Fall 2013         Spanish 1A: Elementary Spanish (Sect. 3) (4 units) (Course Call #85420)


MTWR, 11:00-11:50, Eureka Hall 103


Dr. Edward Baranowski

Office: 2039 Mariposa Hall      Phone: 916-278-6336

Office Hours: Mondays, 2:00-3:30, Thursdays, 3:00-4:30, or by appointment for other times.


Faculty webpage:

Department of Foreign Languages webpage:


Course textbook and materials


1. ¡Con brio!, (3rd. ed.). Laila M. Dawson, María Concepción Lucas Murillo, Donna Shelton, and Janet H. Sedlar. Wiley, 2013. (Log onto Blackboard CT for course eBook and all homework assignments.)


2. (Recommended) A good Spanish-English dictionary.

Catalog description

Beginning Spanish language with primary emphasis on the development of audio-lingual skills. Attention will also be given to the interrelatedness of language and civilization and culture. Additional attention will be given to the development of reading and writing. Students will be expected to spend several hours per week in the language laboratory. Not recommended for students with any previous study of Spanish. 4 units.

Course Objectives


At the end of this semester you can reasonably expect to be able to understand and communicate in the following areas:


·           You and the other students: Greetings, introductions and saying goodbye; nationality and stating where you and others are from; descriptions of people; cognates; numbers 0-59; ex-changing phone numbers, e-mail addresses and birthdays; telling time, days of the week and dates.

·           Campus life: classes and schedules; telling time of events; location of places on campus; the classroom; colors; expressing to whom things belong; states of being and emotions; Spanish and Hispanic culture; professions;  talking about going places; asking and answering questions.

·           Family, friends and habitual activities: family and friends; possessions; age; habitual activities in the present; telling a friend what to do; descriptions of people (continue), places and things; marital status; family traditions, values, and trends in the Hispanic world.

·           Activities in your free time and future activities: likes and dislikes, pastimes, and other activities in the present; opinions, doubts and obligations; telling a friend what to do (continue); weather and seasons; talking about who and what you know; future activities, and leisure activities in the Hispanic world.


1.  Demonstrate that you are able to understand and interpret written language on a variety of topics.

2. Demonstrate that you are able to understand the culture where Spanish is spoken through comparisons of the culture studied and your own. You will be able to perform internet searches in the language and explore the perspectives, products, and practices of the culture.


3. Demonstrate that you are able to understand the nature of Spanish through comparisons of the language studied and your own.


4. Demonstrate that you are able to understand and respond to simple statements and questions and participate in informal conversation within the cultural context.



Method of Instruction


The course is conducted entirely in Spanish using the following elements and techniques:


·         Lecture/presentation

·         Discussion and student-teacher interaction

·         Daily in-class pair and group activities

·         Assigned exercises and readings from Con brío (available through Blackboard CT)

·         The study of Spanish-speaking countries’ culture

·         The use of PowerPoint slides, pictures, cards, music, and videos



Grade Breakdown  


·   3 chapter exams                                30%

·   1 final exam                                    20%             

·   Attendance and Class Participation    20%

·   Homework                                        20%

·   1 oral exam                                       10%                                  


Scores are rounded up or down, i.e., 82.5 will be considered an 83, but 82.25 will be an 82.

Grades are kept in numerical form until the end of the course, at which time they are averaged to determine the final letter grade (93-100 = A, 90-92 = A-, 87-89 = B+, 83-86 = B, 80-82 = B-, 77-79 = C+, 73-76 = C, 70-72 = C-, 67-69 = D+, 64-66 = D, 60-63 = D-, and below 60= F.




There will be three written chapter exams for this course, an oral exam the last week of class, and also a final exam. Each written exam will consist of listening comprehension, grammar, reading comprehension, culture, vocabulary and writing. Exams will be mainly based on the material covered in class from ¡Con brio! and any additional information (handouts, extra activities, etc.) provided by the instructor in class. Each exam will include vocabulary and grammar from previous chapters that you must be able to understand and apply. 


Please note the day of the exams on the course calendar. The day and time of the final exam for this class is Monday, December 16th, from 10:15AM-12:15PM. All exams must be taken when scheduled and not at other times—No exceptions!




In addition to homework assigned in Blackboard CT, there might be other assignments such as short compositions which you will turn in to me during class. Guidelines for turning in such assignments are as follows:


a.       Read and understand what you are supposed to do and use a dictionary.

b.      Write out all homework on a new, clean sheet of paper. Do NOT combine it with class notes or other assignments. Identify your homework on the top right-hand corner:


            Nombre: John Doe

            Fecha: 2 de octubre de 2012


c.       I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE HOMEWORK. And all assignments must be turned in during class, not later in the day.


Attendance and Class Participation


In order to get full points, you must:


·         Avoid excessive absences and tardiness. If you are not in class, you cannot participate.

·         Come to class fully prepared and volunteer to participate in all activities.

·         Turn off your cell phone, your laptop, and any other electronic devices.

·         Avoid getting up excessively, arriving late, leaving early, and talking to others in the class when you should be listening to the instructor.


Participation includes your preparation for class (doing the homework) and your willingness to participate in all class activities, such as conversations with your instructor or with classmates during pair/group work.  The class period is devoted to speaking Spanish rather than speaking about the language, therefore, your preparation for class is very important.


You are responsible for preparing the scheduled material BEFORE coming to class. This implies careful preparation of all assigned homework and material from the text, including grammar explanations and corresponding exercises.  


