Intermediate Spanish

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Intermediate Spanish

  • Host University

    Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

  • Location

    Lima, Peru

  • Area of Study

    Linguistics, Spanish

  • Language Level


    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

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

    1. Course description

    This course provides additional practice to help students attain a higher level of skill development (e.g., listening, speaking, reading and writing), and linguistic accuracy. The course favors a skill-based approach in which students gain mastery of the language through the use of authentic materials taken from various sources (e.g., periodicals and videos). The selection of the materials is based on the complexity of the tasks and the students' professional and personal interest.

    In order to acquire the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), students must also possess knowledge of vocabulary (both general and specific) and grammar. It is important to realize, however, that vocabulary and grammar are means to an end; knowing the definition of vocabulary items or being able to recite grammar rules is not using the language. Students must learn vocabulary in order to use it in conjunction with the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The same applies to grammar. Therefore, the teaching of grammar and vocabulary is integrated to the skill-based activities, and it is incorporated in the class activities as an aid to overcome any communicative problems.

    The teaching methodology is student-centered, with the instructor as the facilitator, and the goal of teaching is to make students independent users of Spanish. It is expected that students will make mistakes when creating with the language. Trial and error are necessary parts of language acquisition. All class sessions will be conducted exclusively in Spanish.


    2. Course Objectives

    By the end of the course, students are expected to reach a proficiency level close to Intermediate-High Oral Proficiency level (ACTFL) or B1 (CERF). At this level, students are able to converse with ease and confidence when dealing with most routine tasks and social situations. For example, they are able to talk about work, school, recreation, particular interests and areas of competence. Most utterances in these topics are rendered correctly and the speech is generally natural and continuous. With some consistency, students will be able to narrate and describe in major time frames. However, some stumbling, rephrasing or unnatural pauses may occur. The students will be able to carry out the following communicative functions after the course:

    • Talk about past events and situations: Imperfect to express habitual past activities and descriptions, preterite to express a sequence of events; idiomatic uses of preterite and imperfect.

    • Express opinions

    • Make recommendations about present situations (e.g., present subjunctive).


    3. Methodology

    In order for students to rapidly progress in their language development, they must be engaged in activities that promote a better understanding and production in Spanish. Such activities should be carried out on a frequent basis. Therefore, students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate actively in the theory and practice sessions. The theory classes are given by the instructor, whereas the teaching assistant supports practice lessons.

    Theory classes focus on writing and some communicative activities. The student will learn different grammar topics through exercises and text preparation. Practice classes focus on speaking, listening and reading. In these sessions, the student will review the grammatical structure seen in the theory class through conversations, discussions, role-play exercises, videos and reading comprehension questions.

    This course is based on the constant practice of the language through various activities. Regular attendance and punctuality are required for every student. Active participation in class and proper performance of the assigned tasks significantly influence the results. It is very important that the student communicates promptly to the instructor any particular need or difficulty during the course.

    Each student is the ultimate responsible for his or her own progress, and in order to fulfill that responsibility, students are encouraged to ask questions in class. No question is a bad question.

    The course will include a field trip (salida de campo) somewhere in Lima if conditions are favorable. The purpose of this trip is to enhance the language skills of the student and his or her cultural experience

Course Disclaimer

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

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.


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