Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The linguistic-textual knowledge of the Spanish political situation and its Latin American relationships from 1975 until 2010.

Course contents

Spanish I general and specific objectives

At the end of this course, students shall prove their comprehension of concepts and topics related to social sciences, political science, in general, and to international politics, as well as their capability to understand news items in Spanish. Students must also be able to formulate opinions and express themselves in Spanish at a level which must be, at least, A2 and, ideally, B1 (as per the CEFR-Common European Framework, set by the European Council).

As far as students’ writing skills are concerned, they shall, at the end of this course, show that they possess a reading comprehension level which allows them to cope with complex texts (e.g.: reviews and textbooks), with a level of difficulty equivalent to B1 (CEFR) and, ideally, B2.


The Spanish I subject will be composed of an A2 30-hour language course and a 40-hour A2 language laboratory.


The Spanish I syllabus will cover the following aspects of the language:

1) Spanish phonetics.

2) Verbs and tenses in Spanish.

3) High frequency morphosyntactic Spanish structures.

4) Main comparative and contrastive aspects regarding syntax, lexis, formal and informal language register (Spanish/English).


Spanish I – A2 level (II semester, 30 teaching hours)

MODULE I: essential notions and functions for everyday communication on familiar topis

1- Functions: making personal introductions, describing people, using numbers, telling the time.

2- Lexical exponents: greetings, descriptive adjectives for people and places. Numbers (1 to 1,000). Time and times of the day.

3- Grammatical structures:

  • Written stress
  • Ser/Haber (verbs)
  • Negative adverbs and pronouns: nunca, nadie, nada
  • Interrogative pronouns
  • Demonstrative adjectives (este, ese, aquel)
  • Determined and indefinite articles/ Articles el and un before nouns starting with an “a” in a tonic position.
  • Demonstrative adjectives

4. Communicative practice:

  • Oral/written tasks: introducing oneself, introducing an acquaintance or work colleague, friend, family member to other people.

MODULE II: essential structures for everyday communication II

1. Functions: giving and asking for personal information. Talking about timetables and everyday activities and academic tasks and activities.

2. Vocabulary: everyday activities at school/university (subjects, courses, schools, academic materials), extracurricular activities, sport, etc. Days of the week. Months, seasons. Nationalities, languages and countries.

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Presente del indicativo: uses.
  • Knowledge of the conjugation and usage of the following verbs: levantarse, acostarse, desayunar, cenar, llegar, llevar, mirar, planchar, salir, seguir subir etc.
  • Demonstrative pronouns esto, eso, aquello.
  • Interrogative pronouns (uses)
  • Exclamation pronouns (uses)
  • Relation between demonstrative pronouns and place adverbs (aquí, ahí, allí)

    4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: providing a simple and communicatively effective description of one’s everyday life and academic routines, activities, timetables or schedules, subjects, extracurricular activities, hobbies, etc. Speaking about one’s everyday life: activity, timetables, times, subject matters, extracurricular activities, projects and plans, etc.
  • Continuous assessment practice:
  • Formal and informal emails writing. Talking about the task and presenting it orally. This presentation shall last up to 5’.

MODULE III: structures to describe, identify people and ask for/give personal information.

1. Functions: identifying people. Making physical and personality descriptions. Talking about preferences, skills and abilities and moods.

2. Vocabulary: parts of the body, physical features, description of moods. The town or city (parti del corpo, caratteristiche fisiche, stati d’animo. La città (population, dimensions, foundation, the climate and weather, customs), the country, etc.

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Irregular verbs present forms
  • Indirect object: átono/tónico
  • The gerund
  • Estar + gerund
  • Ser vs. estar
  • Knowledge of the forms and usage of the following verbs (but non only): llamar(se), llevar, parecer, saber, sentir, tener, apetecer, doler, gustar, interesar, etc.
  • Meaning and usage of: ir/estar, ir/venir, traer/llevar
  • Adverbs of place
  • Prepositions: a, en, de, desde, hasta, sobre, bajo, etc. Adverbs of place: delante de, detrás de, etc.

4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: providing brief and simple physical descriptions. Describing the moods, feelings, personality and skills of people they know. Speaking about their own physical traits, personality and moods.

