Course Descriptions & Syllabi

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Note: some or all of the courses in the subjects marked as "Transfer" can be used towards a transfer degree: Associate of Science and Arts or Associate of Engineering Science at DACC. Transferability for specific institutions and majors varies. Consult a counselor for this information.

Areas of Study | | SPAN104 syllabus

COURSE TITLE:Intermediate Spanish II
DIVISION:Liberal Arts
IAI CODE(S): H1 900
DELIVERY MODE:Traditional section offered Spring semester as needed.

Communicative emphasis further develops student’s listening, speaking, and writing abilities and Hispanic cultural awareness through readings and literature.

As the continuation of Spanish 103, Spanish 104 presupposes an elementary knowledge of vocabulary and basic structures in the language. The course fosters the further development of all four language skills i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing) as well as knowledge about Spanish-speaking cultures. The use of Spanish as the primary language of communication in the classroom, consistent attendance, daily pre-class preparation, and active in-class participation will be needed in order to achieve these goals (i.e., in order to acquire Spanish, you must be engaged intensively in its use!).

SPAN103 or equivalent.


  • Students will develop listening comprehension skills.
  • Students will engage in extended discourse.
  • Students will read and understand authentic texts from the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Students will write narrative, descriptive, analytical, and informative compositions about current events, personal experiences, customs, history, literature, and culture.


Tentative Weekly Schedule and Topical Outline

Week 1
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Course Introduction
  • Instructor/Student Introduction
  • Capítulo 13 – El arte y la cultura (Art and culture)
  • Vocabulario
  • Los gustos y preferencias
  • Literature of Spain – Middle Ages -- Read Cantar de Mio Cid (excerpts). Discuss: Epic Poetry and compare to other examples noting differences in realism. Themes: honor, loyalty, justice, and respect.
Week 2
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: Los números ordinales
  • Gramática: El subjuntivo y la emoción
  • Literature of Spain – Middle Ages 14th Century– Prose, short story – Read Don Juan Manuel - Conde Lucanor – Ejemplo XXXV – De lo que aconteció a un mancebo que casó con una mujer muy fuerte y muy brava. Discuss: What is the moral of this story and does it apply today? Themes: love, marriage, being oneself, the portrayal of women.
Week 3
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: El subjuntivo y la duda y la negación
  • Gramática: El subjuntivo – resumen
  • Literature of Spain – Golden Age – Sonnets – Read Garcilaso de la Vega - Soneto XXIII “Entre tanto…” and Luis de Góngora – Soneto “Mientras por competir…” Discuss: What is beauty? How is it portrayed here and how does it compare to how it is portrayed now? Themes: beauty, carpe diem, love, aging. Composition 1– First Draft: Identify a common theme of the Spanish literature we have read. Analyze how it is portrayed in each work citing specific examples and then compare this theme to how it is represented in current times.
Week 4
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Repaso
  • Quiz 1
  • Composition 1 – Final Draft
Week 5
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Capítulo 16: La vida social y la vida afectiva (Social and Affective Life)
  • Vocabulario: Las relaciones sentimentales (Emotional Relationships)
  • Literature of Latin America – Read Jorge Luis Borges – “Los dos reyes y los dos laberintos” Discuss: What could the labyrinth and desert represent? Themes: knowledge, power, (magical) realism.
Week 6
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: El subjuntivo – antecedente inexistente
  • Literature of Latin America – Read Julio Cortázar – “Axolotl”. Discuss: What really happens to the narrator of the story? How does his perspective change in the story? Themes: perspective, change, empathy, immobility.
Week 7
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: El subjuntivo – conjunciones adverbiales
  • Latin American Cinema – Watch Como agua para chocolate. Discuss: What is magical realism? How are elements of it used in this film and how do they relate to the main conflict of the film? How is the Mexican Revolution incorporated into the story? Themes: love, tradition, growth, magical realism, food, violence/war. Composition 2 – First Draft: In what ways are fantasy and reality depicted in the works we read. In what ways might these depictions of fantasy and reality be reflective of events and the culture of the authors’? Mention specific examples from each work.
Week 8
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Repaso Midterm
  • Composition 2 – Final Draft
Week 9
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Capítulo 16: ¿Trabajar para vivir o vivir para trabajar? (Working to live or living to work?)
  • Vocabulario: Las profesiones y los oficios (Professions and Trades)
  • Vocabulario: El dinero
  • Music and Dance of Spain: Flamenco. Discuss and identify possible ways that Flamenco has influenced modern music.
Week 10
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: el futuro
  • Music and Dance of Latin America: Salsa, merengue, bachata, etc. Discuss the regions from which these music/dance styles originate.
Week 11
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: el subjuntivo – más conjunciones adverbiales
  • Music and Dance of Spanish-speakers in the United States. Discuss the influence of Spanish on the music of the United States and on the English language. Do we see a melding of cultures, separation/segregation, or something else? Composition 3 – React to the music and dance of Spain and Latin America. Compare what we have seen and listened to from each region to each other and to the music and dance you are already familiar with. In what ways are Spanish and Latin American culture reflected in their music and dance?
Week 12
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Repaso
  • Quiz 2
  • Composition 3 – Final Draft
Week 13
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Capítulo 18: La actualidad (The present)
  • Vocabulario: Las noticias y el gobierno (News and Government)
  • Latin American Art: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Identify the political elements in the art of Diego Rivera and connect them to the movements and issues of his day. How does Rivera’s art compare to that of Kahlo?
Week 14
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: El imperfecto del subjuntivo
  • The art of Spain: Overview, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Miró. Recreations of Velázquez Works. Discuss: What is surrealism? In what way do we see the influence of earlier artists in later works?
Week 15
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Gramática: las cláusulas condicionales “Si..”
  • Spanish Cinema: Watch Almodovar’s Volver. Discuss: What connections can we see to the surrealist painters studied and also to magical realism in this film? How could this film and the work of Almodóvar be seen as a reaction to the dictator Francisco Franco? Composition 4 – First Draft: “El arte es una mentira que nos acerca a la verdad.” Art is a lie that brings us closer to the truth. –Pablo Picasso. What might Picasso have meant by this quotation? What is the lie and truth that he refers to? How might this be applied to the art that we’ve studied in this course?
Week 16
Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Textbook pages & topics: Compositions/Quizzes/Exams
  • Repaso Composition 4 – Final Draft

