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BA Latin and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course unit details:
Spanish Language 5

Unit code SPLA51050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Spanish, Portuguese and Latin
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit consists of language tuition in spoken and written Spanish and has an intercultural approach preparing students for their period of residence abroad. It focuses on the practice of a wide variety of language and language-related skills which will help learners acquire confidence as independent users of the target language in interpersonal and social contexts as well as in academic and professional ones.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Spanish Language 3 SPLA51030 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
SPLA 20210 Pre-requisite


  1. to enable students to gain a broad understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax with the revision and consolidation of the points learned in the preceding course(s);
  2. to enable students to communicate confidently in Spanish through a range of written, oral, and aural comprehension exercises covering different areas of vocabulary;
  3. to introduce students to the study and practice of translation addressing issues of language and culture, and familiarising them with a variety of strategies;
  4. to prepare students for residence abroad through increasing their cultural awareness.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to perform at Level B2+ of the Common European Framework (CEF). Assuming that all classes have been attended, coursework completed and a considerable amount of private study undertaken students will be able to:

  • Understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics
  • Interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party
  • Produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit consists of language tuition in spoken and written Spanish, including language simulations, essay writing and translation practicals based on texts in English.

It also uses the Blackboard virtual learning environment as a supplement to support and manage aspects of learning and teaching. Students are thus required to visit El Botiquín regularly for essential information on the course, work done in class and other various tasks, including online assessments and discussions.

The official Facebook page and Twitter account of the Department is used for additional e-learning content, news and to promote networking.

Given the nature of language learning, students will be expected to attend all classes and to prepare adequately for them in order to be able to participate actively in class discussion and group activities.

Knowledge and understanding

  • A broad, active knowledge of Spanish grammar and basic awareness of the different registers of language
  • The ability to communicate with a degree of confidence and accuracy in written and spoken Spanish, in a variety of situations, and with particular attention to the requirements of the Year Abroad
  • An awareness of core linguistic and cultural potential problems of translation and the ability to think of creative solutions to these problems
  • Knowledge of aspects of the cultures, communities and societies of the Hispanic world
  • Intercultural awareness, understanding and competence

Intellectual skills

  • Use language creatively and precisely for a range of purposes and audiences
  • Contextualise from a variety of perspectives
  • Extract and synthesise key information from written and spoken sources
  • Organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument
  • Engage in critical and analytical thinking
  • Develop problem-solving skills

Practical skills

  • Use and present material in the target language in written and oral forms in a clear and effective manner
  • Ability to manage own learning
  • Use target language source materials appropriately
  • Write and think under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Access electronic resources and use information and communication technologies (ICT) appropriately

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communication and presentation skills: oral, written and IT
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly with others as part of a team
  • Mediating skills and qualities of empathy
  • Self-reliance and adaptability
  • Intercultural and business awareness

Employability skills

Group/team working
Project management
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods


Assessment task


Weighting within unit

Overall class performance and participation

- A grammar and vocabulary test

- A written examination

- An oral examination

- Students will also be expected to submit a piece of work as requested by their tutor approximately every three weeks.

Semester 1 and 2


1 hour in January

2 hours

10 minutes









Formative, although its completion is strongly recommended in order to gradually get the necessary preparation for the final exam.


Feedback methods

Regular individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired.

In-class comments on homework, presentations and other exercises.

After each of the scheduled assignments, global feedback on frequent errors or omissions to indicate problem areas and allow questions and discussion (delivered orally in class/posted to blackboard/as a handout)

Peer feedback to be facilitated by the collaborative group work and pair work used in these classes to practise presented language.

In order to get the maximum benefit from the tutor’s feedback, students will be encouraged to complete a corrections notebook after each marked assignment is returned to them. This notebook will be compulsory in the case of students requiring extra linguistic support and it will be regularly supervised allowing the tutor to offer more feedback and clarify any doubts.

Recommended reading

  • T. Gutiérrez Chávez & A. Noriega Fernández, Latitud 0º : Manual de Español Intercultural (SGEL)
  • J. Butt and C. Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (London: Arnold)
  • R. E. Batchelor & M. A. San José, Using Spanish Vocabulary (CUP)
  • C. Pountain and T. de Carlos, Practising Spanish Grammar: a Workbook (London: Arnold)Oxford Spanish Dictionary (OUP, not concise versions)
  • The Oxford Business Spanish Dictionary (OUP) (for MLBM students)
  • Students may find the on-line dictionaries produced by the Real Academia de la Lengua Española on

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susana Lorenzo-Zamorano Unit coordinator

Additional notes


In order to promote intercultural and business awareness the course syllabus includes a variety of cultural topics based on the Hispanic world and touching on issues of sustainability, immigration and social responsibility through music, cinema and other arts and media. It also offers students some training in writing their CVs and cover letter, summaries and other useful documents in the target language. Additionally, the MLBM strand of this module gives an insight into some key Hispanic businesses and companies, and guides students through the creation of their own product or service.

Generally, communication skills are developed through frequent presentations and teamwork; self-management skills are promoted through independent work; problem-solving skills mainly through translation and simulations, and IT skills through web and computer assisted language learning. Finally, creative skills are fostered through creative writing and a task-orientated approach.


This module offers the opportunity for students to contribute to a newspaper twice a year (el Periódico de Español) and to participate in a variety of social events such as language exchange evenings for English/Spanish speakers at least three times per semester.

Other activities associated with the unit and promoted are those organised by the Spanish and Latin American Studies Student Society (SPLASSS) and the Instituto Cervantes.

Independent Study Hours 

In order to meet the learning outcomes students are required to engage in regular independent language learning devoting an average of ten hours per week to work on the various language skills.


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