Western Michigan University, Summer I, 2010

Spanish 2000 (Intermediate Spanish I, four hours)

Section 21559 meets 9-10:40 (M, T, W, R)
in Brown 3002

Professor: Dr. Robert E. Vann

Office Hours

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:45-11:15 a.m. and by appointment in 515 Sprau Tower.
You can also reach me anytime at 387-3042 or robert.vann@wmich.edu


Course Objectives

Intended for students who have successfully taken Spanish 1000 and 1010 at WMU or their equivalents, Intermediate Spanish I (Spanish 2000) helps students further develop their communicative competence in Spanish. Students who have had prior experience with the language but have not taken Spanish 1000 and 1010 at WMU or their equivalents must take the free, online placement exam in order to ascertain the level at which they should begin their Spanish studies.  Refer to http://www.wmich.edu/spanish/undergraduate/onlineplace.htm and/or see the departmental staff in 420 Sprau Tower for further information regarding this exam. ANYONE IN THIS SITUATION SHOULD SEE ME AT ONCE.

Course objectives include

  • establishing a pleasant, friendly, and nurturing classroom environment conducive to relaxing, having fun, and learning
  • conducting as much of the course as possible entirely in Spanish
  • learning by doing, cooperating, and using Spanish for communicative purposes
  • emphasizing the four essential skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the Spanish language.



Teaching Philosophy

None of us is as smart as all of us. This course will employ techniques of cooperative learning as part of its communicative approach. In other words, you will learn how to work well in pairs and groups by contributing your own ideas, encouraging others to participate, expressing support for others, coordinating the efforts of group members, and summarizing group activities. We will cover grammar, vocabulary, and cultural points where necessary, but much of your time in this class will be spent actually using the language to achieve some communicative goal, such as solving a problem, requesting assistance, discussing a point of view, etc.


Course Materials

There is one required book for this class: ¡Enfoques! Second Edition (2008). This is the main text for the course, and you must bring it to class every day. We will cover Lecciones 1-6 of ¡Enfoques! during the semester.

Additional materials packaged with the required book include the student passcode to online activities available at the ¡Enfoques! Second Edition "SUPERSITE" (http://enfoques.vhlcentral.com/). Entering the SUPERSITE with the passcode will be necessary for some aspects of the homework assignments (cf. description of homework below), and students will find many additional practice activities at this site as well.  For those who do not yet have this code, be advised that used books sold at area bookstores and books purchased from online retailers like Amazon do not include this code.  To avoid the exorbitant expense of purchasing this code separately from the publisher, it is highly recommended that students who do not yet have valid codes purchase their books brand new from the booktore in the Bernhard Center with the passcodes already included.  Students should also remember to save their SUPERSITE passcodes after the course is over; they could be valid for future Spanish courses where SUPERSITE access might be required.

In addition to the student codes discussed above, all students must enroll in our particular course section of the SUPERSITE.  Instructions for doing so are available online (http://enfoques.vhlcentral.com/instructions.php?cid=43204&sid=53236). Students who do not enroll in our particular course section of the SUPERSITE will not be able to complete the online assignments that are required for the course.



Class Policies

In general, late homework assignments will not be accepted (a zero will be given). The exception is when you are absent from class the day the assignment is due. In this case, assignments will be accepted without penalty the next class day that you are present (It's never worth missing class to turn in an assignment late, and absences are also penalized, after a point). For all other course requirements (exams and orals), make-ups must be arranged by prior agreement with me. There will be no unscheduled make-ups, excepting documented extenuating circumstances (e.g., medical emergency).



Course Grade and Requirements


Explanation of requirements



Six quizzes will be given throughout the semester.  Each quiz will cover one "Lección" in Enfoques (1-6).


Final Exam

The final exam will be completely cumulative (Lecciones 1-6) and will include listening, reading, and writing components.



- Enfoques Website Assignments (15%)

For each Lección, homework sets will be assigned from the Practice tab of the online Enfoques SUPERSITE, which provides immediate online feedback. This homework will be graded on completion of assignment only.