Textbook: Puntos de Partida (9th ed.), 2012, by Dorwick, Pérez-Gironés & Isabelli

Spanish-English/English-Spanish Dictionary -or-
Access to WordReference website:


Class Participation
Your overall class participation will be evaluated according to the seven criteria specified on the “Class Participation Self-Assessment Sheet,” shown in Appendix A. Since you cannot participate if you are absent from class, regular class attendance is an important component of your participation grade. [NOTE: A point reduction due to any absence(s) stands regardless of whether or not an absence is excused. See Section IV of this syllabus for information on how an excused absence is credited to you.] At the end of each of the four chapters covered in Spanish 103, you will be asked to complete a copy of the self-assessment sheet to submit to your instructor. To complete the sheet, circle one point value on the horizontal scale given for each of the seven evaluation criteria. You must choose from among the point values given; for example, ‘19’ points is not an option for the “Class attendance” component. The low, mid, and high points of each scale are defined in prose. Circle the point value on each scale that most accurately describes your performance in that area for that grading period. Then, add up the points and write the resulting total score in the space provided at the end of the sheet. Your instructor may accept or alter your self-assessment, may offer comments, and then will record the total number of points earned for that chapter. [NOTE: If you do not understand or if you disagree with a change made to your self-assessment, you should discuss the matter with your instructor immediately. Office hours are the most appropriate time for this.] By the end of the semester, you will have received four class participation grades.

