Required Texts:

Blanco, José and C. Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch. Enlaces. Nivel intermedio. Curso intensivo. Boston: Vista  
            Higher Learning, 2014.(Plus accompanying Student Activities Manual (WEB-SAM) Access Code).
A Spanish-English dictionary of your choice (Larousse Concise or Oxford recommended).

Electronic Resources:

I. Goals

A. Tulane University Department of Spanish and Portuguese Basic Language Program Objectives:

The main objectives guiding the program are to:

  • introduce students to the language and culture of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world
  • promote the development of students' communicative competence in the target language
  • develop students’ intercultural understanding and social conscience of problems that affect this cultural complex.

B. Course Goals: 

Following the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages’ (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines 2012, Spanish 2030 seeks to increase students’ Spanish-speaking ability to an intermediate-low to intermediate-mid range proficiency level via the Course Objectives outlined below. 

People with intermediate level proficiency can understand the main idea of texts and presentations (both written and aural) related to everyday life and personal interests and studies as well as handle social interactions in everyday situations including asking and answering questions. Students at this level can also present topics they have learned or researched and begin to state their viewpoint of topics of interest (in written and oral forms). The NCSSFL-ACTFL Can Do Statements provide more precise details in regards to what students will be able to do when they have reached this proficiency level.

For additional details of what this entails refer to the Proficiency Objectives section of the BLP website.

II. Course Objectives for Spanish 2030

Over the course of the semester, students will engage in on-line preparatory work, in class communicative activities and targeted production-based assessments to demonstrate their progress from high beginning language student toward competent user of the language across all skill sets.

The following objectives are based on ACTFL’s Can Do Statements, framed in terms of proficiency levels that progress in difficulty level as students learn more vocabulary and grammatical structures through real world practice.

Students will develop abilities in the following modes and skills:

  • Interpersonal Communication: students will participate in conversations on familiar topics using sentences and series of sentences, handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions, and say what they want to say about themselves and their everyday life with general consistency.
  • Interpretive Reading: students will develop the ability to understand the main idea of texts related to everyday life, personal interests, and studies and sometimes be able to follow stories and descriptions about events and experiences in various time frames.
  • Interpretive Listening: students will develop the ability understand the main idea in messages and presentations on a variety of topics related to everyday life and personal interests and studies and understand the main idea in conversations that are overheard.
  • Presentational Speaking: students will be able to make presentations on a wide variety of familiar topics they have learned or researched and common interests and issues, using connected sentences.
  • Presentational Writing: students will be able to write on a wide variety of familiar topics, including messages, announcements, reports and communications intended for public distribution, using connected sentences and paragraphs.

In addition to the Proficiency Objectives detailed on the Basic Language Program’s website for this level, the course maintains the following objectives, based upon ACTFL’s National Standards for Foreign Language Learning:

A. Communication. The use of Spanish:

in order to:

  • talk about oneself and one’s world
  • give advice and politely tell people what to do
  • complete a transaction (such as ordering food, making reservations, etc)
  • discuss various cultural, literary and contemporary social issues
  • debate a variety of sensitive topics
  • ask relevant questions about a given topic

utilizing, with moderate control:

  • the present, past and future tenses
  • indicative and subjunctive moods
  • structures expressing likes and dislikes
  • comparative and superlative constructions
  • noun, adjective and verb agreement
  • a variety of prepositions and prepositional phrases
  • direct and indirect pronouns

B. Cultures: gain knowledge and understanding of Hispanic cultures.

Short films and literary and cultural readings from throughout the Hispanic World will aid the student in this goal. Particular attention will be paid to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Spain.

C. Communities: participate in a community of language learners and in a multilingual world.

Through group and class work, a sense of community will be developed as students practice their communicative skills, thereby preparing themselves to use Spanish throughout their lives. As a group, students will explore their own notion of community as this compares to this concept in the Hispanic world.

D. Comparisons: make informed comparisons between English and Spanish and themselves and others.

Via written work and in-class discussions, students will be encouraged to make comparisons between their own known reality and the Hispanic world. Students will also compare ideas with each other in pair and group work such as the conexión personal, comunicación, and opinión activities, based upon the conversational goals of each chapter. Students will reflect on how the structures of Spanish compare to the structures of English and other languages they know.

E. Connections: the ability to connect this course to other courses and self to others.

The different themes explored in each unit will inform students in such a way that they can make connections between their own cultural traditions and those of some members of the Hispanic world, with particular emphasis on developing ideas through oral and written activities.

III. Outcomes

Students will demonstrate that they have met the...

  • Interpersonal Communication objectives via their ability to produce the vocabulary and structural forms necessary for the stated conversation topics in written and oral work including diary entries, regular class participation and oral exams.
  • Interpretive Reading objectives via their completion of assessments based on completion of short readings including essays, exam prompts and oral exam discussions.
  • Interpretive Listening objectives via their participation in class discussions and oral and written exam prompts related to the cortometrajes.
  • Presentational Speaking objectives via their semester project work.
  • Presentational Writing objectives via their performance on the semester project and literary analysis as well as diary entries.

