Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad Intensive

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Course Information
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In this course, students will be able to express themselves in a broad array of scenarios to talk about themselves or others with precision and with a large degree of understanding. The students will be able to correct their own utterances to ensure a correct understanding.

Research has demonstrated that study abroad can enhance every aspect of language ability. One of the most important general findings of this research is, however, that study abroad is most beneficial for the development of abilities related to social interaction. Students who go abroad are able to learn how to produce language in a variety of situations, such as the making of requests, the use of compliments, and apologies, and they also may develop skills to interpret such interactions within the local cultural context. In short, and logically, study abroad has been shown to enhance the aspects of communicative competence that are most difficult to foster in classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6). 


Students entering this level must be able to fulfill some of the learning outcomes of the Novice Abroad level, as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication.

Students who can already use a few basic words and phrases, and who can understand very simple requests and responses are appropriate for this level. Students entering this course are also able to read and interpret the basic meaning of simple sentences and phrases. Students who have studied the language in high school or in college on a basic level but never continued to build their skills may find this level appropriate. Students who have studied another Romance language may also be capable of entering this level. The language assessment process will determine the appropriate level for each individual student.

As students gain more self-awareness and self-confidence, they will attempt more in the community. Paradoxically, this means they may also experience more miscommunications and frustration. Reading and writing require effort, and many students will need to make a special effort in this regard. Students will also develop cultural awareness and skills to work through the challenges of adaptation in the local culture and learn to celebrate their successes.  They will begin to appreciate the value of these language and intercultural skills.

This course builds upon skills introduced in Novice Abroad. By the end of the course, the successful student will have begun to develop some communicative and cultural self-confidence necessary to attempt moderately complex tasks in Spanish, as described in the learning outcomes below.