Spanish Courses

Spanish I

This course introduces elementary grammatical concepts, present and past tenses, basic sentence patterns, and a number of idiomatic expressions. Major units emphasize practical daily situations, such as greeting people, expressing opinions, talking about the weather, counting and telling time, traveling, shopping and discussing family relationships. The courses also present a variety of cultural material. [One credit.]


Spanish II

This course further develops reading, aural comprehension, speaking and writing skills by introducing several new major language structures, including the present and past tense of reflexive verbs, direct and indirect pronouns and the imperfect tense. Students acquire a broader vocabulary base of new words and expressions, often working in small groups to maximize use of the language and studying authentic material from the target languages, such as newspapers, films, and Internet sites. Students complete projects relating to French or Spanish geography, politics, society and culture. [Prerequisite: Spanish I. Advanced study is available. One credit.]


Spanish III

This course emphasizes oral, written and listening facility, bringing students to a higher level of language proficiency. Students learn additional and more sophisticated grammar and vocabulary; read advanced material such as newspaper editorials, literary prose and poetry; and compose essays in the target language. These courses further explore the customs, history, geography and culture of countries where the languages are spoken. [Prerequisite: Spanish II. Advanced study is available. One credit.]


Spanish IV Advanced

Spanish IV Advanced provides language practice in speaking, writing, listening comprehension and reading. It serves as preparation for AP Spanish Language and Culture or other electives. Students refine their language skills, acquire an advanced and nuanced vocabulary, and deepen their understanding of complex grammar. They also broaden their knowledge of Hispanic culture. Readings include a variety of authentic, unabridged texts in Spanish, such as journalistic writing, essays and other works literature. The course includes other authentic media, such as films, songs, and plastic art. Students complete a variety of written and spoken work tailored to authentic, everyday experience, entirely in the target language. Major units include topics related to Identity, Daily Life, Society, and History. Thematic units give a preview of AP Spanish Language and Culture course themes. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. One credit.]


Contemporary Civilization and Culture of Latin America

Through the study of the history and formation of today’s Latin American countries, students gain the background information that forms the base for their views of contemporary culture. The course provides students with an opportunity to study Latin American cultures which differ from their own, giving them a better understanding of their own worldview. Many of the areas studied have vast gaps between rich and poor, and many areas are still stuck in situations of poverty due to racial, social, and political factors. In semester one, students are presented with a historical and cultural overview of Latin America. The course explores the manner in which a history of conflicts and events has shaped the modern political and social structures in Latin America. Students will have many opportunities to improve their verbal skills through oral presentations. Semester two builds on the topics studied in the fall by selecting a particular country in Latin America that the students will focus on. The students work to create an iBooks Author on the selected country as their final project. This course often has a curricular travel component to Latin America during Spring Break. This course is most appropriate for students who have successfully completed AP Spanish Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Spanish IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

AP Spanish Literature and Culture

AP Spanish Literature and Culture is a college-equivalent course available for students who wish to pursue advanced language studies with a close examination of canonical works in Spanish, Spanish-American, Latino and Chicano literature. The course provides an introduction to the major literary movements in the field of Hispanic literature. Students read original, unabridged works from the fifteenth century through the twenty-first century. The course includes a review of literary analysis, including genre-specific approaches, literary terms and some relevant literary theories. Students also study the socio-cultural contexts in which the course texts were written and many possible thematic links among them. There is a secondary emphasis on approaches to the plastic arts of the Hispanic world and their connection to literary works studied in the course. Students develop their presentational, interpretive and interpersonal language skills through assignments in class and at home, including critical writing, listening and discussions. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish. This course is most appropriate for students who have successfully completed AP Spanish Language and Culture. [Prerequisites: Spanish IV Advanced or departmental approval. One credit.]

