The primary objective of this course is the the further development of spoken language skills, with special emphasis on correct pronunciation and tone in Spanish. Students will learn the different forms of Spanish spoken in various regions, and as such the ability to adapt style and pronunciation depending on the geographic area.
Spanish Grammar and Writing
To express oneself correctly in Spanish, in both oral and written mediums, requires an extensive knowledge of grammatical rules required by the language. This could be easy if reduced to merely a few rules, but becomes exponentially more complex as we discover that Spanish grammar is not an exact science and cannot be reduced to a simple book of rules. Spanish may be characterized by its richness and exacting expressiveness, characteristics which often are ignored by some speakers, whether through lack of culture or sheer ignorance. Spoken norms, formal language, colloquialisms, familiar speech, rules and exceptions, and linguistic theories all compose a complex labyrinth which for the student may seem impractical and difficult. But to achieve greater levels of fluid communications this must be learned, and that is the goal of this course.
Conversation and Oral Expression
The goal of this course is to improve both the spoken and written Spanish so that students will communicate effectively at a high level in Spanish. Although the course deals primarily with conversation, many of the exercises will be directed toward oral practice of verb structure and tenses learned in the grammar course. The students will complete a minimum of four written exercises on various topics, and will be expected to lead an in-class discussion of one of these. The types of exercises will vary and conducted both individually and in groups, depending on the exercise.
Some examples include:
- Description and comparison of objects
- Descriptions of pictures, locating different elements (bulidings, people, objects, etc.)
- Description of people and situations in various short stories and creation of corresponding dialogue
- Narration of situations using different verb tenses (stories, oral review of magazine/newspaper articles, experiences, etc.)
- Reading, summarizing, and commenting on current texts, covering contemporary Spanish themes (immigration,terrorism, education, lifestyle, customs, etc.)
- A variety of games to emphasize vocabulary
- Debates about themes selected by students
The principal objective of the course is to offer the necessary basis of the discipline to the student, through a combination of fundamental theories and practice. Following this objective, the course will try, in the most direct manner possible, to give the student a clear reference point with respect to the current Spanish economic situation (and its relation to the rest of Europe). This involves the learning of not only new oral and written expressions, but new economic and cultural realities as well. Business Spanish is important in all areas related to the country’s microeconomics, and as such there will be special emphasis placed on the practical implications of this course.
Literature in Translation
The course will present a sampling of traditional and modern literature written in Spanish (throughout different countries in the world and translated to English, including the problems and consequences this process implies. Students will gain a sense of the range of images projected by Spanish culture in different parts of the world, through the analysis of various pieces of Spanish literature.