SPN 327G • Advanced Grammar and Composition
As it is stated by the title of Spanish 327G, our main objective will be the study and practice of Spanish grammar using writing. Our approach is designed to give students an intensive practice at the advanced level in the interrelated skills of reading and writing Spanish. Thus, the other two main skills in the acquisition of a foreign language -speaking and listening- will be secondary to the main concerns of this course. Spanish will be the only language of interaction in the classroom. This course offers an in depth review and study of the more problematic aspects of Spanish grammar for English speakers: ser vs. estar, preterite and imperfect, subjunctive mood, etc. The material we will be covering this semester is not new to any student of Spanish; the difference lies in the required knowledge and awareness of the differences between students' mother language and Spanish. Students should remember that they are acquiring a foreign language, so they have to be conscious that they will have to deal with concepts, forms and structures belonging to a language, a mind and a reality "other" than theirs. We encourage them to not try to translate directly from English into Spanish, because, although both languages share as much as 65 % of vocabulary, direct translation rarely works and, more often than not, is completely misleading.
Every week we will have a reading, a grammatical point to study and some vocabulary. All this material will be tested periodically using exams, quizzes, compositions, homework and so forth. Students should be psychologically prepared for the challenge of this class. Writing is a lonesome enterprise that requires time, effort and self-motivation. They have to keep in mind that any message has to be expressed in the most clear and meaningful way, so the reader will understand it right away. This is the main difference between oral and written communication: in the former, both speaker and addressee are present; in the latter, one of them is missing. Consequently, a sentence with grammatical mistakes impedes and risks successful communication. This is the reason why one of the focus of this class will be raising students' consciousness about the grammatically correct utterances of Spanish. We conceive the grammar component of this class to be fundamental. We understand it as the basic underpinning of the ability to write coherent and meaningful essays. Spanish 327G is the first step in the upper-division courses at the Spanish and Portuguese Department, therefore it is a stepping stone in the development of students' success. The course is thus designed to prepare them for writing grammatically correct essays in upper division Spanish classes on Literature, Linguistics, and Culture. Students should think about this course as the last opportunity to grasp the grammatical knowledge that will allow them to be successful in the remainder of the major.
2 Exams (Mid-term: 15%, Final: 20%) 35% 4 Compositions: 40% 5 Quizzes 15% Participation 5% Attendance 5%
Dominicus, Maria C. and John Reynolds. Repase y Escriba. 4th ed., New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2003.