Brandeis University Department of Romance Studies

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Brandeis University - Department of Romance Studies

HISP 20b-3 – Beginning Spanish

Fall 2017


Jorge Arteta


Rabb 205



Horario de oficina:

Los lunes y jueves de 12PM a 1:30PM. o por cita previa

Correo electrónico:


HISP 20 is the second course in the Spanish language program. It is designed for students who completed one semester of beginner Spanish, such as HISP 10. It continues the proficiency-based program with Vistas, 5th edition for support materials. Think carefully about your placement; will this course be challenging enough for you? Do you want to major or minor in Hispanic Studies and will you have enough time to do so? Once you have completed a course in the language sequence (courses number 10 through 108 in Hispanic Studies), the Registrar will not allow you to “skip” a level. If the course that is at your level is closed, we advise you to wait a semester and enroll in the right course for you during pre-registration.

If you think you might not be in the right course, please speak with your instructor as soon as possible. Students who do not earn at least a C- will not be allowed to continue in the language sequence and will have to repeat the course in order to continue the sequence and complete the language requirement.


Course Description:

HISP 20 exposes learners to the Spanish language and culture. Its aim is to help you acquire basic communication skills and develop an awareness of the diversity of cultures within the Hispanic world. The course is the second in the language sequence designed according to a proficiency-based curriculum. You will be assessed according to your ability to understand (read/listen) and produce (write/speak) the language. Classes promote an interactive atmosphere to allow learners to participate in the learning process and learn to communicate effectively in the target language.
Learning Goals

  • acquire vocabulary related to everyday situations and function at a beginner-high to intermediate-low proficiency

  • learn simple grammatical structures and verbal tenses to enhance comprehension and expression in Spanish

  • understand basic word-order in Spanish

  • narrate and describe events in the present tense

  • narrate a series of completed events in the past

  • attain more cultural awareness and understanding

Learning Outcomes:

Students completing this course will be able to:

  • take part in everyday conversations, initiating them or responding to requests and questions in simple sentences

  • narrate and describe in the present and past

  • express needs and desires

  • make comparisons and descriptions.

  • understand oral texts

  • understand vocabulary related to daily routines, food, planning an event, express congratulations, talk about health

  • be aware of cultural differences amongst countries and regions of the Spanish Speaking World.

  • recognize cultural differences between their own culture and that of the Spanish speaking world

  • be aware of linguistic differences amongst countries in the Spanish-speaking world

  • feel more comfortable in unfamiliar sociolinguistic and cultural situations

Required texts and materials:

  1. VISTAS: Introducción a la lengua española by Blanco/Donley, 5th edition (2015).

Published by Vista Higher Learning, Boston, MA.

  1. Companion website (Supersite): (Included with the purchase of a new Student Text). Text has instructions to link your account to your section. Also included here:

  1. Optional: Spanish-English /English-Spanish dictionary


Attendance and participation 10%

Recaps Supersite online (L 7-11) 10%

Compositions (2) 10%

Lesson tests (6) 10%

Oral tasks – skits (2) 10%

Mid-term exam (L 7-8) & Exam 2 (L 9-10) 20%

Final Oral Exam 10%

Final Written Exam (Lessons 7-11)* 20%

* The final exam cannot be rescheduled without advance authorization from the Office of Academic Affairs and in consultation with the Registrar

Grading Scale:

94-100 =


74-76 =


90-93 =


70-73 =


87-89 =


67-69 =


84-86 =


64-66 =


80-83 =


60-63 =


77-79 =


59 and below =


Students who do not earn at least a C- will not be allowed to continue in the language sequence and will have to repeat the course.

Attendance and Participation:

You must be present in order to be able to participate! Please keep in mind:

  • Class attendance and punctuality

  • Cooperation in group and pair work

  • Use of Spanish

  • Respect towards your instructor and peers

  • Willingness to participate and contribute to class activities

Se habla español en clase. The primary objective of this class is to acquire practical communication skills in Spanish, and develop an awareness and appreciation of Hispanic culture. Toward this end, Spanish will be the primary language of instruction. There are study aids in English in the text, animated tutorials and practice exercises online (Supersite) as well as PowerPoint presentations on LATTE. You also have access to a Spanish tutor in Academic Services. Class time will be spent engaged in task-based, communicative activities in Spanish as the target language. Each communicative exercise is based on specified contexts in collaboration with classmates speaking and writing in small groups, in pairs or reading and listening individually. Each lesson comes with dialogs to be practiced in class. Learning requires your active involvement. As soon as you arrive, sit next to a classmate and engage her/him in conversation, en español. Be sure to participate in all activities. You will learn Spanish by speaking Spanish. You get the most out of the course by active participation in class.