Fall Semester - Conversación y cultura del mundo hispano (Conversation and Culture of the Hispanic World)

In this semester long intensive conversation course, students hone their speaking and listening abilities as they examine advanced vocabulary and linguistic structures in authentic contexts. Students further develop their oral proficiency skills through real-life situation-based discussions, debates, performances, and oral presentations. Students work to develop the lexicon necessary to be comfortable in a multitude of pertinent real world scenarios. Students also further refine their reading, writing, and literary analysis capabilities through in-depth study of culturally relevant legends, myths, and folkloric histories of Spain and Mexico. Through investigation of respective cultural traditions, students analyze and examine the historic origins and contemporary significance of principal cultural celebrations and traditions. Moreover, students investigate and assess the linguistic nuances found in both traditional and contemporary music, and describe the historical foundation and social implications of these messages. Course is taught entirely in Spanish. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. Half credit.]

Fall Semester - Spanish Literature and Cultures

This semester elective presents notable works of literature of the Spanish-speaking world, with an emphasis on short works of fiction, drama and poetry. The readings will include both works that present universal themes and those that reflect specific historical realities. As a result, students will gain an introduction to major socio-cultural developments in Spain, Spanish America, and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States, which form the backdrop and context for the authors’ writings. Students will also gain understanding of notable literary styles employed by Spanish-speaking authors, such as the picaresque, personal testimony, and magical realism and the fantastic. Students will also learn literary terms in Spanish as part of the course. Course themes may include interpersonal relationships, cultural encounters, religions, the construction of gender, struggle, and oppression, and technologies, ethics, and alienation. The course will provide opportunities for students to hone their reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills in Spanish and to practice interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication. Typical class work will include class discussions, debates, presentations, performances, reflection assignments, formal writing, and creative projects. [Prerequisite: Spanish III or departmental approval. Half credit]

Spring Semester - Cultura y asuntos contemporaneos del mundo hispano (Culture and Current Events of the Hispanic World)

In this semester-long course, students utilize advanced vocabulary and grammatical structures to examine the histories of Spain and Mexico, and link these experiences to relevant contemporary contexts. The course facilitates students’ ability to connect these histories to their corresponding literary and artistic movements of magical realism, cubism, and surrealism. While building upon the linguistic skills necessary to describe and analyze the literature of Borges and Neruda, the art of Picasso, Dali, Kahlo, and Rivera, and the music of renowned Hispanic musicians of the past and present, students continue to refine their oral and auditory communication skills. The course challenges students to deepen their understanding of Spanish language and culture through immersive study of well-known literature, film, music, and current events in respective Hispanic communities. Moreover, through examination of both historical and contemporary traditions and practices, students will better understand the philosophies and lifestyles of the contemporary Spanish-speaking world. Finally, students delve into select issues faced by Hispanic populations in the United States and abroad including economies and unemployment, immigration, education, and health care challenges. Developing a well-rounded understanding and awareness of Hispanic cultures is an integral theme of this the course. Course is taught entirely in Spanish. [Prerequisite: Spanish III. Half credit.]

Monograph in Hispanic Literature: The Short Story

This semester elective focuses on a specific literary genre, movement, author or theme, to be chosen by the instructor. The spring 2018 topic is a close examination of the short story, including specific approaches to analyzing narrative writing and structure of the short story as a literary form. Students build upon the knowledge acquired in the first semester to examine a particular set of topics closely, though the first semester is not a prerequisite. The course will provide a survey of the historical and cultural circumstances in which the works were produced, giving students a deeper view into an area of Hispanic cultural history and literary movements. Some topics may include Realism and Naturalism; Surrealism; the Latin American Boom and Post-Boom; Magical Realism and the fantastic; and national independence, democracy and authoritarianism. Students will continue to practice using literary vocabulary, as well as interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes of communication. The course will provide opportunities for students to hone their reading, speaking, writing, and listening skills in Spanish. Typical class work will include class discussions, debates, presentations, performances, reflection assignments, formal writing, and creative projects. [Prerequisite: Spanish III or departmental approval. Half credit]

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