Antonio J. Aiello

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Oregon State University

School of Language, Culture, and Society

Foreign Languages and Literatures

Course: Spanish 313: Spanish Language through Culture

Section: 006

Credits: Three undergraduate credit hours, meeting 3 times a week for 50 minutes

Time: MWF 15:00 to 15:50 pm.

Place: Gilk Room 113.

Instructor: Antonio J. Aiello

Office: Kidder Hall 226

Office hours: MWF 10:00 to 11:00 am.

Phone: 541-737-3934


Prerequisite: Spanish 312 or placement.


An exploration of cultural products, perspectives and practices of Spanish-speaking communities through the use of authentic Spanish language resources. Three credits: meets three hours per week.

The course is designed to develop the knowledge of cultural values and practices of Spanish-speaking cultures as we read carefully selected literary passages that present a historical cultural context which will broaden our understanding of how Spanish-speaking cultures developed. The examination of these readings will raise provocative questions and promote discussion that will strengthen oral skills and enhance listening abilities. Relevant grammatical points will be explained and practiced as they are introduced within the context of the readings. A variety of activities related to the readings will promote critical thinking and provide themes for short essays.
Besides, the course pursuits develop the writing skills in Spanish, reading and interpreting Spanish literary texts. Using different forms of literary expression from the Spanish-speaking world, students will build on their language skills and cultural awareness.
We will help students improve their ability to write coherent, cohesive, and convincing argumentative essays. In order to do this, there will be three compositions. Theses compositions will be assigned as homework according to the topics assigned in the text.
At the same time, this course pursuits to achieve the proficiency necessary to reach the Advanced-Low level, as outlined by the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL). This includes an evaluation in all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. As the title implies, this is a course heavy reading, interpretation and writing; this means that by its very nature, in this class we will work mostly within the formal (standard) register.
As part of the class, we will read the selected readings and additional materials. These will be chosen by the instructor based on the different topics to engender a response in the students, thereby sparking discussion in the class; in turn, these discussions might generate good topics for the essays.
The course fulfills the reading and writing requirement for a Spanish Minor or elective for Majors.

Measurable Student Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Outline the major historical events that gave rise to the world’s Spanish-speaking cultures and civilizations.

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the external and internal forces that have shaped the cultural values and practices of the Spanish-speaking people.

  • Analyze the connections between past and present cultural practices and values of the ethnic groups studied.

  • Think critically about the organizational patterns, religious beliefs, economic and political structures that developed in the different civilizations.

  • Effectively and accurately summarize key themes and styles presented in literary works.

  • Correctly use the vocabulary and grammatical structures presented in the course.

  • Synthesize ideas and concepts

  • Understand how literature reflects social and political ideas in the regions, and how the language of literature reflects the different cultures

  • Express their own ideas about a text orally and writing

  • Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of the diversity of human cultural, historical and social experiences and reflect on how your individual life experience relates to the complex nature of human conditions in other places and times

  • Present and evaluate information, devise and exchange ideas clearly and effectively with diverse audiences in a variety of situations


Pueblos, Special edition, Spaigne Long, Martínez Lage, Sanchéz López and Comajoan Colomé (Required)

Documents posted on Blackboard (Required)

World Wide Web (Required)

Dictionary: Oxford Spanish Dictionary or Harper Collins (Optional)

Online dictionaries:; (Optional)

Evaluation of Student performance:

Attendance: (10%)

This class will meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 50 minutes and students are expected to attend every class and to arrive promptly. You are allowed (2) two absences without penalty during the term. Use these wisely, because all absences for whatever reason count. If you are absent more than two times during the term, one point will be deducted from your final grade for each absence. Exceptions to this policy may be made for extended serious illness, family emergency, observance of a religious holiday, or University-sponsored activities, provided that attendance and participation have otherwise been regular.

Class Participation: (10%)

Every class you attend participates in the production and dissemination of knowledge; in this class your role as students will be to participate as fully as possible in that process. You are, that is, charged in part with the responsibility for the direction of this course. We will share in an on-going discussion of Mexican-American literature. Consequently, your voices bear heavily on the relative success of this conversation. We will need to proceed through this dialogue as mature, intelligent, and responsible participants. This will be a classroom of mutual respect in which we carefully attend to each other’s ideas in a respectful and engaged manner. This is not to say that we will always share one another’s beliefs, values, and opinions, but we will always push each other to substantiate our claims and further our intellectual capabilities. Rich debate, open dialogue, and the fruitful exchange of opinions will help to transform the classroom and, by extension, our respective communities, for a critical pedagogy asks us to take seriously the transformative potential of our ideas and actions.

