Spanish 303

SPAN 303: Spanish Conversation

Prerequisite: Span 202 or four years of high school Spanish

Credit Hours: (3)

This course offers intensive situational practice of conversational skills. This class reviews grammar and vocabulary while focusing on developing the student’s ability to converse on a broad range of topics. It requires active participation from the students and is taught entirely in Spanish.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Cultural and other conversation topics covered will be determined by student interest, by availability of video programs and films, and by current news.  Specific situations, intentions, and topics might include:

  • Food and eating practices in today’s world.
  • Health and medicine.
  • Money, inflation, and unemployment.
  • (Im)migration
  • Gender and inequality.
  • The environment.
  • Ethnic diversity and discrimination.
  • The Hispanic presence in the United States.
  • The technology revolution.
  • The concept of happiness.
  • Role playing when in the travel agency, in the bank, in the doctor’s office, in the restaurant, traveling, applying for a job, in the university, in the beauty parlor,  etc.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This class uses supplemental material such as audio and video programs, texts from various sources (newspapers, magazines, literature, etc) to introduce a topic for discussion.  These materials are reviewed and updated constantly to provide students with the most current cultural and social events in the Spanish speaking world.  Historical issues and daily customs are presented as well. Students will be required to do presentations on special topics. All class work and assignments are done exclusively in Spanish.
Targeted intentions are frequently practiced through role playing in small groups.  Examples of this work are then presented to the plenary group.  Video, audio, and Internet materials are used for listening comprehension practice and/or as material for conversation and informal discussion.  Some class time is reserved for the planning and presentation of individual or group projects. 

The class also exposes students to a wide variety of vocabulary prior, during or after the discussion, and practices specific grammatical structures as a review of previously learned concepts.

Cultural and other conversation topics covered will be determined by student interest, by availability of video programs and films, and by current news. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will develop oral and aural skills including communication strategies used by the average native speaker in the selected situations.  In addition, students develop an ability to converse on a broader range of topics by means of the expansion of cultural horizons and of prerequisite vocabulary in the audio and video programs and readings chosen. In general, students will be able to handle successfully a variety of uncomplicated, basic oral communicative tasks and social situations. They can talk simply about self and family members, can ask and answer questions and participate in simple conversations on topics beyond the most immediate needs. These students will generally be understood by sympathetic interlocutors. Students will be able to understand easily sentence-length utterances which consist of recombination of learned utterances on a variety of topics. With some difficulty, students will be
able to sustain understanding over longer stretches of connected discourse on a number of topics pertaining to different times and places; however understanding will depend primarily on the familiarity of vocabulary encountered and only secondarily on the complexity of the morphology and syntax.


Assessment Measures

Speaking skills are tested in several (at least two) private oral interviews through the semester, evaluated on a daily basis in class based on speaking performance in class, and are also evaluated by means of individual and group oral projects. Listening comprehension, while also tested above along with the speaking skills, is specifically targeted in listening comprehension tests.


Other Course Information

This class is not intended and not recommended for native speakers of Spanish.

Enrollment in the course is dependent upon departmental approval.