BA Italian and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Spanish Language 5

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA51050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
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.


Pre-requisite units 

SPLA51030 Spanish Language 3 


  • 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);
  • to enable students to communicate confidently in Spanish through a range of written, oral, and aural comprehension exercises covering different areas of vocabulary;
  • to introduce students to the study and practice of translation addressing issues of language and culture, and familiarising them with a variety of strategies;
  • 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 

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

Analytical skills
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.
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.

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting within unit
A grammar and vocabulary test  25%
One piece of ACW (summary exercise)  15%
A written examination 35%
An oral examination 25%
Weekly take-home coursework and online tests  Formative

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

Set texts: 

  • 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) 

Recommended texts: 

  • 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) 

  • Real Academia de la Lengua Española dictionaries on 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Blanca González-Valencia Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This module offers the opportunity for students to contribute to a newspaper twice a year (el Periódico de Español). 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. 

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

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