Spanish Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Spanish
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Credits: 
4
Language of instruction: 
Spanish
Contact Hours: 
60
Prerequisites: 

Completion of the Novice Abroad outcomes in the IES Abroad MAP for Language & Intercultural Communication, as determined by placement test.

Description: 

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 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 entering this level must be able to fulfill most of the learning outcomes of the Novice Abroad level, as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication. Specifically, they should already be able to express themselves on a variety of concrete, everyday topics and meet their basic needs in the language. Students who enter this level may be more proficient in reading and writing skills than oral communication, especially if they have never traveled or studied abroad previously. Although students may have been exposed previously to certain competencies taught at this level, they need additional practice and instruction to move toward mastery of these competencies. Students at this level may succeed in partner university courses as long as such courses are primarily designed for international students and/or require passive student linguistic participation (art studios, dance).

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.

By the end of the course, the successful student will have developed enough self-confidence, language, and cultural skills to attempt more complex tasks in Spanish as described in the learning outcomes below.

Attendance policy: 

Attendance and punctuality are mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course-related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies.

If a student misses more than 1.5 classes (for courses taught once a week) or 2.5 classes (for courses taught twice a week) in any course, the final grade will be reduced by one-third of a letter grade (for example, A- to B+) for every additional unexcused absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.

Punctuality: Students who are late to class will receive a .5 absence. Arriving in class more than 15 minutes late will result in 1 absence.

Learning outcomes: 

Students who are placed in this level should be capable of achieving the outcomes defined by the Emerging Independent Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication.

By the end of the course students will be able to achieve the outcomes for Emerging Independent Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad MAP for language and Intercultural Communication. The key learning outcomes from the MAP are summarized below:

  1. Intercultural Communication
    1. Students will be able to solve most daily troublesome situations and meet needs with limited help.
    2. Students will be able to make informed comparisons between the host culture and the students’ home cultures.
    3.  
    4. Students will be able to distinguish and to imitate verbal and non-verbal communication that reflects politeness, formality, or informality.
    5. Students will be able to recognize patterns of intonation, their meaning, and cultural implications.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able understand some interactions of moderate complexity (media, speeches, music, conversations, etc.), especially if the speaker is used to interacting with non-native speakers.
    2. Students will be able to understand direct requests, questions, and basic conversations on familiar and concrete topics.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to talk about persons and things in their immediate environment, as well as their plans and their experiences, and they can provide a limited amount of supporting details.
    2. Students will be able to resolve moderately complicated situations involving familiar subjects.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to read passages and short texts (newspapers, short stories, etc.) and understand overall meaning.
    2. Students will be able to support their understanding of texts through the use of context, dictionaries, or with the assistance of others at times.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to communicate with increasing effectiveness through notes, emails, and chats, and simple online discussions.
    2. Students will be able to write short essays on concrete topics of limited levels of complexity and with less reliance on the communicative patterns of their native language.
Method of presentation: 
  • Individual and group work in presentations
  • Assigned readings
  • Class discussions
  • Debate
  • Role playing
  • Films
  • Listening activities
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Oral activities - 20%
  • Written assignments - 15%
  • Midterm test - 15%
  • Class activities - 10%
  • Oral Exam - 20%
  • Written Exam - 20%

Oral activities
Short presentation on field activity in the neighborhood. Presentation on the visit to city downtown. Debate.

Written assignments
Written essay, My trip to Chile. Essay 1: What moves the young in my country. Report on course-related excursion. Report on the National Cemetery visit. Essay on the interview with Eledín Parraguez.

Class activities
Different class activities designed by the course instructor according to students’ need of practice and current events to be discussed in class. Activities include: pair work, peer review, short reading/writing assignments, quizzes etc.

content: 

Week

Content

Assignments

Corresponding Learning Outcome(s)

Week 1

Introduction to the course: objectives, methodology, expectations and evaluations

  1. Functional: Introducing oneself and meeting new people. Asking and giving information. Expressing feelings and emotions. Describing similarities and differences. Saying and understanding numbers over 10000 and figures as in percentages. Describing people’s physical appearance. Describing and comparing local young people’s styles, interests and likes with those at home
  2. Grammatical: Review of questions words. Review of Present Simple and - Progressive tenses. Review of “GUSTAR” and some verbs with similar conjugation. Present simple tense/present progressive tense.
  3. Vocabulary: Words/Expressions used when getting to know new people. Words/Expressions used to express feelings, emotions, likes, dislikes. Adjectives to describe personality. The difference between sentir/ sentirse. Numbers and percentages. Adjectives to describing people’s physical appearance.
  4. Culture: Learning Spanish in Chile. The young in Chile.

