Spanish Language in Context: 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 Emerging Independent 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 the classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP© for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6).

STUDENT PROFILE:
Students who enter this level are able to function and accomplish everyday needs required to live in a new culture. In this course, students will develop independence and autonomy so that, when communication does break down, they have enough tools at their disposal to resolve these challenges on their own. Students should welcome correction and guidance from their instructors, hosts, and others in the community as they progress. They will also begin to recognize their own and their peers’ errors.

By the end of this course, students will begin to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation. They will be more 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 much more likely to resolve these on their own. Students will understand a variety of colloquial expressions and slang, and will be able 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.

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 the 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 identify and describe at a basic level key host cultures, subcultures, habits, norms, and behaviors in a variety of settings, and they will be aware of the risk that generalizations can lead to stereotypes.
    2. Students will be able to identify and discuss the validity of their own cultural beliefs, behaviors, and values by contrasting and comparing them with the host cultures.
    3. Students will be able to describe and interpret gestures and body language, and they will integrate some of those non-verbal actions into their interactions with native speakers.
  2. Listening
    1. Students will be able to understand most spoken communications of moderate complexity (media, speeches, music, conversations, etc.) on a wide range of concrete everyday topics as well as abstract topics covered in classes.
    2. Students will be able to understand native speakers from a variety of backgrounds and limited experience with non-native speakers, and they will comprehend common colloquial expressions and slang.
  3. Speaking
    1. Students will be able to speak on and discuss a wide range of concrete everyday and personal topics, abstract topics covered in classes as well as other topics of particular interest to them.
    2. Students will be able to participate, initiate and respond actively in a wide variety of interactions.
  4. Reading
    1. Students will be able to read and understand blogs, articles, and stories, using background knowledge to aid their comprehension.
    2. Students will be able to read and understand more complex, academic texts with assistance.
  5. Writing
    1. Students will be able to meet most everyday writing needs (notes, text messages, emails, chats, letters, and online forums).
    2. Students will be able to write brief essays for class that narrate, describe, report, compare, contrast, and summarize a wide range of topics.
    3. Students will be able to edit their own and their peers’ writing.
Method of presentation: 
  • Instructor directed tasks
  • Group and pair work
  • Individual and group oral presentations
  • Intensive and extensive reading in class
  • Listening activities
  • Class discussion
  • Role plays
  • Audiovisual activities
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Oral presentation and role play - 15%
  • Written assignments - 15%
  • Comprehension activities (tests and written reports) - 10%
  • Midterm test - 20%
  • Written exam - 20%
  • Oral exam - 20%

Oral activities
Presentation tourist places in Chile. Short presentation of an important Latin-American Character. Representation of a trial: group work.

Written assignments
Written essay, My trip to Chile. Report on course-related excursion 1. Report on the National Cemetery visit. Essay on the interview with Eledín Parraguez. Reading Comprehension test: La Tregua, by Mario Benedetti. Reading Comprehension test: Mi país inventado, ny Isabel Allende.

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:Description of objectives methodology, expectations and evaluations

  1. Functional: Describing how learning a language works. Comparing the acquisition of the mother tongue with learning Spanish. Expressing advantages and disadvantages of being in a study abroad. Describing places: providing geographic, historic and tourist information. Expressing likes and dislikes. Expressing desires, future intentions and opinions about places and vacations.
  2. Grammatical: Review of present tense. Review of ser/estar/haber. Review of gustar que+ subjunctive (and verbs alike). Subjunctive mood in adjective clauses.
  3. Vocabulary: Words to describe strategies and learning styles. Travelling and accommodation. Adverbs of place and prepositions to describe position.
  4. Culture: Chilean variety of Spanish. Describing and interpreting body language. Landmarks and sightseeing in Chile.

Submission of written assignment: Mi Viaje a Chile

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

Audio and class discussion: Santiago one the best places to live in Latin America

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

Week 2

  1. Functional: Finding out local opinions about tourist places in Chile. Making complaints at a hotel desk. Expressing opinions about places and vacations. Stating preferences. Expressing surprise.
  2. Grammatical: Subjunctive mood after verbs of that express demand (pedir, exigir, necesitar, solicitar, etc.). Subjunctive mood after verbs/expressions to give opinions (ser + adjetivo + que, parecer + adjetivo que, pienso que, creo que, etc.).
  3. Vocabulary: Vocabulary related with services and problems at travelling and with accommodation. Prepositions of movement and location. Verbs + preposition to express movement, location and existence.
  4. Culture: Chile as a tourist destination: advantages and disadvantage. Oral presentation on tourist destinations recommended by locals.

