Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions / week, 1 hour / session

Required Books

VanPatten, Bill, Martha Alford Marks, and Richard V. Teschner. Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002.

———. Destinos. Workbook / Study Guide II. New York: McGraw Hill, 2002. (Lecciones 27-52)

[For OCW online learners: the complete Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish video series with practice exercises is available free online from Annenberg Learner.]

General Description

In Spanish II you will continue to develop your fluency in understanding, speaking, reading and writing in Spanish, using the second part of the video-based program, Destinos, begun in Spanish I. Destinos is a soap opera that allows you to learn Spanish and experience its cultural diversity while following a good story full of surprises and human emotions. Spanish II will also include additional materials, such as Spanish films and other media, various types of reading selections and online resources.

You will watch the Destinos episodes outside of class in the department's Language Learning and Resource Center or online at: Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish.

You will also listen to an audio-only program integrated with the Destinos text and workbook. In the classroom, you will participate in a wide variety of activities and exercises which include interacting and communicating in Spanish with your classmates in small groups, practicing pronunciation and grammar, and giving short oral presentations to the whole class. The class is conducted in Spanish as much as possible, but English is used when necessary for clarity and efficiency.

In this course attention is given to all basic language skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. Grammar is studied not so that you can recite grammar rules, but rather so that you gain an understanding of how the language works. You must speak in order to learn to speak. Some students may feel inhibited about making mistakes in front of others. We will work together to make the class atmosphere as tension-free as possible. You must not be concerned about the instructor, or others, judging you at every moment.

Evaluation / Grades

  1. Class Attendance and Participation (35%)

    The most significant part of your grade is determined by the quantity and quality of your daily class preparation and participation. (If you are absent there is obviously no participation). More than four unexcused absences will lower your grade for the course. After the fourth unexcused absence there will be a 5% reduction of the final grade. More than eight (8) unexcused absences will result in an "F" in class participation. Exceptions require a letter from a medical doctor, a dean's excuse, or other extraordinary circumstances. In case of questions or anticipated problems, please do not hesitate to contact your instructor. Repeated tardiness will also affect your grade negatively.
  2. Written Work (30%)

    Worksheets and other written assignments: 15%

    Compositions: 15%. Three compositions. Compositions must be turned in typed and double-spaced. You will write two drafts of each compositions; the first draft will be marked for errors using a correction key and returned to you for revision. The compositions will be graded on the basis of the 2 drafts.
  3. Quizzes: Four in-class (30%)

    There will not be a Final Exam for this class, the last quiz will be an hour quiz the week before the last week of classes.
  4. Oral Presentations (5%)

    Every student will give one short oral presentation on a cultural or historical topic related to the Spanish or Latin American world. These will be done at specified times during the semester. Please be sure to consult with your instructor for approval of your idea beforehand and for any suggestions or guidance.

    Final grades will be based upon a traditional ten-point scale. Students are not in competition with each other; each student will receive the grade she or he earns.
A 90-100
B 80-89
C 70-79
D 60-69
E 0-59

This is NOT a course where you can learn the material by yourself, show up in class occasionally and do well on tests. You must watch the video episodes regularly in the language lab (they are not available anywhere in writing), you must prepare the audio exercises regularly and you must come to class faithfully. The classroom is the only place where most students can speak in Spanish on a regular basis with other live humans; this is absolutely necessary for progress in understanding and speaking Spanish. It is also the only way you can assimilate the increasingly complex language material and plot of the video material. Since it is extremely tough to CATCH UP or MAKE UP, you have to KEEP UP.