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BA Latin and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Spanish Language 1

Unit code SPLA51011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit consists of intensive language tuition in spoken and written Spanish at ab-initio level. Focussing on a variety of topics (food, customs, weather, music, professions, etc.) and using a range of teaching methods and audio-visual as well as printed media, the course aims to equip students with the language skills needed for basic spoken and written communication in common everyday situations. 



  • to provide students with thorough grounding in Spanish grammar and syntax;
  • to enable students to achieve basic communication in Spanish, through a range of written, oral and comprehension exercises, including translation, allowing them to interact with reasonable ease in structured situations and short conversations on familiar everyday topics.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to perform at Level A2 of the Common European Framework.


The course will cover the contents of the Common European Framework (CEFR) A1-A2 levels.

Indicative grammar points to be covered: 

  • Personal pronouns, gender and number
  • Present tense
  • Ser and estar
  • Past tenses
  • Future


Indicative topics to be studied:

  • Daily routine
  • Food
  • Customs and traditions
  • Cities and weather
  • Music

Teaching and learning methods

2 x 2 hour weekly grammar and writing skills classes.

1 x 1 hour weekly class for integrated skills.

All students will be expected to attend all classes, to participate actively in class discussion and group activities, and to engage in regular independent language learning devoting an average of nine hours per week to work on the various language skills.

This course uses a web-based learning environment called Blackboard as a supplement to support and manage aspects of teaching and learning. Every student should try to log into Blackboard as early as possible in the year. In Blackboard they will find class materials, feedback as well as a variety of extra resources to consolidate the grammar learned in class and to encourage independent learning. Students will be required to complete weekly a series of online tests, participate on the discussion forums and contribute to a vocabulary wiki.

Medium of language




Knowledge and understanding

The course will develop:

  • Passive and active knowledge of a range of grammatical structures of the Spanish language.
  • An awareness of the nature and extent of cultural diversity within the Hispanic world.

Intellectual skills

This course develops abilities to:

  • Use of the target language with the skills acquired at a basic level.
  • Extract and synthesise basic key information from written and spoken sources.
  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured argument at levels of appropriate difficulty.
  • Develop deductive reasoning.

Practical skills

This course develops abilities to:

  • Communicate in written and oral Spanish.
  • Manage time and work to deadlines.
  • Work creatively and flexibly with others as part of a team.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

These include:

  • Communication and presentation skills: oral, written and IT.
  • Self-management and study skills, including learning how to learn through self-reflection activities and self-evaluation.
  • Self-confidence, empathy and understanding others.
  • Intercultural awareness.

Assessment methods


Assessment task

Formative or Summative


Weighting within unit

Overall performance and participation (detailed criteria to be circulated at the start of the unit)


Semester 1




A grammar, reading and writing examination


2 hours in January




In Class Test: 4 in-class grammar & essay writing tests scheduled over the course of the semester. An average of the highest 3 tests will make the overall weighting for this assessment component.

Summative & Formative

15 minutes (each test)


An oral examination



10 minutes at the end of semester 1 (week 12)



Weekly take-home coursework







Assessment task


A grammar, translation and essay writing examination

2 hours


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Students will regularly receive individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired. The tutor will also provide in-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises.

Additionally, global feedback (delivered orally in class/posted to Blackboard/as a hand-out) on frequent errors or omissions will be provided to the whole class to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion.

Finally, the collaborative group/pair work used in class to practice presented language also facilitates peer feedback.



Written feedback on the in-class test and on oral exam performance.

One-to-one feedback by request on written exam during office hours or by appointment during the School’s allocated feedback period.



Recommended reading

Set texts:        

·         F. Rosales et al., Campus Sur, Libro del Alumno (Barcelona: Difusión)

·         P. Muñoz and M. Thacker, A Spanish Learning Grammar (London: Arnold)

·         Diccionario Oxford español-inglés, inglés-español (O.U.P.)

·         Diccionario Clave (SM):


Recommended texts:

·         E. Spinelli, English Grammar for Students of Spanish (Arnold)

R. E. Batchelor & M. A. San José, Using Spanish Vocabulary (Cambridge University Press) 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susana Lorenzo-Zamorano Unit coordinator

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