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

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

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

Week 3

  1. Functional: Describing people attitudes and beliefs. Expressing opinions about people. Describing relevant people’s lives. Discussing the importance of some people to some countries. Making questions to find out reasons, causes and details. Narrating historic events. Assessing famous people’s dreams, ambitions and achievements. Discussing people’s attitudes, behaviors and actions.
  2. Grammatical: Preterit and imperfect tenses. Expressions of time. Preterit and imperfect tenses. Indirect object.
  3. Vocabulary: Word formation: verbs and nouns related to achievements (descubrir/descubrimiento). Preterit and imperfect tenses and their implications in verb meanings.
  4. Culture: Famous Latinoamericans in different fields, politics, music, arts, literature, sports, etc.. Talking about famous Latin-American people and their importance in the local culture.

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Submission of the revised version of “Mi viaje a Chile”

Audio and class discussion: La vida del Che Guevara

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

Week 4

Chilean movie: Manchua

  1. Functional: Narrating historic events. Presenting information in a chronological order. Organizing and presenting information. Expressing surprise and admiration. Showing interest in the topic of a conversation. Understanding spoken Spanish in a movie. Describing and evaluating past events. Commenting and analyzing facts.
  2. Grammatical: Preterit and imperfect to express contrast between state and changes. Relative pronouns. Integrated verb tenses.
  3. Vocabulary: Discourse connectors to indicate consequence and reason. Conversational tokens. Chilean words.
  4. Culture: Oral Presentation: Well-known Latin American people. The impact of the coup d’ etat in Chile. Social differences and life opportunities.

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

Read movie review and glossary at the end of the course dossier

Watch movie trailer in moodle

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

Week 5

  1. Functional: Describing customs, traditions and food, and discussing their role in a particular culture. Comparing and contrasting customs and traditions. Evaluating the importance of keeping traditions. Describing people attitudes and beliefs. Describing food and meals providing details of ingredients, ways of preparing and eating customs. Talking about food and special recipes for celebrations and festivities. Writing instruction to prepare a special dish
  2. Grammatical:. Review of present tenses and verbs similar to “gustar”. Infinitive verb forms (for instructions). Direct object.
  3. Vocabulary: Food, meals, recipes and ingredients. Games, music, types of dances. Adverbs of frequency. Impersonal pronouns. Words related to food, fruits, vegetables and meals. Verbs to describe ways of cooking food. Review of words to describe order and sequence. Adjectives to describe food and meals.

Short reading comprehension test: "La tregua" by Mario Benedetti

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

Peer correction of written recipe

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

Week 6

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

  • Objectives: reviewing what students have learned about ChileExploring student's familiarization and integration into local culture

Course-related excursion: Visit historic buildings in the city

  • Objectives: visit the historic center of the city
  • Use Spanish to talk to locals and obtain some specific information
  • Prepare an oral presentation for the class
 

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

Week 7

  1. Functional: Making an appointment with the doctor/dentist. Describing health problems, aches, pains and accidents. Comparing local healthcare with American’s. Leaving messages for friends and family. Describing symptoms. Making hypotheses related to health problems. Giving advice.
  2. Grammatical: Reflexive verbs that express processes and accidents. Contrast between reflexive and reciprocal verbs. Subjunctive mood for recommendation and future actions.
  3. Vocabulary: Aches, pains, illnesses and symptoms. Injuries and ailments. Temporal connectors to express routine or future action. Adverbs of manner to express intensity.
  4. Culture: Professional healthcare v/s home care. Health care in Chile.

Submission of brochure recommending places to visit in Santiago

Report course-related excursion 1: Instructions given in moodle

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

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

Week 8

Midterm Exam

  1. Functional: Identifying objectives, goals, and hypotheses about advertising intentions. Interpreting publicity: ads and commercials. Comparing and contrasting different forms of advertising: oral, visual, written, etc.
  2. Grammatical: Imperative mood. Direct and Indirect object pronouns with commands.
  3. Vocabulary: Advertising and publicity.
  4. Culture: Ways of advertising and the impact of this industry on people’s goals.