I will assign a participation grade according to the contributions made by the student in the class:

A (9-10) Has obviously thoroughly completed all the readings and homework. Volunteers well-thought comments regularly. Actively participates in group exercises. Communicates only in Spanish.

B (8) Has completed all the readings and homework. Shares thought-provoking comments once in a while and always when called on. Usually on task. Uses a few English words to communicate.

C (7) Has superficially completed the readings and homework. Shares relevant comments when called on. Passively participates in group exercises. Communicates both in English and Spanish.

D (6) Has partially and superficially completed the readings and homework. Shares relevant comments only when called on. Seldom on task during group exercises. Communicates both in English and Spanish.

F (5-0) Has not completed the readings and homework. Never volunteers and is not prepared to share relevant comments when called on. Does not contribute to group exercises. Communicates both in English and Spanish.

Presentations: (10%)

During the term, each student will have one presentation, in group. All the presentations will be supported with power point in relation to the theme scheduled in the activity calendar. All power points will be sent at the professor by email. The grade of each presentation will be according to requirements for participation in class.

Portfolio: (10%)

During the term each student will make a Portfolio to organize all activities which the student will make, such as presentations, search in the Web, real cultural artifacts, compositions and others. The presentation norms will be post in blackboard.

Reading summaries: (30%)

Students will write four short compositions that will have a variety of objectives: report, reflect, inform, summarize information, etc. Each composition will be assigned in blackboard with the respective requirements.

Vocabulary and grammar quizzes: (30%)

Students will have four quizzes throught the term; the quizzes will give them the opportunity to demonstrate vocabulary knowledge of meaning and use as well as knowledge of reviewed grammatical structures.

93-100%= A 90-92%= A- 87-89%= B+ 83-86%= B 80-82%= B- 77-79%= C+

73-76%= C 70-72%= C- 67-69%= D+ 63-66%= D 60-62%= D- 0-59%=F

Behavior in the class:

I expect every student to behave respectfully toward the class in general, toward other students, and toward the instructor. This doesn’t mean that you cannot express your opinion, whatever it may be. However, in expressing your opinions you should do so in a way that shows respect for your classmates and for the instructor. Disruptive or rude behavior will not be tolerated.

Statement of Expectations for Students Conduct:

This course adheres to all OSU academic regulations as found in the Schedule of Classes. Students must behave in ways proper to an academic environment. Academic dishonesty will result in a grade of F. At Oregon State University academic dishonesty is defined by the Oregon Administrative Rules 576-015-0020.1.a-c as: An intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Academic dishonesty includes: cheating, fabrication, assisting, tampering, and plagiarism.

Code of Academy Integrity:

The instructor and the Program Director will initiate an academic integrity case against students suspected of cheating, plagiarizing, or aiding others in dishonest academic behavior. Students are responsible for reading and understanding the Code of Academic Integrity; please refer to:
Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and aiding and abetting dishonesty. An example of plagiarism would be to submit a written sample which in part or in whole is not entirely the student's own work without attributing the source. Cheating includes allowing another person to do your work, such as a composition, homework, or journal entries, and to submit the work under one's own name. Use of an internet translator for any part of an assignment is also considered cheating. Copying parts of websites, in whole or in part, is also cheating. Any work which is submitted for a grade MUST be the student's own work. If you are not sure when it is appropriate to seek help, please see your instructor.

Statements Regarding Students with disabilities:

Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and Disability Access Services (DAS). Students with accommodations approved through DAS are responsible for contacting the faculty member in charge of the class. Students who believe they are eligible for but who have not yet obtained approval through DAS should contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098.


Semana 1

M- 28 marzo

Introducción al curso

Análisis del Sílabo

Estructura del curso

Tarea: Consultar en WWW

sobre “Las civilizaciones mesoamericanas”.