MODULE IV: narrative structures I

1. Functions: telling stories. Speaking about personal experiences.

2. Vocabulary: Traveling I: sightseeing, museums, landmarks, entertainment (concerts, theatre, etc.); public spaces (parks, cathedral, information points etc.); food (dishes and food).

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Pretérito Imperfecto: different forms, functions and usage.
  • Pretérito Pluscuamperfecto: functions and usage.
  • Familiarity with the forms and use of the following verbs (and others): acordarse, caer, decir, dejar, haber, huir, ir, llover, matar, parar(se), poder, poner, recordar, refrescar(se), traer, venir, ver, ecc.
  • Form and use of indefinite pronouns: alguien, algo, nada, nadie, ninguno.
  • Form and use of adverbs and adjectives: muy/ mucho.
  • Verbs haber y estar (forms and contrast)
  • Pretérito perfecto: irregular forms, functions and usage.
  • Aproximadamente, más o menos, cerca de, alrededor de, sobre y hacia
  • Indefinites: cualquiera, mismo, demás, cada, bastante e demasiado.

4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: providing brief and simple descriptions of places, objects and people using the past tenses. Talking about habits and routines and describing, using narrative tenses, places, objects or people.

MODULE V: narrative structures II

1. Functions: telling stories. Talking about past experiences. Making comparisons.

2. Vocabulary: Traveling II: tours and sightseeing, monuments and landmarks, entertainment (concerts, cinema, theatre, etc.), public places (parks, churches, etc.). Ordinal numbers. University vocabulary (subjects, course, exams, school, etc.). Daily routine

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Pretérito indefinido: vowel and consonant variations, functions and use.
  • Time adverbs: anoche, anteayer, ayer, antes, entonces, ya, todavía etc.
  • The neutral article: lo.
  • Adjectives degrees
  • Comparisons (higher degree, lower degree or same degree)

4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: telling the story of a past event or experience (a trip, a book, an essay, a film) using effectively the narrative tenses. Speaking about recent finished actions and experiences, talking about changes. Telling an anecdote using past tenses. Comparing and contrasting two places or events, using comparatives and superlatives.

5. Continuous assessment practice:

Using narrative tenses to tell the story of a past event, activity or experience in order to write one’s CV or rèsumè to submit an application to organisms or institutions related to the course of studies or to apply for international programmes (e.g.: at universities in Spain or America, Erasmus programme, etc.) Esporre anche oralmente il lavoro realizzato. L’esposizione dovrà durare al massimo 5’


MODULE VI: future tense structures

1. Functions: making plans and talking about arrangements. Making questions about future intentions and plans.

2. Vocabulary: Traveling III: lodging, means of transport, baggage (clothes, colours, fabrics, etc.)

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Futuro simple: forms, functions and uses.
  • Time adverbs: mañana, luego, enseguida, después etc.
  • Future verbal constructions ir + a + infinitive.
  • Modals of obligation: tener que / haber que + infinitive.
  • Other verbal constructions + infinitive: acabar de/estar a punto de/volver a + infinitive
  • Prepositions POR and PARA.

4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: talking about future plans. Planning a trip asking for information about hotel arrangements, means of transport, baggage, etc. Making questions and giving information about our future plans and intentions: future trips, studies, etc.
  • Including information about future plans in formal letters (e.g.: submitting an application or spontaneous CV application, writing a press release or solutions to social, political or diplomatic issues).

MODULO VII: structures used to order, suggest and give instructions

1. Functions: issuing orders and instructions. Making proposals and suggestions.

2. Vocabulary: health, studies, personal relationships; shopping, diet and eating habits, academic subjects, friends, etc.

3. Grammatical structures:

  • Imperativo (affirmative forms in all persons).
  • Condicional simple I: forms and changes, functions and uses.
  • Distributive conjunctions.
  • Colloquial signposts: bueno, a ver, vamos a ver, bien, ecc. Discursive contact markers: pues, bien, hombre, mujer, mira, oye.
  • Cause connectors por esto / eso / aquello.
  • Time constructions (hace+time phrase l+que; desde hace+time phrase; desde/hace+time phrase; Entre/dentro de).

