Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals

Universidad Veritas

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intermediate Spanish for Health Professionals

  • Host University

    Universidad Veritas

  • Location

    San José, Costa Rica

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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

    Name of the course: Intermediate Spanish for Health Professions
    Course code: SSP 241
    Total number of hours: 60 hours of direct teaching
    Number of hours per week: 20 hours per week
    Number of hours of independent study: 10 hours per week
    Requirement: SSP 141
    Course Description:
    This course is of Spanish for specific purposes, designed for health personnel, who have taken a minimum of 100 hours of Spanish as a second language, in order to deepen knowledge of medical Spanish and improve communicative competence in specific situations with Spanish-speaking patients.
    This course answers the question: How to get the student to make a medical consultation to a simulated Spanish-speaking patient to complete the medical file?
    To answer this question the following topics will be studied:
    • The alphabet
    • Imperative for usted and ustedes
    • Interrogative pronouns
    • Present indicative: regular and irregular verbs.
    • Verbal periphrasis with infinitive
    • Daily routine verbs.
    • Simple past tense
    • Imperfect past (description of symptoms)
    • present perfect (family background)
    • Present subjunctive
    • Imperfect subjunctive
    The following skills will be promoted throughout the course:
    • Ability to spell
    • Ability to ask questions
    • Ability to check vital signs on a patient
    • Ability to describe the daily routine
    • Ability to describe diets
    • Ability to describe symptoms
    • Ability to describe accidents
    • Ability to ask about family history
    • Ability to give recommendations
    Some of the values and attitudes to be promoted among students are:
    • Teamwork and leadership
    • Systems thinking
    • Logical and communicative intelligence
    • Interest in solving problems
    • Interest in learning to learn
    • How to negotiate knowing how to inspire trust and empathy
    Competences, criteria and evidence
    Competences for Veritas University are thoughtful and comprehensive actions that respond
    to the professional profile and the context's problems, with suitability and ethical commitment,
    integrating knowing how to be, how to do, and how to learn, within an improvement perspective.
    Disciplinary and general competences are presented below, linked to their criteria and
    performance evidence for this course.
    Types of competences Performance criteria
    Performance evidences
    Linguistic competence
    Relates to native speakers with a sufficient degree of fluency and naturalness so that the communication is carried out without effort on the part of the interlocutors.
    Produces clear and detailed texts on various topics.
    Defends a point of view on issues related to his/her profession.
    Understands the main ideas of texts if they deal with issues that are known.
    Is able to produce simple and coherent texts on topics that are familiar to him/her or in which she has a personal interest.
    Directed reading
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient
    Socio-linguistic competence
    Understands the most significant differences between customs, beliefs and values.
    Highlights markers in the formal and informal register.
    Manages him/herself properly in the culture.
    Uses idioms and connectors appropriate to the context
    Concept map
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient
    Pragmatic competence
    Exchanges relevant information and manages to express
    Builds a clear discourse articulated reasonably and cohesively.
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient herself in less routine contexts
    Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn continuously throughout life considering effective development in the knowledge society.
    Learning to learn Directed readings
    Develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn how to communicate orally and in writing in the different
    discipline areas that make up the curriculum.
    Communicate disciplinary thoughts in oral, iconic and written form.
    Directed readings
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient
    Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn teamwork and leadership techniques.
    Teamwork and leadership Directed reading
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient
    Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn interpersonal communication
    Relating well with others
    Manage and resolve conflicts.
    How to negotiate knowing how to inspire trust and empathy
    Speak responsibly
    In depth listening
    Directed reading
    Oral presentations
    Simulated patient
    1. Linguistic Contents
    Topic 1:
    a. Imperative for usted
    Topic 2:
    a- Interrogative pronouns
    b- Present indicative (regular and irregular verbs)
    Topic 3:
    a. Reflexive verbs
    b. Verbal periphrasis with infinitive
    Topic 4:
    a. Simple past tense (regular and irregular verbs)
    Topic 5:
    a. Imperfect past tense
    Topic 6:
    a. present perfect tense
    Topic 7:
    a. Present subjunctive
    Topic 8:
    a. Imperfect subjunctive
    Topic 9:
    a. Medical vocabulary (el algodón, la ambulancia, la jeringa)
    b. Vocabulary for checking vital signs
    c. Adjectives
    d. Parts of the body
    e. Vocabulary related to laboratory exams
    Topic 10:
    a. Types of pain
    b. Symptoms
    c. Diseases
    d. Allergies
    Topic 11:
    a. Food
    Topic 12:
    a. Expressions of time for the past tense
    b. Accident vocabulary
    Topic 13:
    a. Medicines
    b. Exams (gastroscopy, colonoscopy)
    Topic 14:
    a. Medicines
    b. Tropical diseases
    Topic 15:
    a. Medicinal plants
    b. Time expressions of the subjunctive mode
    Topic 16:
    a. Patient's bedroom
    Topic 17:
    a. Formal and informal registration (usted / vos)
    b. Expressions of courtesy.
    c. Reading about diseases
    Topic 18:
    a. The alphabet
    b. Vowels
    c. Consonants
    d. Spelling
    e. Pronunciation
    2. Socio-linguistic contents