Evaluation of all contents studied up to this point in the course.

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

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

Week 9

  1. Functional: Developing communicative strategies. Discussing the language on advertising. Making hypotheses about random advertising campaigns. Describing historic events in a chronological order. Stating and supporting opinions about past events. Making hypothesis about the past and trying to explain what happened and why.
  2. Grammatical: Prepositions/ prepositional phrases to indicate objective. Impersonal constructions. Review of preterit and imperfect. Past perfect tense.
  3. Vocabulary: Frequent verbs and words in ads. Words related to government, dictatorship, and events related to violent actions.
  4. Culture: Tú and Usted: Direct and indirect language. Senior citizen in my community. September 11, 1973- different sides, different views.

Short reading comprehension test: “Mi país inventado” by Isabel Allende

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

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

Week 10

  1. Functional: Expressing opinions about past events and actions. Expressing agreement and disagreement. Make hypotheses about what could have happened if something had been different. Supporting ideas and opinions. Expressing emotions of excitement, pity, sorrow and anger. Describing and evaluating past events. Expressing conditions and consequences.
  2. Grammatical: Review of Subjuctive in impersonal phrases to express opinion. Subjunctive mood in conditional clauses in past tense. Subjunctive mood. Review of conditional clauses.
  3. Vocabulary: Adjectives and nouns that describe people and how they see the world. Adjectives to describe emotions such as pity, sadness, sorrow, misery, etc. Word formation: nouns and adjectives. Synonyms and Hyponyms. Nouns and verbs that describe types of crimes. Laws, rules and types of punishment.
  4. Culture: Dealing with past events and their implications in the present. Laws that reflect cultural beliefs.

Vocabulary and grammatical exercises of the unit

Audio and class discussion: President Allende’s last words

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

Week 11

Group activity: IES Abroad instructors present a topic of discussion with students. Activity is enriched by personal perspectives and experiences on a local historic event instructors have experienced

  1. Functional: Commenting and analyzing facts. Discussing hypothetical purposes, reasons and consequences.
  2. Grammatical: Review of past tenses. Subjunctive mood. Adverb clauses to indicate purpose.
  3. Vocabulary: Adjectives, adverbs and phrases to express emphasis and intensity. Adverbs and expressions to indicate purpose.
  4. Culture: Capital Punishment, what do Chileans think about it?

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

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

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

Instructions and worksheet discussed at the end of class

 

Week 13

Group Activity: "El Juicio"

Class Interview: Eledín Parraguez

  1. Functional: Making questions to find out the responsible for a crime. Making hypotheses about the reasons to commit a crime. Stating arguments and supporting them.
  2. Grammatical: Integrated review of present and past tenses. Conditional clauses.
  3. Vocabulary: Words related to the situation of defending a client at court: professionals who work in the field, expressions related to guiltiness, innocence suspect, presumption, suspicion.
  4. Culture: How law rules a country.

Students take roles in a trial to prosecute a suspect, instructions provided in the course dossier

Vocabulary and grammar exercises of the unit

Submission of the paper: National Cemetery

Prepare interview by reading the biography at the end of the course dossier and listening to a radio interview available in moodle

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

Week 14

Written Exam

  1. Functional: Stating and supporting critical opinions, attitude and certainty. Synthesizing others’ opinions. Comparing and contrasting experiences. Expressing judgments and propositions and trying to validate them.
  2. Grammatical: Review on subjunctive mood. Conditional clauses.
  3. Vocabulary: Word formation: prefixes to form opposite. Word families.
  4. Culture: Generalizations lead to stereotypes

Audio and class discussion: ¿Qué piensan los chilenos de sí mismos?

Submission of the paper: Eledín Parraguez y la education en Chile

 

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

 

 

Required readings: 
  • Course handbook (designed and compiled by the Spanish coordinator, Prof. Claudia Flores).
  • La Tregua by Mario Benedetti (copies available at IES Abroad Santiago, and local universities)
  • Mi país inventado by Isabel Allende (copies available at IES Abroad Santiago, and local universities)