Español 164:  Advanced Intermediate Spanish

Secciones 01 y 02

Invierno de 2016
(Mayock, MWF, 9:05-10:00 y 10:10-11:05 / Tucker 406-B)

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Información sobre la profesora

Vista Higher Learning:

Descripción y objetivos del curso

Enlaces útiles

Métodos de instrucción

Presentaciones orales

Libro de texto y otros recursos (VHL, Sakai)


Requisitos y normas del curso

Tucker Multimedia Center

Programa de estudio

Nota final



*This one-semester Intermediate Spanish course (SPAN 164) fulfills the foreign language FDR requirement (FDR FL).

If you are in this course, you have either completed Spanish 112 or were placed here through the departmental placement test. If this is not the case, please speak with me immediately. The placement test is meant to ensure that students in this class have equivalent levels of Spanish, although we expect some variation in skill levels. Many of you have been studying Spanish since middle school, while others may have taken only a few years of high school Spanish. Based on your previous academic work and placement test, we will assume that you know the essential grammar of Spanish, and that you have some experience reading and speaking the language. From that basis, we have designed a course that focuses on practicing what you already know while increasing your knowledge of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, through exercises in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, as well as through cultural readings and video viewing.  Class meets only three times a week, and since learning a language requires daily practice, the course assignments will be distributed so as to ensure that you are consistently engaged in Spanish outside of class as well.  

Course description and objectives:

The course textbook and the on-line components are designed to facilitate your learning of Spanish. There is some grammar reviewed and taught, but mostly you will be using Spanish to speak about everyday situations, to examine Hispanic cultures, and to begin to appreciate literary and other artistic expression by Hispanic authors and artists. Class meets 3 times per week for 55 minutes, but you can expect at least an additional 2 hours of preparation and practice per class period. You must read the pages assigned in the textbook and complete the assignments made through the course website (or Supersite at As the semester progresses you should gain confidence in speaking Spanish, broaden your understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures, and begin to imagine yourself living and studying in a Spanish-speaking country as part of your personal and professional growth.


These and other course objectives correspond with the following larger departmental learning objectives:




Course methodology:

Class time will emphasize listening to and speaking in Spanish in response to a variety of prompts from your professor, and in pairings with your classmates. Grammar explanations will be given as needed, but do not expect lectures on grammar points since your textbook already includes detailed explanations with abundant practice opportunities. Students will also carry out oral presentations and contribute posts to a class blog.  Your active participation in every class and the timely completion of all assignments are required for success in this class.


Group Presentations:  There will be two rounds of group presentations.  The first will be Q&A sessions guided by individual students and based on the vocabulary and grammatical structures of the week.  The second will be paired presentations of extemporaneously prepared situations based on the vocabulary and grammatical structures of the course.  We will normally have 1-2 presentations per class day until each round of presentations is complete.


Class Blog:  All students will complete a brief (one paragraph) post in Spanish in the class blog for each of our three class lessons each week.  You must post by midnight before the next day’s class.  Monday’s posts should recount something personal (e.g. a weekend trip; the celebration of a birthday; a rumination on an event or emotion).  Wednesday’s posts should reflect on or respond to (e.g. why is it interesting; what effective techniques did the author/director use; how does the text relate to the larger world) a literary or film text from the textbook chapter of the week.  Friday’s posts should tell us something about what is happening in the Spanish-speaking world (e.g. presidential elections; trade negotiations; protests; cultural production; sporting events).  These should include a link to the site on which you read the information.  Make sure to comment on two other students’ posts before coming to class each day.  These posts will count as a completion grade only.  The professor will use them in class to enhance conversation and to provide specific guidance on composition.


Students will also complete three longer, formally graded blog posts of 150-200 words each.  To complete the posts, students will select an article from a newspaper of the Hispanic world, read the article carefully, and then summarize it (50-75 words) and provide a critical, analytical reaction to it (100-125 words; see the description below) in Spanish.  All students must make comments on at least 3 other students’ blog posts for each of the three rounds.