You may miss up to three classes for any reasons (such as health or family emergency). After the third absence your final course average will go down by 1 point per absence out of 52 class meetings. If you miss a class, make sure that you do not miss special instructions or handouts for the next class. Check the syllabus and LATTE. No late work will be accepted. It is important to be well prepared for class to take part in class activities. Read the assigned sections in VISTAS at home and prepare what is indicated on the syllabus both in the textbook and in the Supersite.

Homework: Remember, do your homework in advance to be able to participate! If you miss a class, find out what is due for the next class and prepare for it. Your instructor may give additional assignments as deemed necessary. If you cannot attend a class, please make sure you complete your homework online; if written, send to your instructor on the day of the class. Online activities (Supersite) are for practice under the PRACTICE section and graded under RECAPITULACION. There are 5 graded online assignments as part of the homework grade for 10% of the final grade (Lessons 7-11).

Quizzes and exams: Formal evaluations will focus on vocabulary and grammar points studied in class as well as cultural content in each lesson. During the last weeks of classes there will be an oral exam that will take place during the regular class time. There will also be a common written final exam for all sections of Hisp. 20 during Final Exam Week. Please note that travel plans do NOT constitute an emergency. Contact Academic Services + Registrar for any accommodations.

Classroom policies:

Punctuality is essential. Missing any part of daily class will be considered a full absence. As a result frequent tardiness will also have a negative effect upon your final grade.
Cell phones and other electronic devices should be on “Airplane mode” unless used for the purposes of the class.

Additional help:

The Brandeis University Group Study (B.U.G.S.) offers students free language practice outside of class. Take advantage of this service. Caroline Kriesen, will be the group study leader for Spanish 10 this semester. The Office of Student Enrichment Services is located in Usdan Student Center 130, and Caroline’s hours will be announced in class. Their website is: Questions about group study leaders can be addressed to Julia Moffit Mani, Associate Director of Academic Advising, BUGS Group Study Coordinator, Office of Academic Services, Usdan 130, 781.736.3460-

Notice to students with disabilities:

If you are a student with a documented disability on record at Brandeis University and wish to have a reasonable accommodation made for you in this class, please see the professor immediately or contact Beth Rodgers-Kay ( Retroactive accommodations cannot be provided.

Spanish major: If you are thinking about majoring or minoring in Spanish, you should familiarize yourself with the program in the Bulletin and then see the Undergraduate Advising Head, Professor Jerónimo Arellano ( as soon as possible to make sure that you understand the prerequisities and requirements.

Study abroad:

We encourage all students in our courses to find out about the possibilities that exist for studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Students who have the opportunity to study abroad gain access to a richer understanding of the language and culture, and they develop on a higher intellectual and personal level. For more information contact: Allyson Goose ( Her office is located in 127 Usdan Student Center and the phone number is 6-3483.

Academic Integrity:

Academic integrity is central to the mission of educational excellence at Brandeis University. Each student is expected to turn in work completed independently, except when assignments specifically authorize collaborative effort. It is not acceptable to use the words or ideas of another person—whether that be a world-class philosopher or those of your classmate—without proper acknowledgement of that source. This means you must use notes and quotation marks to indicate the source of any phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or ideas found in published volumes, on the Internet, or created by another person.
Violation of University policies on academic integrity, described in Section 3 of Rights and Responsibilities, may result in failure on the assignment or failure in the course, and could even end in suspension from the University. Remember that tutors or study leaders, including those sanctioned by Brandeis University, are not authorized to complete homework or any other assignments for you. If you have questions about the type of help you can receive, please ask your professor before you receive help.
If you have any questions about what constitutes academic dishonesty, please contact your professor or Kerry Guerard (, Director of Student Rights and Community Standards, in the Shapiro Campus Center 201 or 781-736-5070.

