BSc International Disaster Management and Humanitarian Response and Spanish / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Spanish Language 4

Course unit fact file
Unit code SPLA51040
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


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

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 seven to ten hours per week to work on the various language skills.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Spanish Language 1 SPLA51011 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Spanish Language 2 SPLA51022 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


This course aims:

  • to enable students to gain a broad understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax.
  • 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 familiarizing them with a variety of strategies;
  • to prepare students for residence abroad through increasing their cultural awareness.

Knowledge and understanding

  • The ability to understand selected texts in Spanish, through knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and basic cultural awareness.
  • The ability to develop powers of analysis and use them to solve problems.
  • Assessing and evaluating others.
  • Cultural and business awareness

Intellectual skills

  • The ability to understand selected texts in Spanish, through knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and cultural awareness.
  • the ability to develop powers of analysis and use them to solve problems;

Practical skills

  • An ability to communicate in written and oral Spanish.
  • The ability to manage time and work to deadlines.
  • The ability to participate in pair and team work.
  • Role adaptability.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Communication and presentation skills, both oral and written through presentations and teamwork.
  • Self-management and study skills, including learning how to learn through self-reflection activities and self-evaluation.
  • Self-confidence.
  • Showing capacity to improvise.
  • Role adaptability.
  • Computer literacy.

Employability skills

Written communication
In order to promote cultural and business awareness the course syllabus includes a variety of cultural topics based on the Hispanic world and including issues such as sustainability, immigration and social responsibility through music, cinema and other arts and media. It also offers students some training in writing their CV and cover letter, summaries and other useful documents in the target language.
Generally, communications skills are developed through frequent presentations and teamwork, self-management skills are promoted through independent work, problem-solving skills 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.

Assessment methods

Assessment task Weighting within unit
A grammar, vocabulary and writing examination  25%
A written examination  50%
An oral examination  25%
Weekly take-home coursework and online tests  Formative

Feedback methods

Students will regularly receive individual written feedback on completed and marked assignments and oral presentations plus face-to-face discussion if desired. Besides, the tutor will 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 work and pair work used in these classes to practice presented language also facilitates peer feedback. 

Summative feedback on Semester 1 examination will be given in the form of the mark given and/or a general description on how the group of students performed in the exam. Additionally, the answers to the exam questions will be made available through Blackboard. 

Recommended reading

Set texts:  

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

  • J. Butt and C. Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (Edwin Arnold) 

Recommended texts:  

  • C. Pountain and T. de Carlos, Practising Spanish Grammar: a Workbook (Hodder Arnold) 

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

  • E. Spinelli, English Grammar for Students of Spanish (Arnold)Diccionario Oxford español-inglés, inglés-español (O.U.P.) 

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

You will be expected to engage in regular independent language learning, and we provide guidance to help you develop your expertise as an independent language learner.  You are encouraged to use the facilities in the Language Centre, which include on-line material, grammar and reference books, language laboratories, self-access materials and satellite TV. As well you will be encouraged to attend cultural activities in institutions such as Instituto Cervantes.

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