Blog Post Instructions:

·        For the SPAN 164 longer blog posts, students must follow these instructions in order to share reader reactions to news from the Spanish-speaking world:

·        Choose an article from an online news source of the Spanish-speaking world; * Para las noticias, se puede usar la lista de periódicos de LANIC y/o periódicos de España (e.g. El País, ABC, La Vanguardia, etc.);

Links to blogs:

Section 01:

Section 02:




Enlaces (and access code). Boston: Vista Higher Learning. 2013.  Includes grammar, practice writing exercises, video and audio activities, and graded assignments through our course Supersite at You will need to register for access to your course website.  Go to the Student Startup PDF here, also included on the Sakai site.


A note from the publisher: The Supersite requires an access code that comes with your book.  Used books and books bought on other sites DO NOT include the code and you will spend much more if you buy them separately.  Complete packages can only be found at the W&L bookstore or at  Go to vhlcentral/help/student-startup to learn how to set up and navigate your new Supersite account. 


Online resources - Sakai & VHL Supersite:

Sakai is the course management system used by Washington and Lee.  You can expect to retrieve your syllabus and some other handouts on Sakai.   The Supersite ( is the main resource through which you will complete your on-line class assignments and watch videos.  Animated tutorials on grammar points and supplemental resources may also be accessed through the Supersite.  


Warning: Since online resources are dependent upon internet availability, do not wait until the last minute to complete exercises and tests in case you experience technical difficulties.


Course requirements and policies.

Come to class having reviewed the pages designated for the class meeting on the syllabus and having completed the assignments on the course website (Supersite). We will cover 6 chapters this term, and there will be a test for each chapter.  The test will be made available to you via our course website (Supersite), and you will take it at scheduled times outside of class in the Tucker Multimedia Center ( on the fourth floor of Tucker Hall. You may access the course Supersite through the computers at the TMC, as well as from your own computer. Typically you will have a time frame of 2 days to take the test in the TMC, so there is no need for make-ups. No late assignments or tests will be accepted


Absences: Any unexcused absence or missed assignment will count against your final grade. An excessive number of absences may result in a grade of F at the professor’s discretion.  Students who must miss class due to school-related events must consult with the professor prior to the absence. 


Electronics in class: You may use laptops in class solely for purposes of our classwork, only when approved by the professor. They may not be used for non-related activities (social media, etc).  Cell phones must be turned off during class. Absolutely no texting, emailing, phoning, etc. is allowed during the 55 minutes of the class period.  In-class performance grades will be significantly lowered without exception for any disregard of the policy. 


Students with disabilities: Washington and Lee University makes reasonable academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. All undergraduate accommodations must be approved through the Office of the Dean of the College. Students requesting accommodations for this course should present an official accommodation letter within the first two weeks of the term and schedule a meeting outside of class time to discuss accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to present this paperwork in a timely fashion and to follow up about accommodation arrangements. Accommodations for test-taking should be arranged with the professor at least a week before the date of the test or exam. 


Honor System: Washington and Lee benefits from a student-run Honor System. For the purposes of this class, the honor system means that pledge your work to reinforce that it is your own.   As evidence of our trust in the system, all tests will be taken in the Tucker Multimedia Center and scheduled outside of class time with no immediate supervision.  In turn, you are expected to honor the testing guidelines established by your professor, to sign in and sign out of the TMC for and after testing, and use no supplementary materials during testing. 



Grade distribution:

Chapter tests   (3)                                           30%                

Online Graded Activities                               20%

Group Presentations                                       15%

Class Blog (3 longer posts)                            15%

In-class performance*                                                20%

*In-class performance grade: The following is intended as a rough description of expectations for in-class performance grades.

A = an active role and class leader; leads or guides discussion; initiates conversations and questions; engages others in discussion; shapes the nature of the discussion; can expound on topics; offers rebuttal; clear evidence of thorough reading of material; present for all class discussions.

B = a more passive role; occasionally initiates discussion; responds well; is prepared when called on, but only responds when called on; good knowledge of topic but doesn't always relate topic beyond today's discussion; willing to converse but not always able; present for all discussions.

C = passive participation; seldom interacts unless called upon; clear evidence of preparation lacking; not present for each class period;

D = passive participation; unable to comment when called upon; preparation lacking; not always present; quality of conversation would indicate a sub-performance in other 100-level classes.

F = oral deficiencies that would prohibit the student from continuing in other 100-level courses; excessive absences.

For this course, grades will be calculated on the following scale: A (93-100), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (63-66), D- (60-62), F (below 60). 


