite: Spanish 102 or placement by examination

Credit Hours: (3)

A continuation of Spanish I and II with emphasis upon communication in any tense. Independent laboratory practice required. General Education credit – International and Intercultural Studies.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

SPAN 201 is conducted primarily in Spanish and represents the third 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: talking about emotions; asking and giving directions; talking about activities in the past.
  • Grammatical functions include: using the imperfect and preterit tense verb forms to indicate tense aspect; using the present perfect to discuss past events; more practice with reflexive constructions; using formal and informal commands.
  • Task functions focus on: writing brief compositions; reading authentic materials (i.e. produced for native speakers) for information and pleasure; listening to and following directions.
  • Cultural sections include information on: Puerto Rico and countries in the Caribbean area; shopping hours; city profiles; family structure; leisure activities; food, weather, music, literature and art; economy and politics.


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 assignment 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 handle successfully a limited but increasing number of interactive, task-oriented and social situations. They can ask and answer questions, initiate and respond to simple statements, and maintain face-to-face conversation, although in a restricted manner. Content continues to refer primarily to basic personal background and needs, social conventions and somewhat more complex tasks, such as lodging, asking for directions, transportation and shopping. SPAN 201 students will be able to be understood by sympathetic interlocutors. They will be able to produce most Spanish sounds and sound sequences correctly with good stress and intonation patterns. Listening goal is: students will be able to understand sentence-length utterances which consist of recombinations of learned elements in a limited number of content areas, particularly if strongly supported by the situational context. Understanding continues to be uneven.

Reading and writing goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): SPAN 201 students will have sufficient control of the reading system to interpret written language in areas of practical need. Students will be able to derive meaning from material at a higher level where context, vocabulary aid, and/or extra-linguistic background knowledge are supportive. As regards writing, students will be able to write simple fixed expressions, limited memorized material and recombinations thereof. They can write about personal interests and familiar cultural topics in letters, shorts essays or in a diary format. SPAN 201 will be understood by native persons used to the writing of nonnative.

Broad General Education Goals . Students will be able to:

*think critically and creatively about ideas, issues, problems, and texts both within and across academic disciplines

SPAN 201 students will acquire some basic social and economic knowledge about issues of current importance in the Spanish-speaking cultures and be able to discuss these issues on an intermediate level.

*employ a variety of research methods and styles of inquiry

Students will learn to solve problems, gather and organize information, and communicate ideas about these cultures by means of a variety of audio, video, or computer assignments. SPAN 201 students will have the opportunity to practice with Spanish verb forms, tenses, and vocabulary on computer programs available in the department’s media center.

*work with others in a shared process of inquiry and problem-solving

SPAN 201 students will practice Spanish and communicate about Hispanic culture with each other in small groups and with at least one native speaker.

*identify the cultural values that shape decisions in public, professional, and private life

As a result of all these linguistic and intercultural encounters, students will be able to understand how a language represents the linguistic mirror of a culture. They will be able to appreciate how different cultural values affect the perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors that they would otherwise tend to take for granted and not analyze so critically in a mono-cultural environment.

Area 5 Goals. Students will be able to:

* demonstrate an understanding of the central place of language in shaping thinking, values, and other aspects of culture

SPAN 201 students will, in learning another language system and its cultural centeredness, understand the interrelatedness of language and culture in the perceptions and values of other cultures.

*demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of cultures beyond the United States and analyze similarities and differences between their own and other cultures that affect perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors

SPAN 201 students will be able to analyze a number of basic cultural similarities and differences between the United States and the regions where Spanish is spoken. These comparisons students make between their own and other cultures will help them realize how diverse cultures can be.

*identify and discuss important global issues that highlight the relationships among peoples and nations

Students will, in class conversations, acquire knowledge about some historical but mostly current global issues that are in the news and that are having a significant social, economic, or political impact.


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, SPAN 201 students will also either demonstrate or further expand their familiarity with cultural topics and current global issues. Students’ success in using Spanish will therefore reveal not only their linguistic abilities but also their cultural competence to anticipate 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 conversations 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 language laboratory. 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.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Date Action Reviewed by
September 2005 Reviewed Philip Sweet