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CULP: General Language Courses - Spanish

Spanish is spoken by about 400 million people in the world. It is the official language in 21 countries, not only in Spain and Latin America, but also in Ecuatorial Guinea, western Africa. Other regions, such as the sub-Sahara in northern Africa, and countries such as the Philippines (named after king Philip II of Spain) used to have Spanish as their main language.

In the United States, Spanish is the second most used language after English, with over 40 million speakers. Therefore, by learning Spanish you will be able to communicate with a wide range of people from different social, cultural, and ethnical backgrounds.

Spanish is the language of famous writers: Cervantes and García Márquez; great artists: Velázquez, Botero, Goya; innovative film makers: Almodóvar, Iñárritu ... as well as the language spoken in cities that combine the ancient and the modern: Granada, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Cuzco...

The Language Centre offers an extensive collection of resources to complement classroom learning. All Spanish courses are supported by multimedia online materials.At the LanguageCentre, we aim to present Spanish as a world language, and our teachers come from different Spanish-speaking countries.

We look forward to seeing you in our lessons, and we hope that you will enjoy learning Spanish with us.

¡Hasta pronto!


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR A1

Prerequisites

For absolute beginners (ab initio learners) or for those with very little knowledge of the language.

Educational Aims

At the Basic level the main aims are:

    • To develop a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To enable the learner to communicate in a range of predictable every-day situations;
    • To introduce students to the cultural background of the Spanish speaking world within the context of language learning.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand basic instructions or take part in a basic factual conversation on a predictable topic.
Reading Understand a set of basic notices, instructions or information.
Writing Write a brief informal letter or e-mail on an every-day predictable topic.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

  • How to say hello, present themselves, to tell their origin, age and ask people relevant questions to get same information.
  • To converse about work/study as well as family and languages spoken.
  • To be able to describe a dwelling, give/ask for address; ask/explain who people live with.
  • To talk about preferences, interests, sport, hobbies, weekend activities.
  • To place orders at the bar, talk about likes, dislikes, ask people what they want to drink; to make a restaurant booking, read the menu, ask about the dishes, place an order, talk about food, ask for the bill and ask for info re the bill.
  • To talk about their work/study, the timetable and to talk about their professional past.
  • To ask for directions, understand indications, traffic signs, call a taxi, explain where to go.
  • To talk about the past in general and tell stories.
  • To buy food and clothing items, inquire about prices, size, quantity and get other relevant information.
  • To understand information relevant to travel, holiday and stay in hotel.
  • To talk about health and fitness, describe ailments, understand instructions and discuss them.

Syllabus

Spanish Basic 1


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR A2

Prerequisites

Level A1 of the CEFR or equivalent. This is a continuation of the Spanish Basic 1 course, suitable for students who have picked up the basics of the language when travelling or at school.

Approach

The classes are communicative and consist of tasks oriented at helping students understand Spanish in use and to acquire it by use. All four communicative skills (speaking, reading, listening and writing) will be developed and/or strengthened, with the main emphasis on speaking. The students will engage in interactive language activities, participating in group and pair work according to a syllabus based on systematic grammatical progression. Each class focuses on a topic that is related to the previous and following one; activities build on the students’ abilities and on their previous knowledge. Grammar and vocabulary are practiced and perfected in context. Students will also be offered guidance in self-study and be set homework tasks.

Course main objectives:

    • To revise and build on the basic grammatical structures and vocabulary.
    • To strengthen a positive and confident attitude towards language learning.
    • To encourage speaking and ease the transition to the next level (Intermediate 1).
    • To promote cultural understanding.
    • To be able to communicate in everyday situations.
    • To be able to understand general and detailed information and to communicate in standard speech on a range of everyday issues.
    • To be able to read printed and handwritten scripts on a limited number of everyday topics.
    • To be able to write simple texts using descriptive language accurately.

Qualifications framework level: CEFR B1

Prerequisites: CEFR A2

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 1 level the main aims are:

    • To build on a basic understanding and an appreciation of the salient linguistic features;
    • To establish the learner as a confident language user in a range of predictable everyday situations;
    • To equip the learner with the skills and knowledge to deal with straightforward job applications and interviews;
    • To increase students' knowledge of the cultural background of the Spanish speaking countries within the context of language teaching.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Express opinions on abstract/cultural matters in a limited way or offer advice within a known area, and understand instructions or public announcements.
Reading Understand routine information and articles, and the general meaning of non-routine information within a familiar area.
Writing Write letters or make notes on familiar or predictable matters.

Topics

The Course will include:

    • To be able to introduce oneself, giving information about one's age, origin and where one lives;
    • To be able to describe one's routine, free time and weekends;
    • To be able to describe one's work experience including studies/jobs, and writing a mini CV;
    • To be able to describe what one used to do before the current work/study situation, one's current responsibilities, and to produce a CV for an interview;
    • To be able to identify a suitable job from a website, apply for it and attend a job interview;
    • To be able to talk about one's health, request medication and understand instructions given by a doctor or pharmacist;
    • To be able to discuss life styles and fitness routines;
    • To be able to recount an accident in general and to follow the diagnosis and treatment;
    • To be able to recount an incident in detail, describing the setting and elaborate what could have happened in another circumstance;
    • To be able to analyse how life used to be in the past and compare it with the present, recounting historic events;
    • To be able to comment on one's plans and wishes, and to analyse what one would do in a variety of hypothetical situations.

