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Course : Elementary Spanish I

Course Number
Section Number
Summer I 2020
( All ), N/A
Sarah Butler
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Thursday, July 02, 2020 12:00 am

Course Description


The language teaching community agrees that learning language and culture are inextricably connected. Thus, this course focuses on developing students’ Spanish- language proficiency through modes of communication that reflect real life communication in the varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.  By employing interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communicative modes in Spanish, students will explore the ideas, values, beliefs and other cultural aspects of Spanish-speaking peoples across the world and how these aspects work together to affect human experience.


Skills and Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will have developed solid competencies in each of the five goal areas (the five C’s): Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Main objectives include:

1. Ability to comprehend and respond to basic conversational patterns

2. Proficiency and knowledge of basic grammatical structures and terminologies

3. Basic proficiency in reading and writing the language

4. Knowledge of significant cultural practices and historical events from the Spanish-speaking world

5. Ability to use technology for e-mail and research of selected topics in Spanish

6. Ability to use the Supersite for oral and written practice of Spanish


Specific outcomes of the course are the following:


·         Introducing yourself, greeting and saying goodbye to friends, learning courtesy expressions, talking about yourself and others, spelling your name, performing simple math problems, asking and telling time

·         Describing your university and classroom, exchanging information about courses of study, talking about the calendar and dates, asking and responding to simple questions

·         Talking about your family and friends, describing yourself, other people and things, saying how old you and others are, talking about things that belong to you and others

·         Talking about pastimes, weekend activities, and sports, talking about what you are going to do, planning activities, extending invitations, apologizing

·         Talking about your vacation plans, describing a hotel, talking about how you and others feel, negotiating and paying for items, describing your daily routine

·         Describing and illustrating aspects of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and making comparisons between cultures using basic linguistic structures and vocabulary in the target language.

·         Evaluating personal values, behaviors, and worldviews on the socio-cultural topics presented and comparing these to those of Spanish-speakers.

Textbook & Instructional Materials


The following package is required for all courses. These materials will be used for both SPAN 1134 and SPAN 1234 in all subsequent semesters. Aventuras, 5th edition ISBN 978-1-68004-972-5: Full color, loose leaf, 3 hole punched (binder ready) version of Aventuras 5th edition with full supersite plus & websam technology. Please note the code with this package lasts for 36 months. Please contact your instructor if you have any questions.

Desire-to-Learn (D2L)

Extensive use of the MSU D2L program is a part of this course. Each student is expected to be familiar with this program as it provides a primary source of communication regarding assignments, examination materials, and general course information. You can log into D2L through the MSU Homepage.


Study Hours and Tutoring Assistance

The amount of study required to be successful in this course varies from student to student. General guidelines recommend one-hour private study for each hour spent in the classroom. If we were meeting face to face, we would be spending 12 hours weekly in the classroom. Plan your study time accordingly.


Tutoring is available through the World Languages & Cultures via Skype. Our tutor is Thalia Doe. Her email is And her Skype name is live:36462def77d53da4. She is available for tutoring via Skype according to the following schedule:


·         Mondays 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

·         Tuesdays 8:00 am – 10:00 am, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

·         Wednesday 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

·         Thursdays 8:00 am – 10:00 am, 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Please email if you have any difficulty contacting Thalia.


Keep in mind that I will be teaching “live” two days weekly from 1-3 pm (see Course Schedule page 9). This type of face-to-face learning may be of benefit to some students. I also encourage you to schedule an appointment with me via Skype or Zoom if you are struggling with the content of this course and need additional help. Please email me at for an appointment.

VHL Homework Assignments

Online homework assignments will be made from the VHL Central Supersite daily. Each assignment is to be completed by 11:59 p.m. on the due date. Homework completed after the deadline will not be accepted and will result in a grade of zero for the given assignment. Some of the assignments are for the presentation of vocabulary and/or tutorials for grammar topics. The purpose of these assignments is to help you learn the material, so you should use all the VHL resources (vText, vocabulary cards, etc.) to complete these “homework” type activities. The lowest grade for this category will be dropped at the end of the semester.



D2L Quizzes

Weekly quizzes will be assigned in MSU’s D2L online platform (Desire-To-Learn). These quizzes are to practice vocabulary and concepts learned and are to be taken without notes or the textbook. They are like mini-exams to help you with the difficult work of memorizing a great amount of vocabulary and grammar in a short, five-week summer course. The D2L Quizzes will be available for a 24-hour period beginning each Sunday at 11:59 and ending each Monday at 11:59 pm. The lowest grade from this category will be dropped at the end of the semester.



