Required Texts:

Potowski, Kim, Silvia Sobral and Laila Dawson. Dicho y hecho. En vivo edition. Hoboken: Wiley, 2013. Plus accompanying WileyPlus (online manual) and En vivo (online language coach) access.

NOTE: SPAN 1020 students will need to purchase a 12-session access code for the En vivo coaching sessions. Textbook and online code for WileyPlus will roll over from 1010.

Bilingual Visual Spanish-English Dictionary. New York: DK Publishing, 2005.

Recommended Materials:

A Spanish-English dictionary of your choice (Larousse Concise or Oxford recommended).

Electronic Resources:

I. Goals:       

A. Tulane University Department of Spanish and Portuguese Basic Language Program Objectives:

The main objectives guiding the program are to:

  • introduce students to the language and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world
  • promote the development of students' communicative competence in the target language
  • develop students’ intercultural understanding and social conscience of problems that affect this cultural complex.

B. Course Goals: Following the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012, Spanish 1020 seeks to increase students’ Spanish-speaking ability to a novice high to intermediate low proficiency level via the Course Objectives listed below. For an extended explanation see

The course focuses on what students CAN DO, framed in practical communicative terms. People with Intermediate Low proficiency can understand the main idea in short texts (written and aural) on familiar topics, actively participate in conversations including asking and answering questions, and describe their regular activities and topics of personal interest (in written and oral forms). The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can Do Statements provide more precise details in regards to what students will be able to do when they have reached this proficiency level.

For additional details of what this entails refer to the Proficiency Objectives section of this website.

II. Course Objectives for Spanish 1020: 

Dicho y hecho. En vivo edition includes access to an online language coach with whom students will have the opportunity to practice their developing oral skills in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to develop their written skills through a semester-long Diario de escritura. Both the oral and written components of the course are designed with the beginning language student in mind.

In addition to the Proficiency Objectives detailed on the Basic Language Program’s website for this level, the course maintains the following objectives, based upon ACTFL’s National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

A. Communication: the use of Spanish.

in order to:

  • Talk about urban life
  • Complete a transaction in a store
  • Talk about the weather and your health
  • Describe your house
  • Ask for help and request additional information on a topic
  • Make plans
  • Give directions
  • Narrate a story about a past experience
  • Make recommendations and state basic opinions
  • Ask others about their interests

using, with some control:

  • gender and number agreement between adjectives, nouns and verbs
  • present, present progressive, present perfect, preterite, imperfect, simple future, command forms and basic subjunctive moods
  • reflexive verbs
  • interrogatives
  • direct and indirect object pronouns
  • comparative and superlative constructions
  • indefinite pronouns and adjectives
  • a variety of prepositions

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Hispanic cultures.
Through the accompanying readings and videos as well as their work with their language coach, students will learn about a diverse range of people and cultures from Latin American countries and Spain.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.
Through group and class work as well as during coaching sessions, students will participate in a community of language learners, preparing themselves to use Spanish throughout their lives. As a group, students will explore their own notion of community as this compares to this concept in the Hispanic world.

D. Comparisons: make informed comparisons between English and Spanish and between themselves and others.
Students will compare ideas with each other in pair and group work in class and during coaching sessions based upon the conversational goals of each chapter. Students will compare their own life with that of their language coach and other people presented in the textbook. In linguistic terms, students will reflect on how the structures of Spanish compare to the structures of English and other languages they know.

E. Connections:  the ability to connect this course to other courses and self to others.
The different themes explored in each chapter will inform students in such a way that they can make connections between their own cultural traditions and those of some members of the Hispanic world, with particular emphasis on the ideas presented in the interviews that the students watch and read.

III. Outcomes:

Students will demonstrate that they have met the....

A.    Communication Objectives via their ability to produce the vocabulary and structural forms necessary for the stated conversation topics in written (exams, diario entries, quizzes, on-line assignments) and oral (oral exam, skits, En vivo presentation, participation) work.

B.    Cultures Objectives via their ability to discuss these points during in-class discussions and coaching sessions as well as reflectively in the written exercises and exams.

C.    Community Objectives via their oral work in class participation and during coaching sessions.

D.    Comparisons Objectives via their class participation and coaching sessions and written work.

E.    Connections Objectives via their class participation and coaching sessions and through their written work.

IV. Assessment:

A. Grades are based on the standard 10-point scale:

    B+ 87-89.99 C+ 77-79.99 D+ 67-69.99    
A 93-100 B 83-86.99 C 73-76.99 D 63-66.99 F 0-59.99
A- 90-92.99 B- 80-82.99 C- 70-72.99 D- 60-62.99    

B. Grade Breakdown: Your grade will be determined according to the following criteria:

  • 20% Unit Exams (2)
  • 10% Final Exam
  • 10% Oral Exams (2)
  • 15% Quizzes and Homework (including 2 Listening Comprehension Quizzes)
  • 15% Diario de escritura
  •   5% Skit (1)
  •   5% En vivo online coaching sessions
  • 10% Final biography (oral and written components--based on En vivo sessions)
  • 10% Class Participation

C.    Expectations for each category:

See calendar for assignment due dates.