- Open Writing (10%)

This homework will be graded on completion of assignment only. Open Writing assignments must be one 8.5" x 11" page in length (every other line) and can be diary-style, letter-style, creative writing, poetry, essays, etc.

- Reading Current Events (5%)

This homework will be graded on completion of assignment only. Twice during the semester, Current Events assignments will be given. For each of these assignments, each student must find a one to two paragraph article written in Spanish in a Hispanic newspaper or magazine and (a) turn in a photocopy or printout of the article (Spanish language newspapers and magazines may be found in Waldo Library or on the Web), (b) list and translate five words that were unknown before reading the article, and (c) write (in Spanish) five multiple-choice style reading comprehension questions about the article. This homework will serve as a resource for classroom reading activities.


Oral Five minute paired conversation. Each student will get an individual grade during the conversation. Grading criteria will include pronunciation, fluency, grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension.



Grading Scale

94-100 A superior
89-93  BA excelente
83-88 B muy bien
78-82 CB bien
71-77 C acceptable
66-70 DC pobre
60-65 D muy pobre
0-59 E suspenso


A Note on Attendance

Communicative competence and knowledge of grammar and vocabulary are cumulative and so, everything we do and learn in the beginning of the semester will be important all throughout the course. Therefore, daily attendance is compulsory and expected. Attendance will be taken and each student will be allowed three personal days, no questions asked. From the fourth absence on, each absence will result in one percentage point off the final semester grade, i.e., if a student had a 94 average with four absences, the semester grade would end up a 93, which would result in a BA instead of an A. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE TO THIS RULE UNLESS EXTREME EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES APPLY. The stated attendance policy is meant to allow for each student to miss a day here or there for a long weekend, a sporting event, a medical appointment, a religious observance, a sick day, etc. So if you already have any such plans, be aware of how many personal days you have left. There will be no "excused" absences. That's what your personal days are for. Expect the unexpected and budget your days wisely!



A Note on Participation

As with attendance, daily participation is required and expected. You will be expected to enter into class activities with enthusiasm, put in your "two cents," and respect the views of others. No formal grade will be given for participation because different personalities react differently to a group dynamic, and some people are more or less outgoing than others by nature. Nevertheless, it will be to your overwhelming advantage to participate energetically on a constant basis, because there is no better way to acquire a foreign language than just throwing yourself into it as much as possible. We will all get to know each other VERY well this semester. This is the kind of class where you can quite easily begin lasting friendships. The more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it!



A Note on Office Hours

These hours are intended to benefit you on a more personal level than can be achieved in class. You are encouraged to stop in during office hours, where we can discuss any problems or concerns you may have with the class or class material. Informal meetings in office hours often benefit us both, and they allow us to get to know each other a little better. Please drop by! If you are unable to come see me, remember that you can call my office or write me e-mail anytime. Please do not call me at home.


Important Dates for Spanish 2000, Summer I, 2010

Quizzes: May 17, May 24, June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23

Paired Conversations: June 24

Final Exam: Wednesday, June 30 (normal class time)

Important Dates for all WMU courses, Summer I, 2010

May 10 Monday: Classes begin at 8 a.m.
May 14 Friday: Drop/add ends; last day for 100% refund
May 18 Tuesday: $100 late add fee begins
May 21 Friday: Last day for 50% tuition refund for complete withdrawal
May 31 Monday: Memorial Day Recess
June 4 Friday: Last day for 25% tuition refund for a complete withdrawal
June 7 Monday: Last Day to Withdraw for summer I
June 26 Saturday: Commencement
June 30 Wednesday: Session ends


Schedule of Classes

Most days, we will start class with a short presentation of vocabulary or grammar and spend the remaining class time in groups or pairs working on communicative activities in Spanish.  Six class days will be reserved for quizzes.




Tentative Daily Schedule
(This schedule may be altered frequently throughout the semester, as conditions dictate.)