Syllabus

Spanish Intermediate 1

Sample Past Paper

Listening Comprehension | Reading Comprehension


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR B2

Prerequisites

Students who have successfully completed the Intermediate 1 course in the Language Centre, or have acquired a proficiency equivalent to B1 in Spanish.

Educational Aims

At the Intermediate 2 Level the main aims are:

    • To develop a fairly advanced understanding of the language structure and vocabulary;
    • To develop the ability to engage in conversation in Spanish, where the learner is able to express his or her opinion in a variety of topics;
    • To develop in the learner an awareness of the different varieties of Spanish, when it concerns the lexicon and the phonological systems.
    • To develop an awareness of the cultural diversity among Spanish speaking countries and regions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Understand spoken Spanish in a variety of both predictable and unpredictable linguistic situations and be able to express themselves in a variety of situations where a fair amount of detail is necessary.
Reading Understand written Spanish when texts are intended for native speakers, where visual information is not necessarily available and where the text relies on language structure and lexical refinement to convey specific messages.
Writing Write both formally and informally to a single recipient in a variety of topics, using the appropriate register and formulae to achieve communication.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

    • Introducing oneself, introducing others, talking about our origin and our mother tongue, explaining why we study Spanish.
    • Describing our home town and our country, talking about the community where we live: comparing our life in the past to our life in the present.
    • Describing our profession or topic, describing current activities, describing our previous training, summarising our work experience, describing a work routine.
    • Describing life in the past, understanding the importance of a historical event, talking about historical facts and their relevance, comparing life before and after a historical event.
    • Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of modern technology. Giving advice on how to stay safe with the internet. Describing how a machine or gadget works.
    • Comparing means of transport, describing travel destinations, telling about a travel experience, choosing appropriate accommodation.
    • Analysing the main characteristics of Spain and its regions. Studying distinctive features of cities in Spain.
    • Analysing the main characteristics of Latin America and its countries. Studying distinctive features of countries in Latin America.
    • Understanding the context of opinions on current topics, debating about topics of local and international relevance.
    • Introducing cultural topics such as cinema, television, and music, from a perspective of the Spanish-speaking world.

Syllabus

Spanish Intermediate 2

Sample Past Paper

Listening Comprehension | Reading Comprehension


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Qualifications framework level: CEFR C1

Prerequisites: CEFR B2

Educational Aims

At the Advanced Level the main aims are:

    • To develop the language skills needed to understand and express complex ideas and opinions in real-time oral/aural situations and to improve the presentation skills in the target language;
    • To deepen the knowledge and enhance the appreciation of the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken, as well as of the varieties of the spoken language;
    • To equip learners with the necessary knowledge, learning tools and skills that will establish them as independent and successful lifelong language learners.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Contribute effectively to meetings and seminars within own area of work or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract expressions.
Reading Read quickly enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information or to understand non-standard correspondence.
Writing Prepare/draft professional correspondence, take reasonably accurate notes in meetings or write an essay demonstrating the ability to communicate.

Topics

The Course introduces students to the following functions and notions:

    • Communicate fluently whilst maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
    • Apply their language skills effectively in a broad variety of contexts including academic ones;
    • Use relevant language registers and acquire an understanding of the main aspects of the historical, political, economical, cultural and linguistic situation of the countries where the language is spoken;
    • Understand current affairs and other audio/visual items from the media;
    • Conduct research in the target language;
    • Speak in public and deliver presentations in the target language;
    • Acquire necessary skills to retrieve and use multimedia online resources in the target language;

The Course aims also to empower the learners and establish them as life-long language learners.

Syllabus:

Spanish Advanced

The Advanced courses run by the Language Centre lead to an official, award-bearing University qualification called the CULP Award, which is issued by the University of Cambridge, and which corresponds to C1 level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Advanced is the only level, which leads to a CULP Award. The Language Centre issues Certificates of Proficiency for all the other levels.

Advanced Assessment Framework


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Spanish Through Film and Literature

Qualifications framework level: CEFR C2

Prerequisites: CEFR B2/C1

A language course for students who already have an advanced command of the Spanish Language (preferably C1), ideally suited to those students who have completed the CULP Advanced course or have taken Spanish at A Level recently.

Rationale

The course is based on well-known literary works and films from Spanish-speaking countries, all of which are readily available from the John Trim Centre for Independent Learning at the Language Centre.

The concept underpinning this course is one of fostering the learning of higher Advanced Spanish language through listening (mainly films), reading (mainly literature), speaking and writing (both film and literature).