    Topic 19:
    Formal and informal registration (usted / vos)
    Markers for:
    a. Formal and informal presentations
    b. Formal and informal greetings
    c. Formal and informal farewells and presentations
    d. Cultural beliefs
    3. Pragmatic contents
    Discursive competition
    Topic 20:
    a. Verbal periphrasis with infinitive
    b. Recommendations in subjunctive
    c. Connectors
    Functional competence
    Topic 21:
    a. Brief statements with infinitive and imperative
    The proposed approach is the one used by the Common European Framework (CEFR), which focuses on action insofar as it considers users and students who learn a language mainly as social agents, that is, they are members of a society that has to carry out tasks under certain circumstances, in a specific environment and within a specific field of action. This approach also takes into account cognitive, emotional and volitional resources, as well as the whole series of specific capacities that an individual applies as a social agent.
    The use of language -which includes learning- includes the actions carried out by people who, as individuals and as social agents, develop a series of competences, both general and linguistic communicative competences, in particular. People use skills that are available to them in different contexts and under different conditions and restrictions, in order to carry out language activities that involve processes to produce and receive texts related to topics in specific areas, putting into play strategies that seem most appropriate to carry out the tasks they have to perform. The control that the participants have over these produces the reinforcement or modification of their competences.
    Learning strategies
    The following learning strategies will be performed:
    1. Three oral presentations:
    a) First oral presentation, 10%, the student gives a talk on first aid for school-age children
    b) Second oral presentation, 10%, Select a tropical disease and give a lecture to foreign students who want to visit a Latin American country Third oral presentation, 10%: Research medicinal plants and make a presentation about the uses, advantages and disadvantages of its application in medicine
    2. Two simulations: This activity will be done in pairs and will have a value of 15% each:
    a. Simulation 1: One student will act as a doctor and another as a patient. There will be a dialog to complete the medical file with the following information:
    o Personal information
    o Weighing
    o Measuring
    o Checking blood pressure
    o Reason for consultation
    o Description of symptoms
    o Inquiry of symptoms
    o Daily routine.
    o Family background
    o Recommendations
    b. Simulation 2: One student will act as a doctor and another as a patient. There will be a dialog in which the patient describes an accident and the doctor performs the healing procedure and gives recommendations on what to do before, during and after the healing. Must use more complex structures. (most use the past tenses of the indicative mode and the subjunctive mode)
    3. Two short compositions with a value of 5% each.
    a) Composition 1 Describe an accident
    b) Composition 2 Write 10 tips for patients suffering from a disease such as: type 2 diabetes, arteriosclerosis, anemia, hypertension, hepatitis
    4. Analysis of a film, 5% In order to promote a critical attitude towards diverse issues.
    5. Debate, 5%, is a space dedicated to promoting speaking and research techniques on different topics. The idea is for students to choose and prepare a topic to debate and generate similar or contradictory ideas and points of view.
    6. Simulated patient, 20%: This is the final activity of the course and is where students put into action everything learned in class. The simulated patient is done in pairs, one student acts as a nurse and another as a doctor and they will have to complete the identification card for the medical record of a native patient. They will have to interview the patient to collect the following information that must be written in the medical file:
    o Collection of personal data
    o Checking vital signs (weigh, measurements, blood pressure)
    o Reason for consultation
    o Description of symptoms
    o Daily routine.
    o Diet
    o Recommendations
    o Recommendations on diet and physical exercises
    Teaching resources
    For the good development of the course and to ensure learning, there is a collection of updated bibliographical recommendations, multimedia equipment for the individual presentations, furniture and acrylic slates for the weekly sessions, and readings supplied by the professor that can be a complement for the proposed project activities, as well as the different didactic techniques mentioned that give students a greater possibility of appropriating knowledge. Most lessons will take place in the classroom.
    During independent work hours students will be able to use the institution´s library, the study rooms or the computer laboratories, as well as any other areas in the university campus, since it has free access wireless Internet for all students, professors and staff.
    Students with more than one absence will fail the course, unless they present an official document as justification. Students will get a score of 0 for any task evaluated in class in their absence (presentations, evaluations, field visits, etc). In this case, make up for the assignment will take place immediately after their return. Regarding timeliness, if students add four late arrivals (15 minutes after starting the class) will be counted as an absence.
    Behavior Code
    Professors have the right to expel the student from class in the following cases:
    1) Disruptive behavior in the classroom.
    2) Being under the influence of alcohol.
    3) Behaving in a disrespectful way.
    Electronic devices:
    The use of mobile phones, smart phones and other mobile communication devices is disruptive and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn off all devices and put them away when the class begins. The devices can be used only when the teacher assigned a specific activity and allows the use of devices for search on the Internet or recording. Those who fail to comply with this rule should leave the classroom for the remainder of the class.


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