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TULANE UNIVERSITY            

DEPARTMENT OF SPANISH & PORTUGUESE

SPANISH 2030: INTERMEDIATE SPANISH        

EXTENDED SYLLABUS


Required Texts:

Blanco, José and C. Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch. Enlaces. Nivel intermedio. Curso intensivo. Boston: Vista  
            Higher Learning, 2014.(Plus accompanying Student Activities Manual (WEB-SAM) Access Code).
A Spanish-English dictionary of your choice (Larousse Concise or Oxford recommended).

Electronic Resources:

www.vhlcentral.com

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 2030 seeks to increase students’ Spanish-speaking ability to an intermediate-low to intermediate-mid range proficiency level via the Course Objectives outlined below. 

People with intermediate level proficiency can understand the main idea of texts and presentations (both written and aural) related to everyday life and personal interests and studies as well as handle social interactions in everyday situations including asking and answering questions. Students at this level can also present topics they have learned or researched and begin to state their viewpoint of topics of 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 the BLP website.


II. Course Objectives for Spanish 2030

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 oneself and one’s world
  • give advice and politely tell people what to do
  • complete a transaction (such as ordering food, making reservations, etc)
  • discuss various cultural, literary and contemporary social issues
  • debate a variety of sensitive topics
  • ask relevant questions about a given topic

utilizing, with moderate control:

  • the present, past and future tenses
  • indicative and subjunctive moods
  • structures expressing likes and dislikes
  • comparative and superlative constructions
  • a variety of prepositions and prepositional phrases
  • direct and indirect pronouns

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Hispanic cultures.

Short films and literary and cultural readings from throughout the Hispanic World will aid the student in this goal. Particular attention will be paid to the United States, Mexico, the Carribean, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Spain.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.

Through group and class work, a sense of community will be developed as students practice their communicative skills, thereby 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 themselves and others.

Via written work and in-class discussions, students will be encouraged to make comparisons between their own known reality and the Hispanic world. Students will also compare ideas with each other in pair and group work such as the conexión personal, comunicación, and opinión activities, based upon the conversational goals of each chapter. 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 unit 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 developing ideas through oral and written activities.

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 and oral work.

B.    Cultures Objectives via their ability to discuss these points in their Blog posts and Semester Project as well as reflectively in other written work and exams.

C.    Community Objectives via their Blog collaboration, class participation and the oral portions of the Semester Project.

D.    Comparisons Objectives via their class participation, Semester Project, Blog posts and additional written work.

E.    Connections Objectives via their class participation work 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%:    Quizzes (including 2 Listening Comprehension Quizzes)
  • 10%:    Oral Exams (2)
  • 15%     Blog (Formal and Informal Entries)
  • 20%:    Semester Project: Written Report (7%), Oral Presentation (8%), Group Discussions (5%)
  • 10%:    Participation
  •   5%:    Homework      

C.    Expectations for each category are as follows:

See calendar for due dates.

Unit exams (20%):  2 communicative, essay-based exams, worth 10% each, will be administered during the semester. Each exam will include a reading comprehension activity, based on vocabulary and cultural materials related to that unit of study, and one to two writing exercises. Because language learning is inherently a cumulative process, each exam will focus upon the material of study for that period while building on all previously studied material.

Final Exam (10%): The final exam will be similar in format to the written exams, with a reading comprehension exercise and one to two written essays, 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 will be expected to be utilized.

Quizzes (10%): Short announced and unannounced quizzes will be administered regularly over the course of the semester. 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.

Oral Exams (10%): At two points in the semester, students’ oral proficiency will be assessed via a structured, interactive conversation in pairs or trios on a fixed range of topics. Students will be asked to converse about their personal interests as well as discussing current events and relevant topics of interest. Students will be graded individually, based upon their accuracy, the content and fluidity of their conversation, and their contribution to the conversation.

Blog (15%):  Students will complete a series of Blog posts over the course of the semester. Depending on the topic, these posts may be informal and interactive with other students or formal and submitted directly to the instructor. Specific details will be distributed separately.

For all entries, it is essential that students complete their posts on their own and without the help of tutors or peers in order to clarify areas which need particular attention—perfection is not required; effort is. Cheating through the use of translation programs or consultation with others will not be tolerated and violations of the Code of Academic Conduct will be brought before the Honor Board.

Semester Project (20%): All students will present one Semester Project, which will have a significant written and oral component, as outlined below. Students will also participate in active class discussions based upon the oral presentations given by their classmates. Additional details will be provided separately, but the basic format is as follows:

  • The Written Report (7%) will take the form of a 1.5-2 page focused investigative essay related to a specific cultural point relevant to the Imagina section of their designated chapter. The specific topic will be developed in consultation with the instructor, based upon the overarching topic selected by the group.
  • The Oral Presentation (8%) will be a collaborative effort in which each student will present their individual research findings as part of a cohesive small group presentation. The presentations are expected to be interactive and informative and might include musical selections, short video clips, handouts or whatever the student(s) feel is relevant to their topic. 
  • For the Discussion (5%) portion of this project, the student is evaluated based upon his/her contribution to the group discussions of the other student groups over the course of the semester. All students are expected to listen to their classmates’ oral presentations and ask relevant questions as well as engage in an active discussion of the material being presented. Students must complete the related textbook readings, take notes while their classmates speak, and exchange their own views on the topics.

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 in class and overall preparedness. Excessive absenteeism will result in a substantial drop in this grade, as will tardiness. The unauthorized use of a cell phone during class time will result in a participation grade of ZERO for that day. Also, short announced and unannounced quizzes will be administered regularly over the course of the semester.

Homework (5%): While the instructor may assign additional exercises, homework primarily encompasses completion of designated exercises in the on-line manual and electronic activities that accompany the textbook. This website includes streaming video links for the accompanying cortometrajes which must be viewed outside of class, and activities for every section of every lección (chapter). To access the materials, go to vhlcentral.com, log in using the WEB-SAM code you purchased (required due to copyright restrictions on the media pieces), select the lección with which you wish to work, and scroll down to the relevant section. If you are having a difficult time with any particular section, be sure to see if the additional material available there is helpful to you. Students should expect to complete at least 10 exercises per chapter. Your instructor may require you to complete specific activities and may require that you turn in a written copy of specific exercises for a grade. 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.

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