Contemporary Spain (English)
Universidad Antonio de Nebrija
Area of Study
European Studies, History, Political Science, Sociology
Taught In English
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
1. Course Description
Focused on the most significant social and cultural aspects of the present Spanish society, this course will pay special attention to lifestyle in Madrid nowadays. Students will be presented with a broad panorama of the Spanish way of life. Starting form an introduction of Spain, its geography and political system, we will move on to other topics such as population and immigration trends, shopping culture, the fast-growing fashion business, social rights, gender issues, the influence of religion in the Spanish society and its traditional festivities, gastronomy or Spaniards preferred activities. In other words, students will get to know and experience the Spanish way of life from a hands-on approach. A special focus will be put on the experiential learning by means of several out-ofclass activities such as walking tours, elaboration of surveys and guest speakers. Also, students will be encouraged to compare and contrast the Spanish and Madrid society with their cultures of origin in order to develop their intercultural skills and knowledge.
2. Learning Objectives
The general learning objectives of this course are:
- Familiarize with the best-known cultural referents of the Spanish society and culture.
- Increase knowledge about social and cultural aspects of Spanish culture with a special focus on Madrid.
- Analyze specific data and theoretical concepts and use them to interpret the Spanish present reality.
- Become aware of cultural differences between the Spanish society and the student’s culture of origin through a process of intercultural reflection.
- Incorporate and activate social and cultural knowledge in order to develop intercultural skills and attitudes.
- Reflect upon intercultural learning and develop observation and analysis strategies.
- Participate in respectful exchanges of ideas and experiences with classmates.
3. Formative Activities
- The basic formative activities in this course are as follows:
- Interactive classes.
- Learning activities inside and outside of class.
- Students’ oral presentations in class. • Revision, correction and comments on the activities elaborated inside and outside of class.
- Complementary activities: watching and commenting videos, analyzing songs, participating in fieldtrips, organizing debates, elaborating surveys and interpreting their results, etc.
The course syllabus follows the Communicative Approach methods, based on the core principles of procedure conception and constructive acquisition of knowledge. The methodology is based on the teaching-learning procedures, focused on the learner, which encourages active participation and results in the development of general and specific competencies that provide knowledge, capacities and attitudes for their future professional careers.
The form of assessment is based on the core principles of the educational assessment, i.e., an active and participative teaching-learning process focused on the learner. The instructor uses numerous and differentiated forms of assessment to calculate the final grade received for this course. For the record, these are listed below. The content, criteria and specific requirements for each assessment category will be explained in greater detail in class.
5.1. Grading system
In the Spanish educational system, it is required to quantitatively express the result of each student’s evaluation. In order to do so, Nebrija faculty uses different strategies and instruments such as: papers, exams, tests, projects, self-evaluation activities, etc. In order to issue a final grade for the Spanish Plus programs the following scale is established:
- 30 % Attendance and active participation in class
- 30% Daily work/ Papers/ Essays
- 40% Exams/ Final papers or projects
Therefore, the final grade is the average between attendance and participation, daily work and exams, presentations, projects and essays. Active participation in class is evaluated by means of different activities such as:
- Activities and exercises correction;
- Reflection upon the different contents in the course
- Oral activities (individual, in pairs or in groups). Fluency, correction, adequacy and relevance are taken into account.
- Daily work makes reference to any activity or task that is done inside or outside of the classroom, whether during the class time or at any other time.
The course includes a midterm and a final written exam on theoretical concepts and course facts. If a student, unjustifiably, does not do or submit an exam, paper or project, it will be graded with a ‘0’. * A minimum grade of 5 must be obtained in a final exam/ final project in order to pass the course.