Register for weather updates at (Syllabus subject to changes):

Note: Any changes in the course schedule will be announced in class. Please check about any additional homework assignment if you miss a class. We will cover lessons 7-11 in Vistas. Each lesson presents a communicative topic or subject of conversation, an episode of the Fotonovela with examples of the uses of words and expressions, and four (4) key language structures (7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4). You will practice each day online (Supersite) and submit a graded homework component or “Recapitulación” (also online) at the end of each lesson before taking the lesson test.


Class activities

Study and homework for next day

Semana 1: Del 30 de agosto al 1º de septiembre


En clase


Clase 1:

El miércoles, 30 de agosto

1. Asistencia. Lista de clase.

2. Presentaciones (introductions/handout)

3. Repaso Lec 1-6: Handout y LATTE

4. Supersite – instrucciones de acceso

5. Fotonovela L6: En el mercado, p. 194

1. Register online Supersite and complete assigned practice activities (See Supersite calendar)

2. Review Lessons 1-3, esp. Fotonovela/grammar

3. Repasar (review) las formas verbos pretérito sección 6.3 (p. 206-207)

4. Completar la actividad 1, p. 208 (Completar – fill in the blanks, 1-9) para entregar (to turn in)

Clase 2:

El jueves, 31 de agosto

Asistencia. ¿Cómo te llamas?

Revisar la tarea: Act. 1, p. 208 (1-9)

Revisar episodios 1, 2, y 3 Fotonovela

Introducción a la Lec. 7: La rutina diaria 7.1

Completar Supersite 7 Contextos (Supersite calendar). Estudiar vocab. p. 226-227.

Memorize pret. verb forms, 6.3, p. 206-207

El viernes, 1º de septiembre

Look ahead: The test for Lesson 7 is on Monday, Sept. 11. You need the Supersite!

Study numbers 1-30 to tell time and days of the month. Read 1.3 on how to use SER to tell time

Semana 2 (week 2): Del 4 al 8 de septiembre

El lunes, 4 de septiembre

Labor Day. No hay reunión de clase.

Completar Supersite Contextos y 7.1, p. 236

Check: Can you tell your daily routine in Spanish?

Clase 3:

El martes, 5 de septiembre

Fotonovela Lec 7: ¡Necesito arreglarme!

Estructura 7.2: Negative words, p. 240-243

Estruct. 7.3: Preterite of SER and IR, 244

Completar Supersite 7.2 y 7.3

(Registered on Supersite by today? You will get 3 extra points on Test 1 on Monday!!)

Clase 4:

El miércoles, 6 de septiembre

Estructura 7.4: Verbs like GUSTAR
Review activities

Supersite, Recapitulación (Do first a practice run on pages 250-251 in the text, then submit answers for a “Homework” grade on the Supersite online)

Clase 5:

El jueves, 7 de septiembre

Review for Test Lección 7

Revisión de la Recapitulación

Actividades de práctica

-Make any needed corrections to Recap. 1

-Estudiar la Lección 7, Test Lesson 7 Monday

-Take practice test online to prep for Test 1

Semana 3: Del 11 al 15 de septiembre

Clase 6:

El lunes, 11 sept

Test Lección 7: La rutina diaria

Fotonovela 7: ¡Necesito arreglarme!

Study vocabulary, Lección 08:

p. 261-262 and on page 298 (Flashcards-Supersite)

Clase 7:

El martes, 12 de septiembre

Lección 8 – La comida:

1. Contextos, pp. 261-262

2. Fotonovela, Lec. 8: Una cena romántica

3. Estructura 8.1: Pret Stem change p. 274

1. Supersite, practice Contextos L8

2. Learn verb stems in 8.1 Vistas, p. 274-275

3. Supersite Practice 8.1 (online)

4. Prep for class: Read 8.2, pages 277-278

Clase 8:

El miércoles, 13

Estructura 8.2: Double obj prons, p. 277

Le doy una sorpresa a mi novi@-Se la doy

1. Supersite Practice 8.2: double-object prons.

2. Review Fotonovela at home (& Supersite)

Clase 9:

El jueves, 14

Estructura 8.3: Comparisons

(Vistas, pages 281-285)