Submission of written assignment: Mi Viaje a Chile

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Read the article in the dossier: The new geography of Chilean young people

I.A., I.B., I.C., II.A., II.B., III.A., IV. A., IV. B., V. A.

Week 2

  1. Functional: Describing people styles. Expressing opinions about behavior, actions, beliefs and fashion. Describing clothes and accessories. Asking for and understand information about clothes, shoes, etc., to buy. Making questions to prepare a short survey. Ordering food in a restaurant. Asking for details related to food and drinks offered. Describing and comparing local eating habits with those at home.
  2. Grammatical: Subjunctive mood with the verb “parecer + adjective + que” to express opinions. Imperative mood to order food in a restaurant. Review and expansion of present tense.
  3. Vocabulary: Vocabulary related to clothes, shoes, accessories and shopping. Words to describe styles. Expansion of vocabulary on meals, dishes, fruits and vegetables, types of meat and seafood.
  4. Culture: Young people styles: subcultures in the culture. Interview local about styles and preferences. Local food and eating habits: meals, times, etc.

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Read the article in the dossier: Are all young Chileans the same?

Read the article in the dossier: Eating habits

Audio and class discussion: What we used to eat

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., IV.B., V.A., V.B.

Week 3

  1. Functional: Shopping in supermarkets and small convenience stores. Asking for information about products to buy. Comparing prices. Negotiating options to make decisions. Describing places and location. Giving and asking information on location of building and places.
  2. Grammatical: Direct object. Imperative mood to give instructions. Difference between verbs “estar/haber” to describe existence, location and position.
  3. Vocabulary: Expansion of vocabulary on meals, dishes, fruits and vegetables, types of meat and seafood. Expansion of vocabulary related to celebrations. Adverbs and prepositions to express location. Vocabulary related with types of stores, building and services.
  4. Culture: Oral Presentation "Let's Cook": Students prepare to cook something special to their host families. They search for food and compare prices to provide the best options. Life in big cities.

Submission of revised version of the assignment: Mi Viaje a Chile

Instructions and rubrics for the oral presentation to be discussed at end of class

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

I. A, I.B., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.A., V.B.

Week 4

  1. Functional: Expressing likes and dislikes. Comparing places providing explanations. Asking and giving directions.
  2. Grammatical: Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives. Review of grammatical contents of the unit in the audio and reading passage. Review and expansion of uses of imperative mood.
  3. Vocabulary: Adverbs to express intensity. Adjectives to describe places, quality of living, means of exploring the city. Words to describe people who work at the streets and street artists.
  4. Culture: Advantages and disadvantages of living in Santiago. The meaning of landmarks for the locals.

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Read the article in the dossier: Barrio Lastarria

Audio and class discussion: Landmarks in the city

I. A, I.B., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., IV.B., V.A.

Week 5

  1. Functional: Describing and narrating events that happened in the past. Discussing the news and their impact on people opinions. Assessing information. Recognizing biased reporting. Writing short articles as for newspapers. Making hypothesis about events in the past. Retelling stories in the past. Describing events as a witness.
  2. Grammatical: Practice of past tenses. Difference between preterit and imperfect. Changes in meaning depending on the past form of certain verbs. Indirect object.
  3. Vocabulary: Time expressions to describe past actions. The language in the news according to sections like politics, economy, culture, crime, etc. Words related to types of thefts.
  4. Culture: Mass media in Chile. News that has had an impact.

Submission of written assignment: What moves the young people in my country? Instruction and details to be discussed at end of class

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

I.A., I.B., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.B., V.D.

Week 6

Workshop on Chilean culture: Trivia games, music, food and quizzes

Objectives: Review what students have learned about Chile

Explore students' familiarization and integration into local culture

Course-related excrusion: Visit historic buildings in the city

Objectives: Use Spanish to talk to locals and obtain some specific information

Prepare an oral presentation for the class

Instructions and details to be found on Moodle

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.A.

Week 7

  1. Functional: Describing specific areas in the city as centers of interest, nightlife or as tourist attractions. Asking for clarification and reasons. Writing emails and short messages.
  2. Grammatical: Review and use of ser/estar/hay. Contrast between present and past tenses. Review of all grammatical contents revised already.
  3. Vocabulary: Review of words related to descriptions of places in the city. Review of the vocabulary studied so far in the course.
  4. Culture: Oral presentation: What to do where to go in the city. How my experience has been so far

Instructions and rubrics for the oral presentation to be discussed at the end of class

Submission of the report on the course-related excursion to the civic center

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.A., IV.A., IV.B., V.A., V.B.

