Creative Writing Workshop: Short Stories in Spanish

You are here

Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring, Summer
Language of instruction: 

This course is designed for students with an advanced Spanish level in order to improve written expression, taking advantage of linguistic and cultural immersion. The students will read a number of short narratives that will serve as examples for their own original writing. The stories are taken from a number of authors from Spain and Latin America, as to provide a broad spectrum of samples for our students.. Some of the stories will be shared with peers in class and there will be a couple of exercises of collective short story writing. Students will also critique works and work in teams, in addition to their reading strategies.

By the end of the course the student will know about the theory behind short story writing and will have studied a number of examples and implemented several narrative techniques in Spanish.

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).


This course builds upon the skills introduced in Emerging Competent Abroad I. Students who enter this course will have mastered most of the outcomes of the Emerging Independent Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. Among other characteristics, these students are able to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation with some errors. They are creative, spontaneous and self-reliant as they solve problems, interpret texts, negotiate, express their opinions, likes and dislikes in the culture. Although they still make errors and experience communication breakdowns, these students tend to resolve these challenges with some guidance. Students who enter this level can already understand a variety of colloquial expressions and slang, and are also able to understand a wider variety of native speakers from different backgrounds.

Students entering this level can succeed in a range of simple university courses designed for native speakers. Before registering, they should consult with the appropriate IES Abroad academic adviser on course selection.

By the end of this course, students will have started to acquire the subtlety of expression and control of complex structures that characterize Competent Abroad learners. However, Emerging Competent Abroad learners have only partial mastery of these structures and quite often resort to simpler and more direct modes of expression, particularly when negotiating linguistically difficult or unfamiliar situations. Emerging Competent Abroad speakers understand local cultural attitudes, values, beliefs, and behavior patterns well enough to make an informed choice about which cultural features they would like to adopt or need to adopt in order to live harmoniously in the local culture. They lack some of the depth of understanding and sophistication of those who have spent more time living and working in the local context.