Attendance Policy


Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class meeting. Due to the nature and intensity of language courses, the emphasis on oral practice, participation, and the pace of the course, attendance is mandatory.  Regular attendance at all class meetings is expected and is very important for your success, since everything that is said or done in class is considered “test material”. The course meets four days per week and all students are expected to arrive on time and participate actively for the entire class session.  Chronic tardiness and absences will affect your attendance grade.


You are allowed to miss FOUR classes for the entire semester, and do not have to give any reason for them. If you are absent more than four times during this semester, one point will be deducted from your final grade starting with the 5th absence. For example, if you miss seven times, you will lose three points off your attendance grade and final grade. If you know that you cannot be on time for this class or are going to be missing more than four times, drop this class now and take it at another time when you don’t have any conflicts. If you are absent more than 12 times, you will receive an automatic “F” in the class.


Group Work and Scholastic Honesty


Working with other students is an extremely effective means of studying and not everyone in the group needs to be at the same proficiency level. Get together with other students to practice conversation or to help each other understand the grammar explanations. Make sure, however, that you do not simply copy another student’s work and turn it in as your own. Turning in work that you did not write, for which you had considerable direct help from someone else, or that has been translated by a translation service or computer program will be considered cheating. Anyone copying from others, allowing others to copy their work, or using fraudulently-obtained information will receive an F in this class and will be reported to the Student Affairs Office.

How not to plagiarize:  Go to


Classroom Courtesy


Please turn off all laptops, cell phones and any other electronic devices while in the classroom! When your professor is talking, you and other students need to listen. When time is given for pair and/or group work, you need to interact with your partner or group. This is not the time to talk to your professor about matters unrelated to the assigned activity, work on other assignments or talk in a language other than Spanish: these matters must be handled after class, during office hours, or by appointment. You will be asked to leave if you engage in disruptive behavior.


Class Procedure and General Goals


The primary focus of this first semester of Spanish is to develop your ability to understand native spoken and written Spanish and to increase your skill at expressing yourself in basic everyday situations. Listening comprehension and speaking are the basis for the sound acquisition of a foreign language. As a child learning your first language, you had lots of time to listen before you attempted to speak. Don’t be impatient with yourself when you find that you can understand far more than you can produce. That is only natural—your speaking and writing abilities will always lag slightly behind your ability to understand.


You cannot expect to acquire native-like competence in a foreign language in one or two years. You can, however, expect to be able to communicate with native speakers of Spanish even though you make mistakes. The goal of this course is communicative competence, not oral grammatical perfection. Grammatical perfection in writing, however--for example, in written homework, quizzes, and tests--is possible and will make your understanding and practice of the language easier as time goes by.  Therefore, it is recommended that you spend time learning and memorizing the forms covered in class.  This class will use speaking, listening, reading and writing activities to enhance your grasp of vocabulary and to provide you with opportunities to express yourself in Spanish.


Special Needs


The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD) offers a wide range of support services and accommodations to students based on appropriate documentation, the nature of the disability, and academic need in order to ensure equal access and opportunity to pursue their educational goals. In order to initiate services, students must submit medical or professional documentation to SSWD, Lassen Hall 1008, (916) 278-6955. See details in the SSWD webpage at Before course accommodations can be made, a student needs to request accommodation from SSWD and provide a letter to the instructor from them. Please discuss your accommodations needs with me during my office hours early in the semester.



Spanish 1A Tentative Course Calendar (Fall 2013)







Week 1


Week 9


September 2

Labor Day—No class

October 28

Chap. 3

September 3


October 29

Chap. 3

September 4

Chap. 1

October 30

Chap. 3

September 5

Chap. 1

October 31

Chap. 3

Week 2


Week 10


September 9

Chap. 1

November 4

Chap. 3

September 10

Chap. 1

November 5

Chap. 3

September 11

Chap. 1

November 6

Chap. 3

September 12

Chap. 1

November 7

Chap. 3

Week 3


Week 11


September 16

Chap. 1

November 11

Veterans Day—No class

September 17

Chap. 1

November 12

Chap. 3

September 18

Chap. 1

November 13

Chap. 3 Exam

September 19

Chap. 1

November 14

Chap. 4

Week 4


Week 12


September 23

Chap 1

November 18

Chap. 4

September 24

Chap 1

November 19

Chap. 4

September 25

Chap. 1 Exam

November 20

Chap. 4

September 26

Chap. 2

November 21

Chap. 4

Week 5


Week 13


September 30

Chap. 2

November 25

Chap. 4

October 1

Chap. 2

November 26

Chap. 4

October 2

Chap. 2

November 27

Chap. 4

October 3

Chap. 2

November 28

Thanksgiving—No class

Week 6


Week 14


October 7

Chap. 2

December  2

Chap. 4

October 8

Chap. 2

December  3

Chap. 4

October 9

Chap. 2

December  4

Chap. 4

October 10

Chap. 2

December  5

Chap. 4

Week 7


Week 15


October 14

Chap. 2

December  9

Oral exams—No class

October 15

Chap. 2

December  10

Oral exams—No class

October 16

Chap. 2

December  11

Chap. 4

October 17

Chap. 2 Exam

December  12


Week 8




October 21

Chap. 3

Monday, 12/16

Final Exam

October 22

Chap. 3



October 23

Chap. 3



October 24

Chap. 3






Spanish 1A Student Data Sheet (Please fill out and bring to first class.)



Name: ________________________________________ 


E-mail: _______________________________________


Phone: _______________________________________


Major: _______________________________________


Year in school: ________________________________


Can you make office hours? _____________



What extra-curricular activities will you  be involved in this semester?











Have you traveled to any Spanish-speaking countries? Which ones?











Do you have any special concerns?