Week 8

Midterm

  1. Functional: Describing the parts of the human body. Describing the benefits of sports and exercise have on health. Discussing the relationship between practicing sports and leading a healthy life. Expressing pain and ache. Describing symptoms. Suggest ideas /recommendations for some health/medical problems.
  2. Grammatical: Subjunctive mood to giving advice, recommendations and suggestions. Conjugations and uses of verb “doler"
  3. Vocabulary: Vocabulary related to parts of the body. Words related to some common diseases and health problems.
  4. Culture: Chileans of the XXI century

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., IV.B., V.A., V.B.

Week 9

  1. Functional: Describing how accidents occurred at home. Making an appointment with the doctor. Visiting the doctor. Describing symptoms. Following doctor’s instructions. Discuss attitudes towards environment. Expressing opinions, doubt and certainty. Making predictions about the future
  2. Grammatical: Review of past tenses. Reflexive verbs to describe accidents or processes. Indicative and Subjunctive mood in expressions related to opinions, doubt and certainty. Verbs like creo que/ estoy seguro que/ pienso que/ no creo que, etc.
  3. Vocabulary: Words to describe symptoms and intensity of them. Words related to environment and environmental problems. Word families.
  4. Culture: Local recommendations and home remedies for minor health problems. Attitudes towards environment.

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.A.

Week 10

  1. Functional: Discussing attitudes towards environment. Expressing opinions, doubt and certainty. Making predictions about the future. Assessing the validity of facts. Writing a complaint letter. Understanding spoken Chilean Spanish. Understanding colloquial Chilean slang expressions recognizing cultural traits in them. Learning about historical/political events presented in the movie, Machua. Learning about socio-economic segregation from the movie. Self-assessing listening- comprehension through the movie.
  2. Grammatical: Subjunctive mood to express opinions in expressions like: Ser + adjective + que. Integration of tenses and expressions. Review of indefinite pronouns.
  3. Vocabulary: Environmental problems. Word formation. Chilean Spanish.
  4. Culture: Complaining and protesting. Education and socioeconomic segregation.

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

Audio and class discussion: environmental issues

Watch the movie trailer, available in moodle

Check and revise the glossary with words/slang used in the movie at the end of the course dossier

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.A., V.B.

Week 11

  1. Functional: Understanding spoken Chilean Spanish. Understanding colloquial Chilean slang expressions recognizing cultural traits in them. Learning about historical/political events presented in the movie. Learning about socio-economic segregation from the movie. Self-assessing listening- comprehension through the movie.
  2. Grammatical: Integration of tenses and expressions. Review of indefinite pronouns.
  3. Vocabulary: Chilean Spanish.
  4. Culture: The impacts of the coup-d’-etat. Group activity: IES instructors present a topic of discussion with students. Activity is enriched by personal perspectives and experiences on a local historic event instructors have experienced.

Check and revise the glossary with words/slang used in the movie at the end of the course dossier

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., V.A.

Week 12

Course-related excursion to the National Cemetery

Exploring the cemetery from a historical, economic, political and social perspective

Understanding some important aspects of local idiosyncrasies

Check and read information about the course-related excursion in Moodle

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., V.A.

Week 13

Debate: Free Education for Chile

Class Interview: Eledín Parraguez

  1. Functional: Expressing opinions. Discussing a topics, persuade people with arguments. Making hypotheses. Comparing local education system with American education system.
  2. Grammatical: Conditional clauses with subjunctive mood referring to the future. Review and integration of all other tenses studied so far.
  3. Vocabulary: Words related with education, equality, quality, etc.
  4. Culture: The education system in Chile.

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Submission of written assignment: Course-related excursion to National Cemetery

Prepare interview reading the biography at the end of the course dossier

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., IV.B., V.A.

Week 14

Review before the written exam

Written Exam

  1. Functional: Describing what you have learnt from the personal and academic perspective. Assessing you own experiences and others. Writing mails and short messages for future students coming to Chile. Expressing regrets.
  2. Grammatical: Review of all grammatical contents revised already. Subjunctive mood in conditional clauses referring to the future.
  3. Vocabulary: Review of the vocabulary studied so far in the course. Word formation: from adjective to adverbs.
  4. Culture: How my experience has been so far

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Submission of the written assignment: Un verdadero Machuca

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A, IV.B., V.A., V.B.

Week 15

Oral Exam

Final meeting:Students discuss their final grades, receive their graded written exams and assess their experience

Reflection on the experience, assessment of personal objectives, goals and achievements

I.A., I.B., I.C., I.D., II.A., II.B., III.A., III.B., IV.A., IV.B.

 

Required readings: 
  • Course workbook (designed and compiled by the course instructor).