Spanish Language in Context: Independent Abroad I

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Spanish
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring, Summer
Credits: 
4
Language of instruction: 
Spanish
Description: 

In this course the student will gain proficiency in the skillful use of the language and will be able to refine the necessary tools to engage native speakers in fluid conversation, and will also be able to maintain a complex argumentation. In addition, this course emphasizes a language-in-use perspective. Students will develop their language skills and intercultural competence by means of research projects (‘course-related excursions’), written assignments, debates, oral presentations, and critical reading of articles.

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 can learn to do things with words, such as requesting, apologizing, or offering compliments, and they may also learn to interpret situations calling on such speech acts in ways that local people do…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).

STUDENT PROFILE:

Students who enter this level are able to accomplish everyday needs required to live in a new culture. In this course, students will begin to develop independence and autonomy so that, when communication does break down, they have some tools at their disposal to resolve these challenges independently. Students should welcome correction and guidance from their instructors, hosts, and others in the community as they progress.

By the end of this course, students will begin to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation. They will start to become creative, spontaneous and self-reliant as they solve problems, interpret texts, negotiate, express their opinions, likes and dislikes in the culture. Although students will still make errors and experience communication breakdowns, they are sometimes able to resolve these on their own. Students will understand some colloquial expressions and slang, and are starting to understand a wider variety of native speakers from different backgrounds. By the end of this level, students will be capable of achieving the learning outcomes outlined below.