Supersite Practice 8.3, online

Anticipate: Test Lec 8: Wed. September 2

Semana 4: Del 18 al 22 de septiembre

El lunes

18 de sept

Clase # 10

8.1 Comunicación, p. 276 (Pretérito)

Estructura 8.1 – Pret Stem Change, p. 274

Estructura 8.2 – Double obj. Prons. p. 277

Comunicación, p. 280

- Completar actividades en el Supersite (SS)

- Write Recapitulación in the text - prep

- First day to opt for pass/fail (last day 9/26)

El martes

19 de sept

Clase #11

Estructura 8.3 – Comparisons, p. 281

Estructura 8.4 - Superlatives, p. 286

Complete RECAP. Lección 8 online (graded)

El miércoles

20 de sept

Clase #12

Repaso de la Lección 8

Comunicación, p. 285

Estudiar para el test de la lección 8

El jueves, 21

Rosh Hashanah: No hay clase.

Semana 5: Del 25 al 29 de septiembre

El lunes

25 de sept

Clase # 13

Test de la Lección 8

- Completar actividades Supersite Contextos 9

Prep. for class – Read 9.1, pages 310-311

Study vocab. Página 330; 300-301

El martes

26 de sept

Clase #14

Lección 9: Las fiestas, p. 300

Fotonovela: El día de los muertos

Estructura 9.1 – Irregular preterites, p. 310

Supersite Practice 9.1

Prep for class: Read 9.2

Last day to opt for pass/fail.

El miércoles

27 de sept

Clase #15

Estructura 9.2 – Verbs that change meaning in the preterite, p. 314

Supersite 9.2

Study flashcards L9 (Vocabulary tools)

El jueves

28 de sept

Clase #16

Estructura 9.3 - ¿Qué es? O ¿cuál es?

Instructions for Oral Task #1 (next week)

Supersite 9.3

29 septiembre

Yom Kippur

No hay tarea.

Semana 6: Del 2 al 6 de octubre

El lunes, 2

Clase # 17

Estructura 9.4 – Pronouns after prepositions

Oral Task #1 (groups 1-4)

- Completar actividades en el Supersite 9.4

- Complete RECAP. Lección 9 online (graded)

Martes (“jueves”)

3 de octubre

Clase #18

Brandeis “Thursday” Schedule.

Oral Task #1 (groups 5-9)

Review. L9

Reading (Lectura)

Listening Comprehension Activity

El miércoles

4 de octubre

Clase #19

Composición #1

Study for the midterm exam Lessons 7, 8, 9

El jueves

5 de octubre

Sukkot. No hay reunión de clase.

No hay tarea.

Semana 7: Del 9 al 13 de octubre

El lunes

9 de octubre

Clase #20

Examen (midterm) Lecciones 7, 8 y 9

- Lección 10: Study vocabulary on page 366

- Completar en el Supersite (SS) – Contextos

El martes

10 de octubre

Clase #21

Review results midterm (L 7-9)

Lección 10: En el consultorio, p. 332-333


Review the content of the Fotonovela. What are Jimena’s symptoms, pp. 336-337

Supersite, Fotonovela

El miérc (“jueves”)

11 de octubre

Clase #22

Brandeis “Thursday” Schedule.

Fotonovela – Episodio 9: ¡Qué dolor!

10. 1 – The imperfect, p. 342-343 (used to)

Supersite, 10.1

Study flashcards L10 (Vocabulary tools)

El jueves 12

Shimimi Atzeret. No hay clase.

No hay tarea.


Class activities

Study and homework for next day

Semana 8: Del 16 al 20 de octubre

El lunes

16 de octubre

Clase #23

10.2 – The preterit and imperfect, p. 346-7

- Completar actividades en el Supersite 10.2

El martes

17 de octubre

Clase #24

Last day to drop w/out a W notation

10.3 – Constructions with SE, p. 350

Completar Supersite 10.3

El miércoles,

18 -Clase #25

10.4 – Adverbs, p. 354

Supersite, 10.4

Completar la Recapitulación Lec 10

El jueves, 19

Clase #26

Recapitulación y repaso

Study vocabulary Lección 11, flashcards

Friday, Oct. 20: Midterm grades due
Semana 9: Del 23 al 27 de octubre

El lunes

23 de octubre

Clase #27

Test de la Lección 10

Study vocabulary Lección 11, p. 368-369; 402

Flashcards (Vocab. Tools)

