Miami-Dade College

SPN 1120 Š Elementary Spanish 1

Course Reference #345958   Semester: 2005-3

Instructor:  Dr. Margarita B. Orro                (305) 237-1321


Office hours: (Summer a) ˆ M - W & F 3:10 p.m. - 5:40 p.m., T 12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., (Summer b) ˆ M & W 4:40 - p.m. - 5:40 p.m., F 3:40 p.m. - 5:40 p.m. Room: 7322-4.

ABOUT THIS SYLLABUS: This syllabus establishes the requirements of this course.  Please use this as a reference for the nature of the assignments, point distribution, attendance policies and grading procedures.

Required Textbook & Manuals: VISTAS. (2nd Ed.) By Blanco and Donley.

*Recommended: -A set of wired index cards/A three-hole binder

   -An erasable ink pen or a pencil (for tests/manuals)


WELCOME TO MDC SPANISH PROGRAMThe basic Spanish Program at MDC/North includes four levels: SPN 1120, SPN 1121, SPN 2200 & SPN 2201.  You will be using the same textbook and workbook/video and lab manuals for all four levels, making the initial investment in this course worthwhile.

VISTAS features the following components: Textbook, Workbook/Video Manual, Lab Manual, audio CD, CD-ROM, and a pocket dictionary.

COURSE DESCRIPTION. An integrated (multi-media) approach to develop proficiency in the basic language skills:  listening/understanding, speaking, reading, writing and cross-cultural awareness.  Emphasis is placed on practical vocabulary and accurate pronunciation.  SPN 1120 covers from Lecci—n 1 through Lecci—n 4 in your textbook, as well as the corresponding material in your workbook/video manual and lab manual. This is a fast paced course, specifically designed for students willing to put a considerable amount of time and effort to learn Spanish rapidly. The knowledge acquired in this class will no doubt be an asset in your daily life as well as in your line of work.


COURSE OBJECTIVES.   The student will be able to reach the following objectives by the end of the course:

  1. Learn greetings and farewells, expressions of courtesy, how to identify him/herself and others, talk about the time of day.
  2. Talk about your classes and school life.  Discuss everyday activities.  Ask questions in Spanish.  Describe the location of people and things.
  3. Talk about your family and friends.   Describe people and things.  Express ownership.
  4. Talk about pastimes/weekend activities. Make plans and invitations. 
  5. Be familiar with the geographical location of Spanish speaking countries, and cultural awareness of Spanish speaking populations.

COURSE COMPETENCIES.  The student will be able to acquire the following competencies by the end of the course:

  1. Terms for greetings and leave-takings.  Identifying where one is from.  Nouns and articles (definite and indefinite).  Numbers 0-30. Present tense of SER.  Telling time.  Recognizing cognates.  The strategy of listening for known vocabulary.
  2. Classroom and university-related words.  Names of academic courses and fields of study. Class schedules.  Days of the week.  Present tense of regular Šar verbs.  Forming negative sentences.  Forming questions.  The present tense of ESTAR.  Prepositions of location.  Numbers 31-100.
  3. Terms for family relationships.  Names of various professions.  Descriptive adjectives.  Possessive adjectives.  The present tense of common Šer and Šir verbs.  The present tense of tener and venir.
  4. Names of sports and other pastimes.  Names of places in a city.  Present tense of ir.  The contraction alIR + a + infinitive.  Present tense of common stem-changing verbs.  Verbs with irregular YO forms.

COURSE STRUCTURE.  Students will be expected to participate both individually and/or in pairs or small groups throughout the semester.  Participation includes being ready for class (bringing textbook, completed homework assignments, etcÉ), and the willingness to use the Spanish language in classroom activities.

ATTENDANCE POLICY. Active participation is an integral part of the learning process since the key to mastering a foreign language is practice.  If you are not present in class, you cannot make up for lost work.  Therefore, you are expected to attend every class.  Students should be in the classroom within the first five (5) minutes of class; punctuality is imperative so as to avoid disruption of class. If against your will you happen to be late, please enter quietly and try not to disturb the class.  Two (2) late arrivals will count as one absence. Whether you are absent, or need to leave before the end of the class, please inform the instructor.  It is the studentÕs responsibility to find out about homework assignments due for the next class.

After TWO (2) absences, students will have their final grade lowered half a letter grade, unless a documented excuse is presented.  (In the Summer semesters, after ONE (1) absence.)  After six (6) absences (three (3) in the Summer), students must withdraw from class or receive an F.  Dropping/adding, or withdrawing from a class is the studentÕs (not the instructorÕs) responsibility.  Please refer to the collegeÕs Academic Calendar available at:

CLASSROOM REGULATIONS.  This is a college level class.  A mature conduct is expected of each student.  During class time, electronic devices capable of disturbing our ability to concentrate and focus will not be allowed, for example: active beepers, cellular phones, talking dictionaries, intrusive watches, etcÉ  NO eating or drinking while class is in progress. Please refrain from talking or engaging in conversation with other students.  It is a rude and disruptive behavior that distracts other students as well as your teacher.  You are expected to comport yourself properly at all times.  Please refer to the collegeÕs Code of Conduct at:

WORKBOOK/VIDEO & LAB MANUALSStudents are responsible for completing the written (workbook/video manual), and listening comprehension (lab manual) activities in the workbook/video manual and lab manuals timely.  The total of Workbook/Video Manual and Lab Manual assignments is worth 15% of your final grade.  Students receive the percentage points, only when the work is turned in, totally completed, by the end of each lesson chapter.  Students failing to complete the work assigned by the day of the lesson test, will lose the percentage points assigned to that specific lesson. In order to do the Lab Manual exercises, students must go to the language lab, located in room 1391; for current operating hours, please check with lab personnel at (305) 237-1147.