VHL Partner Chat and Virtual Partner Chats

Even though this course is online, you will be required to practice speaking Spanish and listening to Spanish using VHL Central Supersite Partner and Virtual Partner Chats. These chats are due weekly by Sunday at 11:59 pm, but you can complete them any time prior. I will assign a minimum of two partner or virtual partner chats each week, but sometimes there will be more. You do not have to do more than two, but you may do more! If you choose to do more, you can earn an additional 10 points for your Participation Grade!

The virtual partner chats are designated with this icon:   

The partner chats are designated with this icon:


The virtual partner chats are completed on your own with an online “avatar” asking you questions. The partner chats are completed with one of your fellow classmates. Each chat can earn you 10 points toward a 100 for the Participation Grade category. Thus, you need to complete 10 chats (minimum of 2 weekly) and earn 10 points for each to earn a 100 for that grade category. Your Spanish does NOT have to be perfect, but please follow the directions and answer all questions in complete sentences.


Zoom Virtual Grammar Lessons with Sra. Butler

I will be teaching “live” on Zoom twice weekly (see Course Schedule page 9) to go over the grammar concepts in each lesson, to give you a chance to interact with me and others in the class, and to review for the exams.  These “live” classes will be recorded and available to you via D2L if you are not able to attend. If you attend AND participate, you may earn 5 points toward your Participation Grade for each virtual class you attend.



Listening Comprehension Quizzes

Each lesson you will take a Listening Comprehension Quiz at the VHL Central Supersite, for a total of six Listening Comprehension Quizzes. You will watch two videos for each of the quizzes. These will be assigned in VHL as “Listening Comprehension” and the corresponding quiz activities will be assigned as L1, L2, L3, L4, L5, L6 – LC Quiz. These are all visible in the VHL Central Supersite Assignment calendar and are due each Sunday by 11:59 pm. You may do them prior to the due date.



There are three major exams, one every two lessons. Please see the Course Schedule (page 9) for dates. Each exam consists of a multiple choice, matching, and/or true false portion and a written/short answer portion. Each portion is worth approximately 50% of the exam grade. Each major exam contributes 15% to the final course grade. Each exam will be accessible in D2L for a 24-hour period. Once you access the exam, you have 60 minutes to complete the exam. No notes, textbooks, phones, websites, friends etc. should be used. Please do your own work and adhere to the MSU Student Honor Creed.


Final Exam

The comprehensive final exam covers all materials studied during the course. The exam consists of a multiple choice, matching, and/or true false portion and a written/short answer portion. Each portion is worth approximately 50% of the exam grade. The Final Exam contributes 20% to the final course grade. The Final Exam for this course is available in D2L beginning Wednesday, July 1, 11:59 pm until Thursday, July 2, 11:59 pm. Once you access the exam during this 24-hour window, you have 120 minutes to complete the exam.


No notes, textbooks, phones, websites, friends etc. should be used. Please do your own work and adhere to the MSU Student Honor Creed.

Extra Credit

No extra credit assignments are given to individuals that are not offered to the entire class. All extra credit assignments will be offered at the discretion of the instructor.

Late Work 

Please contact the instructor concerning questions about late work. Late work may be accepted on an extremely limited basis due to personal circumstances.


Make Up Work/Quizzes/Exams

Quizzes and Exams are both given using D2L and will be accessible for a 24-hour period. No make-up quizzes or exams will be offered.




Course Grade: The following components make up the course grade.

Table 1:


% of Course Grade

VHL Homework (daily)


D2L Quizzes (weekly)


Participation: VHL Partner and Virtual Partner Chats and Zoom virtual class


VHL Listening Comprehension Quizzes (6 times for the semester)


Exam 1 (Lessons 1 & 2)


Exam 2 (Lessons 3 & 4)


Exam 3 (Lessons 5 & 6)


Comprehensive Final Exam







Table 2: Total percentages for final grade.





90 - 100


80 – 89


70 – 79


60 – 69


Less than 60


Late Work 

Please contact the instructor concerning questions about late work. Late work may be accepted on an extremely limited basis due to personal circumstances.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

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The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

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