IV.    Assessment

A.    Grades are based on the standard 10-point scale:

    B+ 87-89.99 C+ 77-79.99 D+ 67-69.99    
A 93-100 B 83-86.99 C 73-76.99 D 63-66.99 F 0-59.99
A- 90-92.99 B- 80-82.99 C- 70-72.99 D- 60-62.99    

B.    Grade Breakdown:

Your grade will be determined according to the following criteria:

  • 10%:    Participation
  • 20%:    Unit Exams (2)
  • 10%:    Final Exam                                              
  • 15%     Diario (5)
  • 10%:    Literary Production
  • 15%:    Assessments
  • 20%:    Semester Project: Written Report (7%), Oral Presentation (8%), Group Discussions (2.5%), Bibliography (2.5%)

C.    Expectations for each category are as follows:

See calendar for due dates.

Participation and preparation (10%): Active participation and regular attendance is crucial to the learning of a language. Students are expected to come to class fully prepared to engage in the day's conversational activities, including reading assigned texts, previewing assigned short films (cortometrajes), reviewing grammatical structures or new vocabulary and completing comprehension activities as assigned or warranted. 1-2 hours of advanced preparation is expected and assumed for every class period, including online activities as necessary. The participation grade is based both on the quantity and the quality of a student’s participation, with quality being determined by active, on-task participation in class, group and pair activities, obvious preparation of homework, volunteerism in class and overall preparedness. Excessive absenteeism will result in a substantial drop in this grade, as will tardiness. The unauthorized use of a cell phone during class time will result in a participation grade of ZERO for that day. This website includes streaming video links for the accompanying cortometrajes which must be viewed outside of class, and activities for every section of every lección (chapter). To access the materials, go to, log in using the WEB-SAM code you purchased (required due to copyright restrictions on the media pieces), select the lección with which you wish to work, and scroll down to the relevant section. If you are having a difficult time with any particular section, be sure to see if the additional material available there is helpful to you. Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours preparing for every class session. Your instructor may require you to complete specific activities and may require that you turn in a written copy of specific exercises for a grade. Students should note that a direct correlation has been observed between final grade in the course and regular completion of the online exercises, with students who work regularly on the online activities generally attaining higher grades in the course.

Unit Exams (20%): 2 communicative, essay-based exams, worth 10% each, will be administered during the semester. Each exam will include interpretive and presentational modes such as a reading comprehension activity, based on vocabulary and cultural materials related to that unit of study, and one to two writing exercises. Because language learning is inherently a cumulative process, each exam will focus upon the material of study for that period while building on all previously studied material.

Final Exam (10%): The final exam will be similar in format to the written exams, with interpretive and presentational modes incorporated via a reading comprehension exercise and one to two written essays. It will also include a listening comprehension portion. The vocabulary and cultural information will primarily be drawn from the last chapters studied; however, the entire range of grammatical material studied throughout the semester will be expected to be utilized.

Diario (15%): Students will maintain a diary over the course of the semester using targeted vocabulary and grammar skills in order to actively use the materials of study. Your instructor will indicate whether they prefer this to be an electronic or a hand-written diary. In either case, it is essential that students complete their posts on their own and without the help of tutors or peers in order to clarify areas which need particular attention—perfection is not required; effort is. Cheating through the use of translation programs or consultation with others will not be tolerated and violations of the Code of Academic Conduct will be brought before the Honor Board.

Literary Production (10%): Through a series of guided steps, all students will complete an original creative work, modeled on the short story <<La intrusa>> written by Pedro Orgambide. Students to follow a process-based approach to writing with a series of guided steps for in and out of class work required. Additional details will be presented in a separate handout closer to the assignment date.

Assessments (15%): There will be 6 assessments over the course of the semester, distributed across different skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) and modes (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational) of communication. 2 interpretive mode listening assessments, 2 interpersonal mode oral assessments and 2 interpretive/presentational assessments focusing on reading comprehension and written production will be completed over the course of the semester.

Semester Project (20%): All students will present one Semester Project, which will have a significant written and oral component, as outlined below. Students will also participate in active class discussions based upon the oral presentations given by their classmates. Additional details will be provided separately, but the basic format is as follows:

  • The Written Report (7%) will take the form of a 1.5-2 page focused investigative essay related to a specific cultural point relevant to the Imagina section of their designated chapter. The specific topic will be developed in consultation with the instructor, based upon the overarching topic selected by the group.
  • The Oral Presentation (8%) will be a collaborative effort in which each student will present their individual research findings as part of a cohesive small group presentation. The presentations are expected to be interactive and informative and might include musical selections, short video clips, handouts or whatever the student(s) feel is relevant to their topic. 
  • For the Group Discussion (2.5%) portion of this project, the student is evaluated based upon his/her contribution to the group discussions of the other student groups over the course of the semester. All students are expected to listen to their classmates’ oral presentations and ask relevant questions as well as engage in an active discussion of the material being presented. Students must complete the related textbook readings, take notes while their classmates speak, and exchange their own views on the topics.
  • The Bibliography (2.5%) will allow the student to make a clear and precise record of the sources s/he consulted in preparation for the written report and oral presentation. Students must include all text and visual documentation they consulted in preparation of their work and present this in an accepted academic format, as indicated by their instructor.

Tulane University, Spanish & Portuguese Dept., 304 Newcomb Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5518