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Unit information: Spanish Language (Ab-initio) in 2018/19

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Unit name Spanish Language (Ab-initio)
Unit code HISP10116
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mrs. Ramos-Alvaro
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit concentrates equally on all elements of language learning –reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as translation. The main focus will be development of active and passive language skill. Students will develop an extensive vocabulary and understanding of the main grammatical structures. Students will also develop a basic knowledge of culture and society.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will:

1. be able to communicate orally in the target language with a degree of accuracy and fluency.
2. be able to communicate in writing in the target language with a degree of accuracy and fluency.
3. be able to work at an intermediate level with authentic material and retrieve necessary information.
4. have acquired knowledge and awareness of the general social and cultural background of the target language.
5. be able to respond to, understand and interpret written texts at an upper intermediate level and mediate between the target language and English in an effective manner.

Overall, students will attain a level comparable to A2 / B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Teaching details

5 weekly contact hours made up of core language classes, multimedia class, small-group oral classes. Mostly seminar based with some lectures for the delivery of grammar lessons.

Assessment Details

The four skills are Composition, Translation, Guided Writing and Oral/Aural. They are assigned equal weighting for the purposes of assessment (25% each). Composition, Translation and Guided Writing are tested by a combination of class tests (40%) and exam (60%). Oral (70%) and Aural (30%) are assessed by exams conducted in class.

1. Composition - assesses the students’ ability to communicate in the longer written form in the target language. Tested by formal examination. This assesses ILOs 2, 3 and 4.

2. Translation - assesses the students’ ability to translate accurately and fluently into and out of the target language. This assesses ILOs 3, 4 and 5.
3. Guided Writing - assesses the students’ skills in reading comprehension and in expressing material in the target language. It also tests students’ metalinguistic and lexical competence. This assesses ILOs 2, 3, 4 and 5.
4. Oral/Aural - assesses the students’ verbal, listening and comprehension skills. This assesses ILOs 1, 3, 4 and 5.

In order to progress into Year 2, students would need to achieve a pass mark (40) and to have attempted all components of assessment. Marks of below 40 in any of the four language skills would not prevent a student from progressing, as long as the overall average remained above 40 and the student has attempted all components of assessment. Students who receive an overall mark of below 40 will normally be required to re-sit all failed or missed components.

Reading and References

Selection of dedicated material prepared in-house (SML). Grammar texts and dictionaries as appropriate to language area.