Unit Exams (20%): There will be 2 communicative, essay-based exams, each worth 10% of the final grade. Language learning is inherently cumulative: each exam will focus upon the material of study for that unit, with the assumption that all previously studied material will be utilized as needed. Each exam will focus on interpretive, interpersonal and presentational modes of communication as well as intercultural competencies. Students can expect exams to include short readings, essays and reflective questions.

Final Exam (10%): The final exam will be similar in format to the written exams, with short readings, essays and reflective questions, but it will also include a listening comprehension portion. The vocabulary and cultural information will primarily be drawn from the last chapters studied; however, the entire range of grammatical material studied throughout the semester is expected to be utilized.

Oral Exams (10%):
At two points in the semester, students will engage in a conversation about their personal interests that includes the instructor and a classmate (5% each). Students will be graded individually, based upon their accuracy and the content and fluidity of their side of the conversation.

Quizzes and Homework (15%): Short announced and unannounced quizzes will be administered regularly over the course of the semester. In addition, while the instructor may assign additional exercises, homework consists primarily of regular completion of online Wileyplus activities.

Quizzes may cover any of the course materials including grammar, culture and vocabulary. No make-ups will be given; however, at your instructor’s discretion, the lowest grade may be dropped. All students will also complete two short listening comprehension quizzes. The format of the quizzes will vary and may include listening to short anecdotes read by the instructor, after which the student would respond to discrete questions about it, or listening to a series of questions posited by the instructor, with the student expected to write their responses to the questions in Spanish. Listening quizzes are both interpretive and interpersonal in nature.

For online homework, plan to complete at least 10 on-line exercises per chapter. At the instructor's discretion, specific exercises may be indicated or students may be asked to select based upon their individual needs. Students should note that a direct correlation has been observed between final grade in the course and regular completion of the manual exercises, with students who work regularly on the manual generally attaining higher grades in the course, in all grading categories.

Diario de escritura (15%):
Students will complete a series of short writing assignments based upon activities in the textbook. Diarios will be graded holistically, considering quality of communicative effort and development of productive skills over the course of the semester.


Skit (5%):
At various points in the semester, small groups of students will perform short skits to demonstrate their ability to use the material they have been studying to complete a given task (i.e. ordering food in a restaurant; negotiate a price at a market). Students should plan to hand in written documentation of their skit on the day of their performance. All students will complete one (1) skit for a grade.

En vivo Online Coaching Sessions (5%):
Student performance in the En vivo online coaching sessions is an obligatory part of the course and will be graded based upon completion. 12 sessions are scheduled for the semester. The language coach will send reports to the Course Instructor in regards to student attendance AND participation during the sessions. Performance is not evaluated for accuracy and students should not worry about making mistakes. Points for participation will be awarded as follows, although students should note that lack of effort or reticence in sessions may result in further deductions in this category.:

11-12 sessions: 10 points                8 sessions: 7 points                     5 sessions: 4 points                 2 sessions: 2 points
10 sessions: 9 points                       7 sessions: 6 points                     4 sessions: 3.5 points              1 sessions: 1 point
9 sessions: 8 points                         6 sessions: 5 points                     3 sessions: 3 points

Final Biography (based on En vivo sessions) (10%): At the end of the semester, all students will be asked to present a brief report focused on a particular theme related to the language coach with whom they worked. Students are encouraged to take notes about what is discussed during their sessions over the course of the semester and return to these notes to prepare their final presentations. Students are welcome to focus on a particular topic that interests them and discuss this in comparative or reflective fashion. Cultural comparisons are particularly encouraged. More details will be presented in a separate handout.

Class Participation (10%):
Active participation and regular attendance is crucial to the learning of a language. The participation grade is based both on the quantity and the quality of a student’s participation, with quality being determined by active, on-task participation in class, group and pair activities, obvious preparation of homework, volunteerism, use of Spanish in class, and overall preparedness. Excessive absenteeism will result in a substantial drop in this grade, as will tardiness. Inappropriate use of technology during class will negatively affect this grade.

Tulane University, Spanish & Portuguese Dept., 304 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5518