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Course : Elementary Spanish I

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2024
Prothro-Yeager Hall, 203
Sarah Butler
Days & Times
Final Exam Day/Time
Tuesday, May 07, 2024 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Course Description

A beginning course in the develop of fundamental speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in the Spanish language and an introduction to Hispanic cultures. 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.


Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Course Competencies

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 VHL Central 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, describing some aspects of 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.

Study Hours and Tutoring Assistance

Approximately one hour of study daily is suggested for success in this course. You are welcome to come to my office or meet with me via Zoom or Skype when you have questions about topics presented in class. Before you visit for me for tutoring, please make sure you have watched the tutorials/presentations at the VHL Central Supersite. Tutoring is also available for free with the Tutoring & Academic Support Program’s Learning Center located on the 1st floor of Moffett Library. Please visit for their most up-to-date schedule. 

Academic Misconduct Policy & Procedures

Academic Dishonesty: Cheating, collusion, and plagiarism (the act of using source material of other persons, either published or unpublished, without following the accepted techniques of crediting, or the submission for credit of work not the individual’s to whom credit is given). AI-generated submissions (e.g., ChatGPT) are not permitted and will be treated as plagiarism. Additional guidelines on procedures in these matters may be found in the Office of Student Conduct.

Office of Student Conduct




You are required to be in class for the entire 50-minute period. Arrive on time. You may be counted absent if you are more than 10 minutes late for class or if you leave class early.

Absences due to official university functions or illness will be dealt with on an individual basis and should be discussed with the instructor outside of class time. There are no “excused” absences from regular class periods and the instructor will take attendance every day. Each absence lowers your attendance grade. The attendance grade is calculated by dividing the number of days that you are in class by the number of days that the course meets. (Example for 2 absences out of a total of 57 class days: 55/57 = .9649…= 96.49%). The attendance grade contributes 5% to the final course grade.

This syllabus serves as notice that you may be dropped from the class without further notification if you are absent more than six times. A Conduct and Attendance Referral may be sent to the Dean of Students upon the fourth absence. If you decide to drop the course, you must follow university procedure for dropping a course to receive a W. If the instructor drops you, you will receive a WF or F.

Late Work 

No late work is accepted apart from homework assignments completed in the VHL Central Supersite. Individual assignments are accepted with a 5% late penalty per day until the due date for each lesson’s assignments. Please see the calendar at the VHL Central Supersite


Make Up Work/Tests

No make-up work is accepted, and no make-up quizzes will be offered.

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.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

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.

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MSUTexas e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and 2) earned 60 hours. Students may meet this requirement in one of three ways: by passing the Writing Proficiency Exam, passing two Writing Intensive Courses (only one can be in the core), or passing English 2113. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

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