Always consult the daily schedule ahead of time. On average, you will be expected to work two hours outside of the classroom for every hour in the classroom. You are expected to read through Enfoques before coming to class each day. Remember, the class period will generally be devoted to speaking the language rather than speaking about the language. WHEN YOU SEE "READING CURRENT EVENTS," "OPEN WRITING," OR "Enfoques WEBSITE ASSIGNMENT" ON THE SCHEDULE FOR A GIVEN DAY, THAT IS THE DAY THESE ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE. You must complete these assignments before class that day, as they will be collected at the beginning of class. Though these assignments are graded upon completion only, it is to your overwhelming benefit to complete them conscientiously and to the best of your ability. They provide you with a chance to practice reading, writing, listening, and grammar study, as well as an opportunity to come up with questions and doubts that you can then raise to me for the benefit of the whole class.


Week#1 (May 10-13)

M Introductions, Overview, Start Lección 1

T Communicative activities in Lección 1

W Communicative activities in Lección 1

R Communicative activities in Lección 1



Week#2 (May 17-20)

M Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 1, Q&A, Quiz 1 (on Lección 1)

T Open Writing 1 due, Start Lección 2

W Communicative activities in Lección 2

R Communicative activities in Lección 2



Week#3 (May 24-27)

M Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 2, Q&A, Quiz 2 (on Lección 2)

T Reading Current Events 1 due

W Start Lección 3

R Communicative activities in Lección 3


Week#4 (May 31-June 3)  

M Memorial Day Recess (NO CLASS)

T Communicative activities in Lección 3

W Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 3, Q&A, Quiz 3 (on Lección 3)

R Open Writing 2 due, Start Lección 4


Week#5 (June 7-10)

M Communicative activities in Lección 4

T Communicative activities in Lección 4

W Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 4, Q&A, Quiz 4 (on Lección 4)

R Start Lección 5


Week#6 (June 14-17)

M Communicative activities in Lección 5

T Communicative activities in Lección 5

W Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 5, Q&A, Quiz 5 (on Lección 5)

R Open Writing 3 due, Start Lección 6


Week#7 (June 21-24)

M Communicative activities in Lección 6

T Communicative activities in Lección 6

W Enfoques Website Assignments due for Lección 6, Q&A, Quiz 6 (on Lección 6)

R Open Writing 4 due, Paired conversations



Week#8 (June 28-30)

M Reading Current Events 2 due

T Review for Final exam

W Final exam; session ends




A Note on Course Web Components

The Enfoques, Second Edition SUPERSITE (http://enfoques.vhlcentral.com/) includes vocabulary tutorials, flashcards and games, practice activities with auto-grading and feedback, Internet and Instant Messaging activities, the complete ENFOQUES Video Program, MP3 files of the complete Textbook and Audio Activities programs, and auto-graded diagnostic quizzes that tell where you need to improve. The online materials provide powerful resources for independent learning and extra practice to enhance student acquisition of the Spanish language and student performance in this course. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources beyond the official assignments made.

Online materials may be accessed via any computer with internet access.  For student convenience, such computers are provided in the Languages and Computing Labs in Brown Hall, where headphones for listening to audio files also are available. For further information, call the Labs at 387-2488. Normal Building hours for Brown Hall are Monday through Thursday 7:00 am to 9:30 pm, Friday & Saturday 7:00 am to 5:30 pm.




Statement on Academic Integrity

“WMU Code of Honor and general academic policies on issues such as diversity, religious observance, student disabilities, etc. are available at http://www.osc.wmich.edu and www.wmich.edu/registrar.”

“You are responsible for making yourself aware of and understanding the policies and procedures in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs that pertain to Academic Honesty. These policies include cheating, fabrication, falsification and forgery, multiple submission, plagiarism, complicity and computer misuse. [The policies can be found at http://catalog.wmich.edu under Academic Policies, Student Rights and Responsibilities.] If there is reason to believe you have been involved in academic dishonesty, you will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. You will be given the opportunity to review the charge(s). If you believe you are not responsible, you will have the opportunity for a hearing. You should consult with your instructor if you are uncertain about an issue of academic honesty prior to the submission of an assignment or test.”


Last revised May 13, 2010