To further enhance your understanding of how to complete the self-assessment sheet, it should be noted that each chapter, or “grading period,” occupies approximately four weeks of the semester. Each course section meets for two 100-minute class sessions per week. Thus, a grading period represents approximately eight class sessions. Thus, for components #1 and #2, each class session represents a little more than one step on the scale. For example, if you are absent for one entire 100-minute class ses¬sion during the grading period, your score for the “Class attendance” component should be 16 points. If you missed one-half of a 100-minute class session, your score would be 18 points. Furthermore, for the second component “Arriving late and leaving early…,” each occasion of arriving late or leaving early is worth a penalty of approximately one point on the 20-point scale. Thus, there is a possible penalty of approximately two points per class session, if a student arrives late and leaves early during the same session.

As emphasized earlier, daily class attendance is crucial for the development of your language skills and therefore for success in this course. It already has been explained that absences will affect your participation grade (quite simply, you cannot participate if you are not present in class). In addition, however, an excess of absences will affect your overall course grade. In short, you will be allowed one (1) week of absences without needing to give an immediate account for them. Further details follow.

Over the course of the semester, you will be allowed two (2) unexcused, 100-minute absences, without penalty. However, these absences should NOT be in¬terpreted as free days! USE THEM WISELY! They should be reserved for foreseeable or unforeseeable events and emergencies such as illness, a death in the family, performances in athletic competitions, job interviews, etc. Be sure to make a personal record of the reasons for each of your absences and obtain any necessary documentation to verify your reasons. Acceptable documentation is that which is official, such as a doctor’s note on original letterhead paper (in general, photocopies and faxes will not be accepted), a document from a clinic that shows an appointment date and time, a note from an athletic division, an original program from a funeral or wedding, an obituary, etc. Personal notes from relatives or friends do not qualify as acceptable documentation. Whenever possible, the documentation should provide a phone number that can be called for verification.

Beginning with a third 100-minute absence, your FINAL COURSE GRADE will be lowered 3% (or 3 percentage points) for EACH absence beyond the first two absences. If, however, you have a veri¬fiable, reasonable excuse (“verifiable” meaning you can provide official, original documentation, and “reasonable” meaning an event such as those specified above) AND you can account for your first two absences, a third absence can be excused and the 3% will not be subtracted. To have a third (or more) absences excused, you need to speak with your instructor. In sum, you should think about this attendance policy in the following terms: it is best not to miss class, but if it turns out that you need to be absent, you can miss two class sessions with-out having to give an immediate account of your reasons for missing. If you miss greater than two class periods, however, you will need to account for ALL of your absences in order to not lose percentage points from your final grade.

[¡OJO! Should you be absent the day of a quiz or an exam, you must present documented proof of illness or of some other calamity even if the absence is one of your first excused absences in order to be able to make it up. Otherwise, you will receive a zero!]

For each chapter, homework assignments may come from the Workbook or materials provided by your instructor (e.g., handouts, etc.). For the Workbook, your instructor will specify daily handwritten assignments and their due dates. Workbook assignments are due in class at the beginning of the class hour of the due date. No late homework will be accepted. If you are absent from class when an assignment is due, the assignment will only be accepted if submitted the next session you are present in class. You are responsible for finding out from your instructor (or from another classmate) what assignments were given during your absence(s), in order to have all of the work ready to submit upon your first return to class. In short, “I wasn’t in class yesterday” is not an acceptable excuse for missed homework. Each individual activity in the Workbook will be credited to you as follows: 1 point= complete and well done; 0 points= partially complete or not well done or missing (i.e., not completed). Supplemental material assigned as homework may be graded on completeness or on content and turned in to your instructor.

As part of your regular homework assignments, you will also read various selections from Spanish and Latin American literature to prepare for class discussion about these works.