The TMC (Tucker Multimedia Center):

Students must complete an online orientation session to learn how to complete a series of operations in the TMC, located on the 4th floor of Tucker Hall. Students may access the online orientation from the TMC webpage. This orientation must be completed before the end of the first week of classes.  IMPORTANT: It is the student's responsibility to be familiar with and to comply with the specific details at the TMC page on Testing Procedures and Guidelines. 


TMC Regular Fall/Winter Hours


Monday-Thursday:                              8AM - Midnight
Friday:                                  8AM - 5PM
Saturday:                              10AM - 1PM
Sunday:                                7PM - Midnight


Course calendar: (The course calendar may be adjusted during the semester, but we will follow this plan initially.  If I make changes to the assignments, I will send you a new calendar or place one on Sakai.  I will also announce all changes in class.)


11 de enero: Introduction to the course and the course resources.  Registration procedure for access to online course materials. See vhlcentral/help/student-startup and


*All students must complete an orientation to the Tucker Multimedia Center (TMC) via this link:  All chapter tests will be taken in the TMC.


*  *  *

Lección 1: Sentir y vivir (13 de enero al 25) -- The pages assigned for each day include exercises that are also on the Supersite (indicated by a computer mouse, as in Práctica 1, p. 7), and exercises to be done in pairs or groups (3, on p. 7). We will usually complete the paired exercises in class. Additional exercises found on the Supersite only will be assigned through the site and must be completed by the start of class on their due date.  Check the Supersite daily for assigned exercises. Additional, unassigned exercises, tutorials, and other resources are also available on the Supersite.




13 - Para empezar: For each chapter always read the opening blog (“Una cita [in]olvidable” 4-5) and learn the chapter vocabulary (Las relaciones personales 6) prior to coming to class. 

   - Estructuras: Review Nouns / Adjectives (A2); The present tense (A4-5); Ser y estar, read and work exercises for “Supplemental Grammar: Ser y Estar” under Resources. Remember to always complete all assigned Supersite exercises.


15 - Imagina: Estados Unidos 12-13; Galería de creadores 14-16; En pantalla (Tradición en familia) 17

    - Estructuras: Gustar and similar verbs 18-21.





19 (*martes) - Cortometraje: Di algo 8-11. The video shorts are intended to give you cultural insight through a creative and artistic medium.  All are accessed through the Supersite and available with Spanish transcript and line translation to English.  Before viewing the film, always learn the vocabulary lists under Preparación (p. 8).  After viewing the film, complete the exercises on the Supersite.

    - Estructuras: Reflexive Verbs 22-25;


21 (*jueves) - Estructuras The preterite 26-29. Síntesis 30.   **Entregar Blog #1 (online el domingo, 5pm; en papel, en clase el lunes).  No se olviden de comentar las entradas de tres compañeros de clase.





25 - Literatura: “Poema 20” by Pablo Neruda 35-38.  The poem is available as a dramatic reading on the Supersite and on  For each of the “Literatura” sections, always read the selection twice. For the first reading, read the selection quickly for general comprehension.  For the second, use the interactive audio and listen to the story.  Use the pause and recap button to focus on difficult areas.

    - Comprehensive Vocabulary 39. 

    - Cultura: Corriente Latina 31-34. The text is available through the Supersite.  It is interactive, so that it is read for you and you can highlight the sections you want repeated, etc. 

    -*Entregar Blog #1 (versión en papel)


Lección 2: Vivir en la ciudad (27 de enero al 8 de febrero) 


27 - Para empezar: Blog: Un viaje inesperado 42-43; En la ciudad 44-45.  Remember to keep practicing the chapter vocabulary using the Flashcards


29 - Cortometraje: Adiós Mamá 46-49.




1 de febrero  - Estructuras: Preterite vs. imperfect 56-61. 


3 - Imagina: México 50-51, Galería de creadores 52-54, En pantalla (Down Taxco: locura en bicicletas) 55.

     - Estructuras: Object pronouns 62-65


5 - Cultura: Fin de semana en Buenos Aires 71-74

   - Estructuras: Commands 66-69; Síntesis 70.



8 - Literatura: “Aqueronte” 75-78;

   - Comprehensive Vocabulary 79.


