The aim of this module is to give students a broad but solid command of spoken and written Spanish. This will be achieved through a methodical approach to all skills involved in learning a language: written, aural, oral and understanding. The study of grammar will focus on a functional approach, so that knowledge can be applied immediately to communicating in Spanish. Students will practise essay writing, summarising information, translation and oral presentation skills. They will undertake a thematic study and practice of Spanish in the context of Spanish culture, cinema, some study of the past and of current affairs. These will enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of Spain and Latin America.
Special emphasis is placed on writing exercises and group discussions to help participants improve their awareness of style and register and to explore more advanced argumentation strategies. Textual analysis will broaden students’ range of active and passive vocabulary in a variety of registers. In summarising exercises students will practise summarising texts by reducing them to a third of their original length. These skills aim to consolidate students’ knowledge and understanding of advanced grammatical and syntactical structures. The content of the module can be tailored to accommodate students’ levels by helping them to improve their Spanish independent of their level at the starting point. A diagnostic test will be administered during the first session to set the level of the class for the length of the course.
- Diagnostic test.
- Ser and estar. Adjectives.
- The past in Spanish I: present perfect, preterite and imperfect. Irregular verbs.
- The past in Spanish II: preterite and plus perfect.
- Imperative and conditional. Pronouns.
- Subjunctive I., Subjunctive II., Subjunctive III.
- Conditional sentences.
- Connecting words and cohesion: oral and written.
- Relative clauses. Expressing impersonality.
- Periphrastic verbs. Idioms.
- The Spanish Civil War. Causes and consequences. The establishment of “Las dos Españas“. Screening of a documentary and the feature films: Belle Epoque, Ay Carmela and Land and Freedom. Extracts of the film: Legionarias. E. Hemingway reflections on the war: The fifth column and four stories of the Spanish Civil War. Laurie Lee: As I walked out one midsummer morning – Spain through the eyes of a young Englishman immediately before the war. Extensive reading and summarising and essay/creative writing.
- Spain and bullfighters. Role of this ancient fiesta in XXI century Spain. E. Hemingway short story on bullfighting. Screening of a Channel 4 documentary and extracts of the feature films Jamón, Jamón and Matador. Analysis of newspaper articles of “la feria” of the moment. Aural practice and class debate.
- Women in Spain and in Iberoamerica. Analysis of the changing role of women. Women through time: 1930 to 2000. Usos amorosos de la posguerra española by C. Martín Gaite. Screening of the feature films: Como agua para chocolate, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios and All about my mother. Women and the world of work. Demographic issues. Reading of La Casa de Bernarda Alba, newspapers and magazines. Essay/creative writing and oral presentation.
- Immigration in Spain. Causes and consequences of population movements for Spanish culture and society. Screening of several “Informe Semanal” documentaries. Extensive newspaper reading and summarising. Class debate.
- Young people and “la noche”. Different groups of young people. Unemployment. Family life. Drugs and alcohol. Oral presentation and class debate. Screening of the Argentinean furture films “Nueve Reinas” and “Los Diarios de Motocicleta”.
- To develop oral and written skills in order to improve communication in the language being studied.
- Develop fluency of language.
- To extend knowledge of national culture.
- Learn grammar rules which apply to this language.
- To be able to research the subject in more depth and independently.
- Good understanding of language studied.
- To be able to apply grammar rules effectively.
- To have more knowledge of national culture.
- To have developed effective research skills.
- To complete assignments on a weekly basis
Assessment will be continuous and consist of several assignments, as well as class tests, two of which will be undertaken in exam conditions and represent 50 % of the final grade.
Assessment will include:
- Vocabulary tests
- Completion of various assignments
- A written presentation in the target language on a topic agreed with the tutor
- Role plays; giving opinions
- An oral presentation in English of an aspect of national culture
- Evidence of research in the subject
- Participation in classroom
This class is normally delivered over one term, with 90 teaching hours or equivalent in Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class and the final project.
The list below is for guidance and to supply some ideas for preliminary reading. We recommend that you do not purchase the books on this list before arrival and certainly not all of them; most should be available from a good library. Your tutor will recommend the most appropriate books for purchase at the first class of term.
- Collins or Oxford University Press bilingual dictionary (not pocket version).
- Spanish verb Tenses by Dorothy Devney Richmond. (2010).
- Oxford University Press Spanish grammar and verb book.
- COURSE BOOK: Rosa Maria Martin and Martyn Ellis, Pasos 1 (Hodder & Stoughton, 2010)