W- 30 marzo

Capítulo I: La América precolombina: las civilizaciones mesoamericanas de ayer y la gente de hoy. Videos

Tarea: pp. 8-10

F- 1ro abril

Presentación en grupo 1 sobre la lectura “El Popol Vuh.” pp. 8-10

Tarea: pp. 11-18

Semana 2

M- 4 abril

Análisis de las pp.11-18

Tarea: pp. 18-22

W- 6 abril

Presentación en grupo 2 sobre la lectura “Chac Mool” pp. 18-22

Tarea: pp. 23-27

F- 8 abril

Análisis de las pp. 23-27

Tarea: Composición 1: Describir, analizar y presentar un objeto relacionado con la cultura. pp. 27-29

Semana 3

M- 11 abril

Exposiciones sobre los temas desarrollados en la composición 1. Resumen del período

Tarea: Estudiar para el quiz 1

W- 13 abril

Quiz 1.

Tarea: Consultar en WWW

sobre “La península Ibérica: lugar de encuentro ayer y hoy”.

F- 15 abril

Capítulo 2: La Península Ibérica: Lugar de encuentro ayer y hoy. Videos

Tarea: pp. 37-40

Semana 4

M- 18 abril

Presentación en grupo 3 sobre la lectura “El alba de las ciudades” pp. 37-40

Tarea: pp. 40-47

W- 20 abril

Análisis de las pp 40-47

Tarea: pp. 47-52

F- 22 abril

Presentación en grupo 4 sobre la lectura “El racismo de las mil caras” pp. 47-52

Tarea: pp. 52-57

Semana 5

M- 25 abril

Análisis de las pp. 52-57

Tarea: Composición 2: Comparar las rutinas. pp.58

W- 27 abril

Exposiciones sobre los temas desarrollados en la composición 2. Resumen del período

Debidos: Diarios

Tarea: Estudiar para el quiz 2

F- 29 abril

Quiz 2

Tarea: Consultar en WWW sobre “Encuentro entre Moctezuma, Hernán Cortés y la Malinche”

Semana 6

M- 2 mayo

Capítulo 3: Tenochtitlán: Encuentro entre Moctezuma, Hernán Cortés y la Malinche. Videos

Tarea: pp. 67-72

W- 4 mayo

Presentación en grupo 5 sobre “La visión de los vencidos” pp. 67-72

Tarea: pp. 73-80

F- 6 mayo

Análisis de las pp. 73-80

Tarea: pp. 81-85

Semana 7

M- 9 mayo

Presentación en grupo 6 sobre la lectura “La maldición de la Malinche” pp.81-85

Tarea: pp. 85-89

W- 11 mayo

Análisis de las pp. 85-89

Tarea: Composición 3: Presentar una experiencia de encuentro pp.89-90

F- 13 mayo

Exposiciones sobre los temas desarrollados en la composición 3. Resumen del período

Tarea: Estudiar para el quiz 3

Semana 8

M- 16 mayo

Quiz 3

Tarea: Consultar en WWW sobre “La conquista y colonización de la región andina: Ecuador, Bolivia y Perú” <>

W- 18 mayo

Capítulo 4: El nuevo Mundo: la región andina: Bolivia, Ecuador y Perú. Videos

Tarea: 1) pp. 99-103, 2) Hacer una entrevista a alguien que llegó de otro país según la pp. 119.

F- 20 mayo

Presentación en grupo 7 sobre la lectura “El origen de los Incas Reyes del Perú” pp. 99-103

Tarea: pp. 104-109

Semana 9

M- 23 mayo

Análisis de las pp. 104-109

Tarea: pp. 109-115

W- 25 mayo

Presentación en grupo 8 sobre la lectura “La frontera” pp. 109-115

Tarea: pp. 115-118

F- 27 mayo

Análisis de las pp. 115-118

Tarea: 1) Composición 4 : Sobre la entrevista realizada. pp. 119.

2) Exposiciones: Sobre las entrevistas realizadas, 3) Debido el Portafolio

Semana 10

M- 30 mayo

Memorial Day

W- 1ro junio

Exposiciones: Sobre las entrevistas realizadas

Entrega del Portafolio

Tarea: Preparación para el cuarto y final quiz.

F- 3 de junio

Cuarto y Final Quiz

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