Four compositions will be assigned over the course of the semester. Each one will entail two drafts: a first draft and a final draft. Each draft needs to contain approximately 375 varied words and incorporate the vocabulary and grammar from the textbook and/or refer to the ideas and concepts covered in class. A topic will be assigned to guide your writing. Each draft should be typewritten. The final draft should be a continuation of work from the first draft. [NOTE: Any prior draft(s) must be resubmitted on due dates, to facilitate comparison. You will receive a grade of 0% for a final draft that is turned in without its previous draft(s). See Section XIII for due dates.] Both first and final drafts will be evaluated according to the five criteria specified in Appendix B. For your final course grade, each first draft will be worth 3% and each final draft 2%, for a total of 5% per composition [x 4 assignments= 20% total for this grade component].

Each draft must be handed in at the beginning of the class session when it is due. For each day (up to a maximum of three) that a draft is late beyond its due date (and regardless of how many days per week your class section meets), 5% will be subtracted from the assessed grade percentage, up to a total of 15% off for lateness. On the fourth day and beyond (including the two days of the weekend), a draft will no longer be accepted for credit. For example, if your class section meets at 2:00 and your work is due on Monday, the last possible time when you can submit it for credit (albeit with a loss of 15% from the start) is 2:00 on Thursday. After that time, you would receive a zero on the assignment.

It should be noted that each draft must reflect a student’s own work, in terms of both content and language. Trans¬lations carried out through the use of a computer, website, or other means are unacceptable and will receive the grade of 0%, with no possibility of a resub¬mission. Furthermore, if you solicit the help of a tutor in your writing, you must simultaneously submit both a marked-up draft and the draft due, in order to receive credit and a grade (whether the first or final draft is involved). You must produce all drafts, on your own, in Spanish, before soliciting any help from others. This requirement is very important, since you will be expected to write compositions directly in Spanish on exams. A tutor may indicate any errors made on a draft by circling (although NOT correcting) them in an ink color different from your original copy. It is the student’s job to then edit and correct his/her own draft.

It is obvious to an instructor when a student has received help with writing. If you receive help and the above procedure is not followed (i.e., a marked-up draft reflecting any feedback from others is not submitted with the draft due), you will receive a 0% on that assignment, with no possibility of a resubmission. If you do not receive help on a given draft, you only need to submit your own work.

You will be asked to present twice this semester on topics chosen by you and your instructor. To present you will create a presentation and be prepared to speak for about six minutes with about three to four minutes of answering audience questions at the end. Notes may be used but you may not read directly from them nor from the slides of your presentation. You should also cite the information you use on a “works cited” slide at the end of your presentation.

Your presentation topics will come from two categories: Spanish speaking countries (their culture, customs, practices, products, art, and history, etc.; and, important Spanish speaking people in history (explorers, leaders, politicians, artists, authors, etc.).

Your instructor will provide you with additional information on possible topics and how your presentation will be graded.

Quizzes (“Pruebas/Controles”)
There will be at least two chapter quizzes, or “pruebas”, given during the semester, one for each of chapter one and three. Each quiz will cover listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and other topics from the chapters. The format will include varying question types such as fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, multiple choice, short response, speaking and writing. The writing component will be less extensive than for your compositions (ie. approximately 200 words on your quiz,) but will be written without the use of outside materials and resources. Your instructor will specify the exact na¬ture and date of each quiz for your section.

Written Exams
There will be two written exams: a midterm exam given during the semester and a final exam given during finals week. The midterm exam will be given during a normal class session. It will cover chapters 13 and 16. The final exam will be given during the examination week timeslot for your course section, unless otherwise specified by your instructor. The final exam will be cumulative but will focus most heavily on chapters 17-18. Each exam will cover listening comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, and other topics from the textbook. The format will include varying questions types such as fill-in-the-blank, matching, true/false, multiple choice, short response, speaking and writing. The writing component will be less extensive than for your compositions (ie. approximately 250 words on your exam,) but will be written without the use of outside materials and resources.

HW and Participation
Midterm Exam
Final Exam

90.0 - 100.0%
80.0 - 89.9%
70.0 - 79.9%
60.0 - 69.9%
0 - 59.9%


Fall 2015

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