4. Communicative practice:

  • Writing/speaking: giving advice, making suggestions to a friend about how to behave in a certain situation. Giving advice to a person who is going to travel (what to take, how to travel, when to do it, etc.)
  1. Continuous assessment practice:

Using future tenses make a description of skills and proficiency in a cover letter to apply for a job in organisms and institutions or a multinational company connected to the course of studies. Making a presentation of the points discussed. The presentation will last , maximum 5’

MODULE VIII: simple structures to give an opinion

1. Functions: giving opinions. Express agreement and disagreement.

2. Vocbulary: mass media: social networks, newspapers, radio, TV, etc.

3. Grammar structures:

  • “Creer/pensar/opinar, parecer que + indicative». Other structures to give an opinion “según + pronomi soggetto” and “para + tonic pronouns».
  • Interrogative words “por qué” and “para qué”. Function: ask about the origin or cause or the aim.
  • Contrasting or adversative conjunctions pero, sino, sino que.
  • Express agreement using: sí, bueno, claro, vale, claro que sí, cómo no, no, en absoluto, para nada, ecc
  • Sin embargo, en cambio and no obstante.
  • Narrative discourse markers.
  • Relative pronouns: que, cual/cuales, quien/quienes, ecc.

4. Communicative practice:

  • Speaking/writing: expressing in a simple way our own opinion on a certain event, a current affair, a common place concept, etc. Expressing agreement or disagreement to another person’s opinion.

5. Continuous assessment practice:

Writing and making an oral presentation, in pairs or small groups, of an issue or topic related to the course of studies and/or the current geopolitical reality.

Suggested topics:

  • Geopolitical changes
  • International treaties
  • Fighting for independence
  • International Trade
  • Sustainable policies and sustainable economies
  • International conflicts

The written text must contain between 150-200.

This project can be undertaken in pairs or small groups.

The presentation, done orally, should last, maximum 15’.


Textbook and reference materials

Course and laboratory

Materials used in the course will be developed and created by the teacher/s in charge.

Moreover, teachers will make use of adapted texts, authentic texts, videos, .ppt presentations and excerpts from articles or papers.

Some complementary textbooks and/or books will be suggested in class for students to consult.

Teaching methods

Methodology and approach


The Spanish I course (30 teaching hours) will be held in the second semester. During said course readings, grammar discussions, communicative exercises and activities will be used to develop reading and listening comprehension and help students build their vocabulary, looking at the forms and/or structures as well as at the colloquial or formal aspects of the language.


During the second semestre students will attend an A2 level laboratory covering 40 teaching hours. This laboratory will provide students with extra practice and theoretical background, through exercises and supplementary explanations, of the essential structures of the Spanish language which are necessary for an appropriate communicative proficiency.

Assessment methods

Learning assessment and evaluation

The assessment and evaluation of students’ learning will be conducted through the continuous assessment activities done by them in the course and laboratory, two mid-term tests -mandatory for students who attend the course- and a final oral exam -for students who attend the course regularly. There will also be both a written and oral exam for students who cannot comply with the recommended attendance minimum.


An attendance of, minimum, 65% of the lessons is strongly suggested (out of the total number of hours of the course and the laboratory added up), to ensure that students will be able to master the contents and develop the skills presented in the course.

Make-up tests for students who have failed the mid-term tests (whether the first or the second) or the full version of said tests can be taken only and exclusively on the first date of the summer exam sessions. If a student who must take the make-up test does not show up, or does not pass said make-up, s/he will not be considered anymore a regular student.

Students who comply with the minimum suggested attendance can choose whether to accept the mark given to them in the mid-term test and maintain it up to the subsequent month of September.

The oral exam (after a brief first-sight reading test) will consist of a conversation with the examiner about familiar topics, the student’s daily routine, the neighbourhood where s/he lives etc. During this interview students must show their speaking proficiency is that of an A2 level candidate (as per CEFR standards). An A2 level speaker can talk about familiar topics using common everyday expressions and very common structures, can describe, narrate, give an opinion, hypothesize and give orders, all this with the appropriate language structures and without making serious and/or frequent mistakes.

To be able to take the oral exam, students must enrol at ALMAESAMI.

Teaching tools

Virtual online space, .ppt slides and presentations, videos (conferences, talks) and films, newspaper articles.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Maria Del Carmen Moretto