Elementary Spanish I

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2016
Ferguson Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12:00-12:50 pm

Sarah Butler (view Profile)


Exploraciones, 2nd edition
Blitt & Casas
Exploraciones, 2nd edition

Course Objectives



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.




This course involves the development of specific Spanish grammar, vocabulary and idiomatic usage in the context of the varied cultures of the Spanish-speaking world for the purpose of exploring ideas that foster aesthetic and intellectual creation in order that students may understand the human condition across cultures. By the end of the first semester, the student will be able to:


·         Greet, say farewell, introduce people and respond to introductions in the appropriate cultural register indicating his/her awareness of cultural norms in the Spanish-speaking world for formality, informality, personal space and gestures.

·         Engage in simple question/answer conversations using memorized and/or high-frequency expressions indicating cultural sensitivity and awareness.

·         Provide and request basic information.

·         Express ongoing actions, routine actions, future actions and past actions in the context and manner these are used in the Spanish-speaking cultures and recognize how these uses are different from those of English-speakers.

·         Describe and illustrate aspects of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and make comparisons between these cultures and his or her culture using basic linguistic structures and vocabulary in the target language.

·         Evaluate his/her own values, behaviors and worldviews on the socio-cultural topics presented and compare these to those of Spanish-speakers.


Grading Standards

Grading components


Participation and Attendance


Quizzes and Homework


Language Laboratory Quizzes


Personal Reflection Essay (Core Curriculum Assessment)


Exams (3 major exams)


Comprehensive Final Exam



Final Exam

05/10/2016 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Submission Format Policy

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.

Late Paper Policy

No late work accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

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.

Students with Disabilities

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.

Safe Zones Statement

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.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU 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.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance and Participation. Please note that participation and attendance contribute 10% toward the final grade in this course. This grade component will be based on a combination of attendance (4%) and participation (6%). Participation points will be awarded by the instructor in the form of puntos de participación. At the end of the semester you should have 100 puntos for a 100% in participation.  Puntos de participación are awarded for your completion of daily work in your Práctica journal and your active participation in classroom activities in Spanish. Don’t worry about speaking perfect Spanish, just speak. Accuracy will come with practice.


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 documented 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%)


If you know you will miss an exam due to an official university function, please make arrangements with the instructor as soon as possible.  If you are absent from an exam, you must present documented proof of illness or university activity to your instructor before an early or make-up exam will be scheduled.


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 in order to receive a “W.”  If the instructor drops you, you will receive a “WF” or “F.” 

Other Policies

Homework and Quizzes.  Daily assignments will be made from the text and from other sources.  Students are expected to prepare these assignments in their Práctica journals for use in class. Journals will be checked at the beginning of class. Independent study of grammar and vocabulary is also expected. Frequent quizzes, based on homework and class work, will be given. Graded homework and quizzes will contribute 15% to your final grade. No late work is accepted and no make-up quizzes are given. Your two lowest grades in this category will be dropped at the end of the semester.


Language Lab (Moffett 112A). You will take a listening comprehension quiz in the Foreign Language Laboratory in Moffett 112A once for each chapter covered this semester. There are a total of six lab quizzes to complete. Please give your MSU Student ID to the lab attendant in order to receive your quiz. You will receive a cassette tape, a quiz and a Scantron. You may use your textbook while you complete the quiz, but do not use any other materials. Also, please do not write on the quiz. Please sign out at the lab attendant’s desk in order to retrieve your student id. Make-up and/or late quizzes are NOT permitted. One lab grade will be dropped at the end of the semester. Language Lab quizzes make up 10% of the course grade. Please note the due dates and schedule of lab hours given below.


Chapter 1: Feb. 10

Chapter 2:  Feb. 24

Chapter 3:  March 9

Chapter 4: March 30

Chapter 5:  April 13

Chapter 6:  May 4



Language Lab hours (Moffett 112A)








2:00 – 7:00 pm

9:30 am – 12:00 pm

1:00 – 6:00 pm

8:00 am -1:00 pm

1:00 – 6:00 pm

9:30 am – 12:00 pm

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

8:00 am – 1:00 pm






Exploraciones iLRN (optional online workbook, tutorials and online audio exercises)

                Exploraciones iLRN contains activities to help students master the vocabulary and grammatical concepts presented and practiced in class. Working on a regular basis with this resource will help students achieve improved Spanish proficiency. If you purchased a new 2nd edition text from the bookstore or the publisher, you have access to this resource. The instructor will provide you with a course access code to be entered along with the iLRN access code that came with your textbook.


The Personal Reflection Essay serves as an assessment of the student’s performance of the core curriculum objectives in the specific context of this course.  The subject of the essay will be a cultural topic or topics assigned by the instructor according to the instructor’s preference.  The cultural topic will present the student with an ethical dilemma or issue for resolution. Students should demonstrate that they have adequately researched and considered the topic in the framework of the core curriculum objectives.


The core objectives for the Language, Philosophy and Culture Foundational Component Area are addressed in this course according to the following descriptions.  A global assessment rubric (see page 8) will be used for measuring students’ mastery of these core objectives.


·         Critical Thinking Skills: Students will demonstrate creative thinking, innovation, inquiry and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.


·         Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate effective development, interpretation and expression of ideas through written, oral and visual communication.


·         Personal Responsibility: Students will demonstrate the ability to connect choices, actions and consequences to ethical-decision making.


·         Social Responsibility: Students will demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility and the ability to engage effectively in regional, national and global communities.


In responding to the topic, students must identify their core beliefs and the origins of those core beliefs, recognize the ethical issue(s) presented and the relationships between issues, state a position on the issue(s) and connect their position to implied actions and consequences[1]. In other words, students must answer the following questions in their essays:

·         What are the ethical aspects of the issue presented? Identify these.

·         What is your opinion about the issue?

·         How did you come to hold this opinion? (e.g. how you were raised, influence of culture, religion, a personal experience, something you learned in school, life lesson, etc.)

·         What can/will you do personally concerning the issue?

·         What are the implications of your opinion and the consequences of actions that you take or do not take regarding the issue?

[1] Modified from AAC&U Ethical Responsibility VALUE Rubric.


Please note that this course uses supplemental D2L. Please make sure you access the D2L site daily for class updates and daily practice assignments. Please speak with your instructor if you have questions.


Please silence your devices during class. Text-messaging or the use of non-authorized electronic devices is prohibited. Please speak with your instructor if you have questions.


Writing Proficiency Requirement

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 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

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

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at