Spanish Language III: Superior (Lengua Española III: Nivel Superior)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish Language III: Superior (Lengua Española III: Nivel Superior)

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Lengua Española III (nivel superior)
    (Spanish Language III: Superior)
    Cursos de Estudios Hispánicos

    Curso : 1



    This course is aimed at proficient Spanish-speakers. The main goal of the course is to deepen and refine the communicative skills of the students fundamentally in conversation contexts, developing the following aims: Understand, interact and express themselves adequatly in a broad range of situations, cooperating and expressing themselves with a degree of fluidity and efficacy that allows interaction with Spanish-speakers without them behaving differently. Acquire a deeper knowledge of the sociocultural and linguistical aspects of those situations and adapt the registry, behavior, reactions, treatment and politeness to the situations and functions. Internalize new linguistical resources through practice and reinforce the use of the known resources; thinking about mistakes to correct themselves. Become aware of communication and learning strategies which helps to use them intentionally.


    Description of Course (subject to change): 

    1. Communicative skills

    During this unit, students will do different tasks with the aim of developing their strategies to flourish in everyday conversations, giving attention to typical expressions of different communicative functions. Said functions are indispensable in an immersion context: greetings, goodbyes, meet up, ask and give permission... Other vocabulary, communicative and grammar resources from this unit: Talk about personality. Transformation of personality adjectives to nouns to express qualities and defects. Talk about abilities. The imperative mode.

    2. Analysis of coloquial conversations: a cinematographic guide


    During this unit different tasks will be required to acquire and think about the traits of coloquial conversations. To that end, a well-known Spanish film script will be read and analyzed from a pragmalinguistic perspective. Vocabulary related to the area of cinema as an artform will also be explored. Genres, authors and movies that succeed in Spanish cinema will be revised, and the possible cultural differences will be explored. To evaluate this unit there will be an exam and two group projects. The first is an oral presentation of one of the relevant film directors in contemporary Spanish cinema for which students will have to do research. The second is to design and write a script for a short film, in which they will show the knowledge acquired throughout the course until the hand-in date.

    Vocabulary, communication and grammar resources of this unit:


    • Vocabulary of cinema as an artform
    • Vocabulary of cinema as a physical space
    • Communication verbs ("asegurar, declarar, confesar, argumentar")
    • Vocabulary to refer to the protagonist of a news story without repeating themselves
    • Express opinions and critiques of cinematographic tastes
    • Recognize characteristics of written texts, both formal and informal, synopsis, journalistic articles, informal film critiques by inernet users, journalistic film critiques, columns, literary fragments
    • Vocabulary and characteristics of film genres Write a synopsis, a film scene, a character guide, a film criqitue and a script of a short film
    • Describe a stage, locate people and describe their position; describe changes in location, attitude, behavior, express feelings and moods.
    • Adapt the degree of those moods. Vocabulary of gestures and actions that entail sound Describe actions with adverbs, adjectives, gerunds, "con/sin" + noun; "sin" + infinitive
    • Use of "poner/ponerse/quedar/quedarse"
    • Use of other transformation verbs ("volverse, llegar a ser, hacerse")
    • Analysis of communication and coloquial conversation functions
    • Cheer up and calm someone down
    • Give compliments and react to compliments
    • Interruption as active listening
    • Communication strategies: intensification and mitigation of coloquial discourse.
    • Analysis and classification of the most useful intesifying and mitigating particles
    • Vulgar vocabulary as coloquial vocabulary. Analysis and practice of most useful common expressions. Expanding personality vocabulary from unit 1. Examples of coloquial vocabulary. 

    3. "Reorganizing" the verbal system.

    During this unit, and according to the needs and suggestions from students, there will be a revision of the most problematic aspects of the verbal system, as well as problems arising from an incorrect use of pronouns.

    Grammar resources that may be covered:

    • Map of the verbal forms
    • Use of the future and future perfect to suppose the present and past of the present
    • Use of the conditional and perfect conditionalto suppose the past and the past of the past
    • Norms of use of the subjunctive in formulating wishes and goals
    • Use of the subjunctive to declare an opinion or question what others think
    • Use of the subjunctive to comment and evaluate information.
    • Use of the subjunctive to identify objects, places, forms, times or quantities
    • Practice of all the other verbal forms of the indicative and subjunctive

    Conditional sentences:

    • Possible: Present indicative. Future indicative. Imperative.
    • Improbable or against present reality: imperfect subjunctive. Simple conditional.
    • Against past reality. Lament and resent. Pluperfect subjunctive. Complex conditional.

    During this last unit there will be a general revision of the verb system from a cognitive perspective and analyzing the value of verb forms and times. Special attention will be given to conflictive issues for students (subjunctive, contrast of pasts, pronouns, ...)


    Assessment System:

    The course evaluation is the following:

    • Two/three midterms (30-35%).
    • Final exam on the whole course content (55-60%).
    • Daily homework, participation and attendance (10%). 


    CEH attendance policy:

    Full attendance is required, including the last day. Absence justifications should be directed towards the Carlos III International School for their approval by the student's program coordinator. Absences that are not justified have the following penalizations:

    • First unjustified absence subtracts 0,3 points.
    • Second unjustified absence subtracts 0,5 points.
    • Three unjustified absences entail failing the course.

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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