El martes

24 de octubre

Clase #28

Lección 11: La tecnología, p. 368-369

- Completar actividades en el Supersite (SS)

-Study flashcards L11 (Vocabulary tools)

El miércoles

25 de octubre

Clase #29

Fotonovela – En el taller

11.1 – Familiar Commands, p. 378

Supersite, Fotonovela L11, 11.1

El jueves

26 de octubre

Clase #30

11.1 – More on familiar commands

11.2 – Por (dynamic) versus para (static)

Estudiar 11.2: Por versus para, pp. 382-383

Semana 10: Del 30 de octubre al 3 de noviembre

El lunes

30 de octubre

Clase #31

11. 2 Por versus para, pp. 384-385

Supersite Practice 11.4

Vistas Recap L11

El martes

31 de octubre

Clase #32

11.3 –Reciprocal reflexives, p.386

Oral Task #2 online (graded)

Supersite, 11.3

El mié 1º nov

Clase #33

11.4 – Stressed possessives, p. 388-389

Supersite Recap Lesson 11 (graded)

Study for test Lec 11

El jueves

2 de nov

Clase #34

Instrucciones para la composición #2

Study for Test L11 Monday

Nov. 1-6: Early registration for spring term 2018. Register for next level of Spanish.

Semana 11: Del 6 al 10 de noviembre

El lunes, 6

Clase #35

Composición #2

Handout – Complete activities

El martes

7 de nov

Clase #36

Class activities – comunicación

Recapitulación Lección 11

El miércoles

8 de nov

Clase #37

Practice Activities for Lec. 11

Go back over Recaps L7 – 11 to see which onces you’d like to reset and redo before final

El jueves

9 de nov

Clase #38

Review Lección 11

Estudiar para el test de la lección 11


Class activities

Study and homework for next day

Semana 12: Del 13 al 17 de noviembre

El lunes

13 de nov

Clase #39

Test Lección 11

El martes

14 de nov

Clase #40

Organize groups for final orals (Week 15)

Contact partner for final oral

El miércoles

15 de nov

Clase #41

Partners work on oral final in class

Prep oral skits

El jueves

16 de nov

Clase #42

Partners meet on their own to work on oral (No hay reunión de clase)

Write first draft of final oral

Prepare oral dialog on a Word document

Nov. 17-19: ACTFL Convention
Semana 13: Del 20 al 23 de noviembre

El lunes

20 de nov

Clase #43

Review Fotonovela, Lecciones 7-11

- Practice oral presentations

- Practice narrating Fotonovela episodes 7-11 in the past tense.

El martes

21 de nov

Clase #44

Practice oral presentations

Practice final oral presentations

Study Lessons 7-9; handout, Lessons 7-11

21-23 de nov

Thanksgiving holiday. - No hay clases.

Descansar y disfrutar de unas buenas vacaciones.

Semana 14: Del 27 de noviembre al 1º de diciembre

El lunes

27 de nov

Clase #45

Review Lessons 7-9

Study Lec. 7-9. Practice oral presentations.

Practice narrating Fotonovela episodes 7-11 in the past tense.

El martes

28 de nov

Clase #46

Review Lessons 10-12

Study Lec. 10-11. Practice oral presentations

Complete handout L 7-12 for Thu, class #48

El miércoles

29 de noviembre

Clase #47

Listening comprehension section of the final exam in class.

Practice oral presentations

El jueves

30 de nov

Clase #48

Review narrating Fotonovela events in the past for Lessons 7-12

Practice oral presentations

Semana 15: Del 4 al 8 de diciembre

El lunes, 4

dic-Clase #49

Oral Exam Presentations (1-4)

Estudiar para el examen final escrito el viernes, 5 de diciembre

El martes, 5

dic-Clase #50

Oral Exam Presentations (5-8)

No class meeting. Study for final exam. Review L7-8

El miércoles

6 de dic

Clase #51

Oral Exam presentations (9-10)

Review progressive forms for final exam versus future plans. Rev. L9-10

El jueves

7 de dic

Clase #52


Friday, Dec. 8: Last day of instruction.
Monday, December 11 – Study Day
Tuesday, December 12 – Final Exam from 1:30PM to 4:30PM

Location to be posted by the Registrar’s Office.

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