Spanish Courses

Spanish I

This course introduce 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 course also present a variety of cultural material. [One credit.]


Spanish II

This course further develop reading, aural comprehension, speaking and writing skills by introducing several new major language structures. These include the imperfect tense and the contrast between the two past tenses, as well as direct and indirect pronouns. 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 websites. Students complete projects relating to Spanish geography, politics, society and culture. [Prerequisite: Spanish I. Advanced study is available. One credit.]


Spanish III

This course emphasize 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. The course further explores 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 of literature. The course includes other authentic media, such as films, songs, and visual 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. [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 how Latin American cultures may 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 mired in 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 on which to focus. Students work to create an iBook 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 visual 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 speaking 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, folkloric histories, songs, journalistic articles, literary works, and short films of various Spanish-speaking countries. Students investigate and assess the linguistic nuances found in these texts and describe their historical foundation and social implications. Through investigation of cultural traditions, students analyze and examine the origins and contemporary significance of principal cultural celebrations and traditions. The 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 include both works that present universal themes and those that reflect specific historical realities. As a result, students 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 also gain an understanding of notable literary styles employed by Spanish-speaking authors, such as the picaresque, personal testimony, and magical realism and the fantastic. Students 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 current events, culture and conversation course, students focus their attention on learning intensively about Latin America and events that have occurred and will occur during this semester. Students begin by learning to identify the location and leadership of all Spanish-speaking countries/territories in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. Review of the colonization of these countries prepares students to further delve into the “whys” of what happens in these countries. Furthermore, students become “experts” on 2-3 countries and share information about these countries through journalistic articles. Students further develop their oral proficiency skills through real-life situation-based discussions, debates and oral presentations. Students work to develop the lexicon necessary to be comfortable in a multitude of pertinent real world scenarios including grammar reviews as necessary. The 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 2019 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 closely examine a particular set of topics, 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. 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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