Chapter test 1 and 2: Take the chapter test in the TMC between the end of class on Monday, February 8, and the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 10 (See TMC hours above.).  Please remember to sign in and sign out at the TMC Test Sign-In Log. No books, dictionaries or other aids are allowed. Signing in and out signifies that you have taken the test in the time frame indicated by your signatures, and you have neither given nor received any aid while taking the test. PLEASE ALSO WRITE OUT AND SIGN THE PLEDGE ON THE TEST.  We will follow the same procedure for all three tests.



Lección 3: Generaciones en movimiento (10 de febrero al 29)


10 - Para empezar: Blog: Volver a las raíces 82-83; En familia 84-85.  Vocabulary Flashcards


12 – No class.  Mock Con. 



15 - Cortometraje: El rincón de Venezuela 86-89; Introduction to Subjunctive


17 - Imagina: Cuba, Puerto Rico y La República Dominicana 90-91; Galería de creadores 92-94, En pantalla (Abuelas raperas cubanas) 95.

     - Estructuras: Subjunctive in noun clauses 96-101;


19 - Cultura: Sonia Sotomayor 111-114.

     - Estructuras: Subjunctive in adjective clauses 102-105.   




29 - Estructuras: Subjunctive in adverbial clauses 106-109; Síntesis 110.

     - Comprehensive Vocabulary 119.  




Lección 4: Perspectivas laborales (2 de marzo al 11)


2 de marzo - Para empezar: Blog: Mis primeros pasos en la industria cafetera 122-23; El trabajo y las finanzas 124-25. Vocabulary Flashcards.


4- Cortometraje: Recursos humanos 126-29

     - Estructuras: The future and conditional 136-41      *Entregar Blog #2.




7 - Imagina: Colombia, Ecuador y Venezuela 130-31; Galería de creadores 132-34, En pantalla (De aventura por Mindo) 135.

    - Estructuras: Comparatives and Superlatives 142-45


9 - Estructuras: The present perfect and the past perfect 146-49; Síntesis 150.


11 - Cultura: Recursos naturales: una salida al mundo 151-54;

     - Comprehensive Vocabulary 159


Chapter test 3 and 4: Take the chapter test in the TMC between the end of class on Friday March 11, and midnight on Sunday, March 13, using the same procedure as with Chapters 1 and 2, remembering to sign in and to sign out at the TMC Test Sign-In Log. 




Lección 5: El valor de las ideas (14 de marzo al 25)


14 - Para empezar: Blog ¿Nace un activista? 162-163; Creencias e ideologías 164-165; Vocabulary Flashcards.


16 - Cortometraje: Hiyab 166-69.

   - Estructuras: The past subjunctive 176-179


18 - *No class, but responsible for Imagina: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua y Panamá 170-71; Galería de creadores 172-174; En pantalla (Indígenas guatemaltecas) 175.

   - Estructuras: The future perfect and the conditional perfect 180-83      




21 - Estructuras: Negative, affirmative, and indefinite expressions 184-187; *Entregar Blog #3


23 - Cultura: Chile: dictadura y democracia 189-192.  


25 - Literatura: “La mirada” 193-196;  Comprehensive Vocabulary 197




Lección 6: Herencia y destino (28 de marzo al 6 de abril)


28 - Para empezar: Blog: Un eterno emigrante 200-201; Nuestro futuro 202-203; Vocabulary Flashcards.

     - Estructuras: The passive voice and constructions with se 214-217


30 - Cortometraje: Un pedazo de tierra 204-207.

     - Estructuras: The present perfect and past perfect subjunctive 218-221.


1 de abril - Imagina: España 208-209; Galería de creadores 210-212; En Pantalla (Lavapiés) 213.

     - Estructuras: Si clauses 222-225; Síntesis 226




4Review of Estructuras; Cultura: La ciudad descubierta 227-30


6 - Literatura: “Algo muy grave va a suceder en este pueblo” 231-234.

  - Comprehensive Vocabulary 235.


8- Assessment exercise in TMC


Chapter Test 5 and 6: Take the chapter test in the TMC between the end of class on Wednesday, April 6, and the beginning of class on Friday, April 8, using the same procedure as with Chapter 1, remembering to sign in and to sign out at the TMC Test Sign-In Log. 


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