Syllabus

Description

This is an intermediate-level course designed to give you extensive listening and speaking practice in Spanish, and systematic contact with Hispanic culture. Even though this description is in English, the class will be conducted entirely in Spanish. Your homework will consist of readings from the two textbooks, and the following other assignments.

Evaluation

About 50 percent of your grade is based on your daily performance (knowledge of content of the readings and ability to use the new vocabulary, Wednesday multimedia contribution and vocabulary presentation). The rest of the grade depends on your project work and the oral exams. All three exams follow a common format: 

  1. A short presentation from memory on a topic you select (before taking the exam) related to the readings, video or class activity.
  2. A brief conversation about that theme and about other themes you select from a list presented orally.
  3. A vocabulary segment, with you providing sentences that illustrate the meanings of words chosen from a list presented orally during the exam. There is no official Final Exam. I am aware that not all students begin with the same degree of oral proficiency; your progress will be taken into account. Note about attendance: missing more than 4 hours of class during the semester requires a written medical excuse or prior arrangement with me in order to receive a passing grade. Even if you are not prepared, it is better to come to class and get listening practice; let me know if that is the case, and I will not expect you to participate.

Suggestions

The readings are glossed, but they still may contain vocabulary unfamiliar to you. Try to guess from the context. When learning new words, make your own mental associations to help you retain the meaning.

During class activities, take risks in trying to express yourself, and don't be overly concerned about errors. When you are corrected, try not to become discouraged -- errors are a natural part of the learning process. I may correct you for the benefit of others in the class, who might become confused otherwise. I will be speaking at a natural rate of Spanish, which may sound rapid to some of you. If the meaning does not become clear as the discussion or conversation continues, ask for clarification. Feel free to make suggestions about the pace or level of difficulty of the class. Also, let me know whether you want me to correct your pronunciation when speaking in class.