The course will begin with a general introduction to the Spanish language with special reference to literary analysis and film-related terminology. Every session will have at least one literary piece and/or film extract whose language will be analised by means of listening, reading and communicative exercises. Students are expected to read the pieces and watch the films prior to coming to the class (they can borrow them from the John Trim Centre at the Language Centre), so as to be able to focus on varied aspects of their language as well as their background (local Spanish usage, history, author, director etc). There will be discussion about the literary pieces’ and films’ aesthetic, wider cultural, historical and political implications. All teaching and discussions will be in the Spanish language and students will be expected to actively participate and contribute.

Content

Among others, these literary works and films will be analysed in this course:

Literary pieces
[NB: extracts (typically 1-2 pages long) to be read before class; one entire novel for the last class]
Films
[NB: All films to be viewed before class]
Fiction:
Cantar de Mío Cid
(Anónimo, Spain)
Leyendas de Latinoamérica
(Anónimo, Spanish America)
Como agua para chocolate
(Laura Esquivel, Mexico)
Cien años de soledad
(Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia)
Cuentos de Eva Luna
(Isabel Allende, Chile)
La tía Julia y el escribidor (extracto) y Crónica de una muerte anunciada
(Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru)
Las venas abiertas de América Latina
(Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay)
Don Quijote de la Mancha
(Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain)

Plays:
Fuenteovejuna
(Félix Lope de Vega, Spain)
La casa de Bernarda Alba
(Federico García Lorca, Spain)
Don Juan Tenorio
(José Zorrilla, Spain)
La nona
(Roberto Cossa, Argentina)

Poems by:
  • Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Spain)
  • José Hernández (Argentina)
  • Luis de Góngora (Spain)
  • Francisco de Quevedo (Spain)
  • Rubén Darío (Nicaragua)
  • Pablo Neruda (Chile)
Short stories (complete, for classes):
La monarquía y La bella durmiente
(Quim Monzó, Spain)
Una carencia íntima
(Juan José Millás, España)
Los nadies
(Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay)
Casa tomada
(Julio Cortázar, Argentina)
No oyes ladrar los perros
(Juan Rulfo, México)

Novel (complete, for final presentation):
Crónica de una muerte anunciada
Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia)
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios
(Pedro Almodóvar, Spain)

También la lluvia
(Icíar Bollaín, Spain/Mexico/Bolivia)

Fresa y chocolate
(Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Cuba)

Nueve Reinas
(Fabián Bielinsky, Argentina)

Y tu mamá también
(Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico)

El orfanato
(Juan Antonio Bayona, Spain)

Relatos salvajes
(Damián Szifrón, Argentina)

El secreto de sus ojos
(Juan José Campanella, Argentina)


For final presentation:
Belle Epoque
(Fernando Trueba, España)

[NB: The literary extracts and films used in this course deal with adult themes, appropriate to their time, culture and country of origin.]

Aims

The Course introduces students to the following advanced learning skills:

    • Communicate fluently whilst maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy;
    • Apply their language skills effectively in a broad variety of contexts including academic ones;
    • Use relevant language registers and acquire an understanding of the main aspects of the historical, political, economical, cultural and linguistic situation of the countries where the language is spoken;
    • Understand audio/visual items from the media depicting artistic works and their background;
    • Conduct research in the target language;
    • Speak in public and deliver presentations in the target language;
    • Acquire necessary skills to retrieve and use multimedia online resources in the target language;

The Course aims also to empower the learners and establish them as life-long language learners.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Course students will be able to:

Listening/Speaking Contribute effectively to discussions about cultural, historical and geographical topics as portrayed in the arts or keep up a casual conversation with a good degree of fluency, coping with abstract and idiomatic expressions.
Reading Read literary works and film/literary criticism with a high degree of understanding, enough to cope with an academic course, to read the media for information as well as to understand non-standard pieces.
Writing Take detailed notes about a particular artistic representation/literary work and to write a well-structured essay about a literary piece and of a film .

Syllabus:

Spanish Advanced Plus Through Film and Literature

NB: The Spanish Advanced Plus Through Film and Literature course features no formal summative assessment component and upon the completion of homework, participation and attendance (attendance required is at least 12/15 sessions) students will be awarded a Certificate of attendance issued by the Language Centre.

Advanced Poster


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Standard - Michaelmas-Lent 2017/18

  Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri.
Basic 1 17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR1]
17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR3]
  15:00 - 17:00
[LC TR2]

Basic 2   17:00 - 19:00
(Semi-intensive)
[Room TBC]
  17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR3]
17:00 - 19:00
(Semi-intensive)
[Room TBC]
Inter 1 19:00 - 21:00
[LC TR1]
13:00 - 15:00
[LC TR3]
    17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR1]
Inter 2 13:00 - 15:00
[LC TR4]
  17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR4]
 
Adv 17:00 - 19:00
[LC TR4]
  19:00 - 21:00
[LC TR4]
   
Adv Plus   15:00 - 17:00
[History SR2]
     

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