Advanced Spanish Composition & Communication (SPAN 2215)
This writing intensive course is a gateway to Spanish major and minor programs, as well as a preparation for immersion and study abroad programs where you will be taking college level courses taught in Spanish in any discipline. You will develop formal writing skills, as well as listening, public speaking and reading skills necessary for academic success in courses that assume college level communication skills. You will both read and compose a variety of textual styles in this course, as well as speak and listen to different types of discourse to prepare you for courses that are taught and assessed entirely in the Spanish language. Through assignments you will examine and respond to various topics in Spanish-speaking culture including but not limited to: gender roles, race, cultural and linguistic differences among various countries, economics, politics and historical context.
The format of the course is to teach by means of a variety of readings from the social sciences and humanities, which then provide the basis for lecture, discussion, writing and testing. Five essays are produced from the six units in the class. Each unit should include readings, lecture, discussion, training with relevant vocabulary and grammatical issues, a writing process with peer editing and a written test. There will also be at least one video recording of the results of the five essay units. All of these become part of the student portfolio for assessment purposes. The first unit is an introduction to the standards of academic writing.
- Unit 1: Introduction to academic language and MLA style.
- idioms and connective phrases
- grammatical forms
- citation and format
- manners of debate
To accommodate flexibility in course design, the subsequent five units deal with different essay styles and should include the five following, or similar formats commonly taught in College English composition classes: Descriptive essay, narrative essay, expository essay with data and citation, comparison/contrast essay and persuasive communication, and a cause and effect essay. The sequence of these essays is determined by the faculty. For example, this is a sample of the structure for one unit:
Unit 2: Essay One: Descriptive essay
- read literary example(s)
- discussion of issues and ideas in the work
- concepts, grammar and vocabulary of literary analysis
- Test on reading(s)
- composition (descriptive essay)
- Editing process, grammar tutorials as needed
One unit must include a debate, and a unit must include a video recording of student performance. This could be combined. An example of this would be:
Unit 5: Essay Four: Comparison and contrast and persuasive communication
- Read example(s)
- Discuss issues of work and methods for communicating in this genre.
- Test on reading(s)
- Debates and persuasive speaking
- Editing process and grammar tutorials as needed
- Develop positions, video record debates in lab
The remaining three units will cover narrative essays, expository essays and cause-and-effect essays, repeating the structure of the units above—reading, discussion, language development, reading comprehension testing, writing with editing process and recording if appropriate.
In summary, the outline for the course consists of one introductory unit and five academic essays in a “writing intensive” educational format, using MLA style, as well as a video recording of performance.
1. Students will write clearly according to MLA standards (Communication)
2. Students will demonstrate ability to analyze and articulate opinions on a variety of cultural issues, problems and differences among the Spanish-speaking cultures around the world (MnTC 8 - Global Perspective)
3. Students will speak effectively and with academic grounding about the cultural and political topics addressed (Communication & MnTC 8)
SPAN 2100 or four years of high school Spanish language with a grade of C or Minnesota World Language Proficiency Certificate or higher or Minnesota Seal of Biliteracy (in Spanish) or instructor approval.