CLASS PARTICIPATION.  The studentÕs participation grade will be determined by two factors: regular attendance and in-class participation.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS.  There will be TWO (2) oral presentations, one around midterm, and the other at the end of the semester.  These presentations will consist of situation skits in which groups of three or four students interact.  Their performance will be evaluated both individually and as a team.   

EXAM AND GRADING POLICIESThere will be a total of three (3) lesson tests.  Tests include vocabulary, writing, grammar and listening comprehension sections. No make-ups are permitted. Students absent the day on which a test is given will receive a grade of 0The lowest of the first two (2) test grades will be dropped.  When a test is announced, if you realize that you are not able to attend class that day, please notify your instructor immediately.  Depending on the nature of the circumstances, you may be allowed to take the test before/after the specified date.

¬The Final Exam cannot be dropped.  All students must pass a comprehensive final exam with a minimum grade of 70, to be eligible to pass the class with a satisfactory grade.  According to departmental policy, an F will be assigned to students who do not show up for the final exam. A temporary grade of ŌINCOMPLETEÕ will be assigned ONLY to students under extreme hardship, in good academic standing nearing the end of the semester, and when the outstanding coursework is mainly the final exam.  An agreement to complete the outstanding coursework must be signed by the student and the instructor, and it must contain a description of the work to be done and a timetable.  If a change-grade form is not submitted by the completion date, the grade of I becomes an F.  All agreed upon work must be concluded within the next major semester.  This policy will be strictly adhered to.

GRADING STANDARDS.  The criteria used for grading is outlined below:

1- Lesson tests                                                             40%

2- Workbook/Lab Manual                                           15%

3- Class participation                                                    10%

4- Oral presentations                                                    10%

5- Final Exam                                                               25%

*Note: Missed tests, workbook/lab assignments, and/or collaborative classroom activities will receive grades of ZERO, which will be computed in your final average.

GRADING SCALES. The following scale applies to grades:

90-100, A                    80-89, B                      70-79, C          60-69, D          below 60, F

LAB ASSISTANTS may be available at the Language Laboratory, room 1391.  They can help students with pronunciation, oral exercises, reading, etc.  All students are encouraged to use these services.  Students who do not master certain language structures, will be advised to work with lab assistants.

DEPARTMENTAL POLICY ON ACADEMIC DISHONESTY.  The Department affirms its commitment to treat cases of academic dishonesty according to Miami-Dade College Student Handbook Procedure No. 4074.  Students are forewarned that academic dishonesty in any form will be penalized according to said procedure.  The instructor has the option to award a grade of "F" for the course.  Cheating or any form of academic dishonesty may also result in the student's being placed on academic probation, suspended from school, or dismissed from the college.  All students are advised to familiarize themselves with this document located at the following site:

SERVICES FOR DISABLED STUDENTS.  The Department extends its commitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Please inform your instructor if you need assistance.  The college has developed special support services to assist disabled students in achieving equal opportunity.  If you have a learning disability, please contact the Access Services Department, as soon as possible.  This office will inform each of your instructors of any special accommodations you may need. The Access Services Department at MDC/North is located in Room 6112, and the number to call for information is (305) 237-1272.

Names, telephone numbers and /or e-mails of two classmates:

___________________________________             _______________________________

___________________________________              _______________________________

 (This syllabus is subject to minor modifications)

ĮBienvenidos a la clase de espa–ol!



May 12th                                                         May 19th

Introduction/Hola, ĄquŽ tal?                           Nouns and articles/ Numbers 0-30

Greetings/leave-takings                                     The verb SER (to be)

Identifying yourself/others                                  Telling time

Expressions of courtesy                                    Fotonovela Š ĮTodos a bordo!

May 26th                                                         June 2nd

*PRUEBA Lecci—n 1                                     Days of the week/class schedules

En la universidad                                          Present tense of -ar verbs

Academic life                                                    Forming questions

June 9th                                                           June 16th

The verb ESTAR                                             *PRUEBA Lecci—n 2

            Numbers 31-100                                              La familia

            FotonovelaŠĄQuŽ clases tomas?                     Professions/occupations                       

June 23rd                                                                           June 30th

Descriptive Adjectives                          Present tense of tener/venir                             Possessive Adjectives                           Fotonovela- ĄEs grande tu familia?               Present tense of -er/-ir verbs                                       

July 7th                                                                                July 14th

*PRUEBA Lecci—n 3                                     Stem - changing verbs

Los pasatiempos                                             Verbs with irregular ŅyoÓ forms

Present tense of the verb IR  (to go)                 Fotonovela- ĮVamos al parque!

Text Box: Friday, July 21st:
(This outline is subject to minor modifications)