Advanced Spanish Composition

Universidad del Norte

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Advanced Spanish Composition

  • Host University

    Universidad del Norte

  • Location

    Barranquilla, Colombia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    High Advanced

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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

    This advanced composition course will allow the student to develop and improve his/her communicative competence in Spanish, emphasizing the written ability, taking advantage of the linguistic immersion situation they enjoy while in Colombia.

    This course presents a practical approach to written expression through the study of cultural topics, such as current events in the Hispanic world, film, and literary topics. Exploring these issues will enable the development of presentation skills for writing: description, narration, exposition (analysis, classification, comparison / contrast, cause / effect), and argumentation.

    The Spanish language has taken an unprecedented boom in recent years. This is due, in large part, to the economic growth of the Spanish speaking countries and their increasing integration into universal cultural and historical processes making the Spanish language a necessary language in the field of business, science, and technology.

    Thanks to its strategic geographical position in the Latin American Caribbean, Barranquilla, a cosmopolitan city, has become the epicenter of the cultural pulse of the entire region. The warmth and friendliness of its people, its sunny and tropical environment, its growing industry, and the high academic quality of educational institutions make Barranquilla a proper city for the development of international programs.

    In this regard, the Languages Institute at Universidad Del Norte wanted to take the lead in spreading the language and culture in the Caribbean region. Our extensive experience in the area has led to the design of a curriculum that integrates language and cultural learning, a method that not only achieves the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language, but also enriches the cultural experience of all students.

    At the end of this course the student will:

    • Write effectively advanced level information, concepts and ideas on a variety of topics, using the four major modes of writing: description, narration, exposition (analysis, classification, comparison / contrast, cause / effect), and argumentation.
    • Take notes in Spanish from oral and written sources for use in expressing their own ideas.
    • Develop the capacity of expression and discourse organization, and communicate more effectively, with greater clarity, accuracy, consistency and correctness.
    • Use new vocabulary emerged from the proposed topics and the students´ own communicative needs and interests.
    • Familiarize with new cultural referents from Barranquilla and Colombia.
    • Participate effectively in oral and written communicative exchanges, using the necessary strategies to successfully communicate in different contexts and through different channels.
    • Develop intercultural skills and attitudes to understand, interpret, adapt and cope successfully with lifestyles, values and beliefs, regardless of filters or stereotypes.



    • The writing process. Different types of writing.
    • Planning and writing.
    • Reflection on the text (purpose, suitability, subject, and text), idea organization and text revision (draft, wording and style).
    • Text structure. Markers: discursive connectors, pragmatic operators and conversational markers.
    • Narrative texts: the story of an event, the news story
    • The narrative essay: the narrative of a historical event
    • Expository texts: opinion essay
    • Argumentative texts: the argumentative essay and the rebuttal essay
    • Academic texts: the academic essay and literary review




    • Due to the constructivist nature of the course, the lexical content will emerge from class discussions, activities or text and videos used in class.




    • Due to the constructivist nature of the course, the cultural content will emerge from texts discussed during class, the interests of the participants in the discussions, activities and videos: media and information, health and hygiene services, education and culture, work and economy, entertainment, travel, social conventions, interpersonal relationships in their various fields, etc.




    • Expressing views on something; organizing discourse; agreeing and disagreeing; point ? counterpoint discussions; influencing, persuading; establishing relations between the pre-and post-facts; expressing the cause and consequence of something; expressing purpose.

    During this course students will take part in the writing process, both formal and informal (?spontaneous " and " reflective ") to effectively communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings and to achieve a successful interaction with its reader.



    Students will receive explicit instruction for each writing assignment and detailed scoring guide, correction of spelling errors, and writing styles.
    Students will maintain a portfolio of their work, including informal pre-writing and brainstorming activities, projects, and final testing.

    The exchange of ideas is essential to the dynamics of the classroom and learning process. The course works only through the active participation of students: conversations, reviews, opinions, interpretations of the material and questions.

    During the development of classes the teacher will use audiovisual media (videos, movies, music, newspapers, magazines, internet and literary pieces) to ensure variety and quality as well as the implementation of activities such as comprehensive readings of various types of text, various models analysis and communicative practices.

    The academic monitoring of efforts, progress and achievements of the students is a result of teacher observations regarding student's performance in class activities, and writing tasks, the organization and development of ideas, use of variety of sentences, proper use of vocabularies in addition to spelling and punctuation.
    Students must carry out a project following the teacher's instructions where the structures and vocabulary studied in class are used. The evaluation process will be as follows:

    Class Portfolio:
    Narrative Essay - 15%
    Opinion Essay - 15%
    Argumentative Essay -15%
    Academic Essay - 15%
    Literary Review - 15%
    Final Exam - 25%


    • Dictionaries
    • Video Manual
    • Lab Manual
    • CDs
    • DVDs/Videos
    • Television
    • Overhead projector
    • Computer Lab
    • Computer Programs
    • Internet
    • Video beam
    • Flashcards
    • Photocopies
    • Games
    • Textbooks: Panorama, Enfoques, Aula Internacional

    During the course, the teacher will give the students feedback on their performance on both classroom activities and their written work.


    Also, in order to consolidate the topics and content covered in class, the course requires constant work outside the classroom. For every hour of class the student is expected to spend an hour or two preparing for next class.

    After completing the course, the student will receive a final grade and may request a certificate of completion at the Registrar Office including the final grade obtained if required.


    Grammar and vocabulary:

    Josefa Martín García: Ejercicios de gramática. Nivel Avanzado. ANAYA. Madrid.

    Josefa Martín García: Gramática y léxico del español. Nivel Avanzado-superior. ANAYA. Madrid.

    Pablo Martínez Menéndez: Ejercicios de léxico. Nivel Avanzado. ANAYA. Madrid.

    Yuko Morimoto e Inmaculada Penadés: Ejercicios de gramática española para hablantes de japonés. ARCO LIBROS - MURALLA. Madrid.

    Gonzalo Ortega, Pablo Domínguez y Marcial Morera: El español idiomático. ARIEL. Colección Ariel Lingüística. Barcelona.

    F. Castro: Uso de la gramática española. Nivel Intermedio / Nivel Avanzado. EDELSA. Madrid.

    Francisco Matte Bon: Gramática comunicativa del español. Nivel avanzado. EDELSA. Madrid.

    Ramón Sarmiento: Gramática progresiva. SGEL. Madrid.

    M. L. Coronado, J. García y A. R. Zarzalejos: Materia prima. SGEL. Madrid.

    Graciela Vázquez: Spanisch in Übungen. VOLKS UND WISSEN. Berlín (Germany).

    Written expression:

    Belén Artuñedo y María Teresa González: Taller de escritura. Nivel intermedio-avanzado. EDINUMEN. Madrid.

    Nuria Sánchez Quintana y David Clark: Las cuatro destrezas. SM. Madrid.

    Rosa M.ª Pérez Bernal: La expresión escrita en el Diploma de Español: Nivel intermedio. Haïdari. Ediciones Polyglot.

    Reading comprehension:

    Concepción Bados Ciria: Textos literarios y ejercicios. Niveles Medio II y Avanzado. ANAYA. Madrid.

    Nuria Sánchez Quintana y David Clark: Las cuatro destrezas. SM. Madrid.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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