Spanish Learning Courses

Center for International Programs

Our intensive Spanish Language programs provide an authentic, practical classroom experience, in which students can gain a solid understanding of vocabulary, communication skills and grammatical structures. Classes include the analysis of both linguistic and extra-linguistic elements during interactive reading, conversation and writing activities, helping students to grasp the subtleties of the Spanish language.  As students are expected to develop a balance between communication proficiency and grammatical knowledge, they will initially be placed according to an assessment of their structural knowledge and the results of their ACTFL interview.

Tests in Spanish Language courses integrate convergent (grammatical structures) and divergent (the global use of language) techniques. All levels evaluate a combination of oral, listening, reading and writing skills.

Classes hold a maximum of 12-14 students, depending on the level.

INTENSIVE SPANISH PROGRAM

SPN 101 Basic 1 Spanish (80 hours)

This course is an introduction to Spanish for beginners with no previous knowledge of the language. Students will develop the basic linguistic skills necessary to communicate in everyday situations. The course covers basic grammatical structures, vocabulary, communicative expressions and frequent situations in settings such as restaurants, stores, buses, etc. Emphasis is on understanding, speaking, reading and cross-cultural perspectives.

SPN 102 Basic 2 Spanish (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 101

This course is for students who have completed a minimum of 60 contact hours in Spanish studies and have a command of elementary grammatical tenses. Students will build on their previous knowledge and further develop their oral, reading, writing and listening skills. They will expand their vocabulary and language usage in order to better interact with the Costa Rican environment, and will be able to express themselves in the past tense.

SPN 201 Intermediate 1 Spanish (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 102

Students enrolling in this course should have a communicative command of everyday situations and a structural command of the present tense. The objective of the course is to develop skills, emphasizing oral and written presentations and more complex grammatical structures. Students will develop a solid command of all past indicative tenses.

SPN 202 Intermediate 2 Spanish (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 201

This course helps students to enrich their discourse in descriptions and simple narrations. Students will further build their vocabulary and work closely with the subjunctive and other complex grammatical structures. Students will also learn several idiomatic expressions used in Costa Rica.

SPN 210 Intermediate Spanish Conversation (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 202

This course is for students with a high intermediate level of Spanish who wish to improve their communicative skills and pronunciation. Emphasis is placed on day-to-day conversation and cultural issues. The methodology enhances structured speech to provide a firm foundation in patterns of spoken Spanish, progressing towards free conversation.

SPN 301 Advanced 1 Spanish (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 202

This course emphasizes grammatical analysis, vocabulary expansion, idiomatic expressions and student compositions at a complex level. Students will acquire a high level of communicative Spanish, allowing them to express their thoughts and opinions on complex and controversial subjects.

SPN 302 Advanced 2 Spanish (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 301

This course is for students who wish to polish the stylistics of their oral and written skills. Students should have a high linguistic understanding and full knowledge of grammatical structures. We will practice narrative constructions, reactions in unexpected contexts, and how to report compiled information. The course also covers key aspects of myths, beliefs and other cultural issues in Latin America.

SPN 304 Spanish for Business (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 301

This course is for students with an advanced level of Spanish who wish to gain a basic understanding of Costa Rica’s main entrepreneurial settings. By the end of the course, students will have a general knowledge of business vocabulary and common business practices in Costa Rica. Coursework is complimented by field visits to developing businesses.

SPN 310 Advanced Spanish Conversation (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 301

This course helps students to acquire the skill of self-correction. Students will focus on obtaining higher levels of diction and fluency through exposure to oral contexts, idiomatic language and varieties of Spanish spoken in different Spanish-speaking nations. The course develops skills in reading, discussion, analysis, self-correction and research. Emphasis is given to pragmatic production, and students must be prepared to spend a minimum of 2 additional hours per day on assignments.

SPN 320 Cultural Heritage in Latin America (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 301

This course introduces relevant topics in the development of Latin America’s cultural heritage. Students will develop an understanding of intellectual, artistic, social and historical perspectives in Latin America, with an emphasis on Costa Rica.

SPN 330 Spanish for Heritage Speakers (80 hours)

Prerequisite: Spanish as a first language speaker with an advanced level of communication.

This course is for Spanish as a first language speakers who wish to acquire proficiency in the use of complex grammatical structures. Emphasis will be given to listening, writing and reading skills.

SPN 340 Oral Expression Techniques (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 301

This course focuses on advanced communication and presentation skills. Students will work on communication techniques and efficient oral expression in formal contexts.

SPN 410 Advanced Composition (80 hours)

Prerequisite SPN 302

This course is for highly advanced students who wish to further develop their written skills through various composition practices and techniques. The course studies complex and difficult syntax topics, with special attention to stylistics and composition structure.

SPECIALTY: SPANISH FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

SSP 141 Basic Spanish for Health Professions (80 hours)

This course is designed to provide health care professionals without any previous Spanish experience with the tools necessary for interacting with and interviewing Spanish-speaking patients.

During this four-week course, students will work through simulated interactions with Spanish speaking patients to acquire the basic linguistic knowledge and skills that will allow them to comfortably tackle these interactions when they return home.

SSP 241 Intermediate Spanish for Health Professions (80 hours)

Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish.

This course is designed for health care professionals who have a minimum of 100 contact hours in Spanish studies. Students will deepen their knowledge of medical-related Spanish and increase the competency of communications in specific, simulated situations with Spanish speaking patients.

SSP 341 Advanced Spanish for Health Professions (80 hours)

Prerequisite: minimum of four semesters of college-level Spanish.

This course is designed for health care professionals with an advanced background in Spanish, who wish to improve their linguistic competency in order to interact with Spanish speaking patients and their families.

SPECIALTY: SPANISH FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS

SSP 151 Basic Spanish for Law Enforcement Professions (80 hours)

This course is designed to provide general law enforcement professionals with no previous Spanish experience with the tools necessary for interacting with native Spanish speakers.

During this 4-week course, students will work through simulated interactions with Spanish speaking patients to acquire the basic linguistic knowledge and skills that will allow them to comfortably tackle these interactions when they return home.

SSP 251 Intermediate Spanish for Law Enforcement Professions (80 hours)

Prerequisite: minimum of two semesters of college-level Spanish.

This course is designed for law enforcement professionals who a minimum of 100 contact hours of Spanish studies. Students will deepen their knowledge of law-related Spanish and increase the competency of communications in specific, simulated situations with native Spanish speakers.

SUPPLEMENTAL SPANISH LANGUAGE COURSES

Students who wish to further practice their conversational skills at a particular level can enroll in a 4 weeks/16 hours Conversation Module for an extra credit.  These courses are taught during the months of January, June and July.

Students who want to enroll in these courses must be concurrently enrolled in a Spanish language course at either the equivalent basic, intermediate or advanced level.  The syllabi will be oriented towards a practical communicative exercise so students wishing to receive full course credit for intermediate or advanced conversation (SPN-210/SPN-310)  or oral expression techniques (SPN-340) must enroll in the full content structured courses offered in the morning.

SPN 300 Módulo Comunicación y Cultura Nivel Avanzado (16 hours)

Este curso está dirigido a estudiantes que cursan los niveles de avanzado I o avanzado II.

El estudiante recibirá las herramientas necesarias para comunicarse con efectividad y consistencia tanto en contextos cotidianos como en situaciones polémicas donde deba defender sus puntos de vista u opiniones.

El curso está enmarcado desde una perspectiva de relación entre lengua y cultura. Así, se presentaran las claves culturales necesarias para que el estudiante interactúe cómodamente y con espontaneidad dentro de los contextos sociales y culturales a los que se verá expuesto.

El curso refuerza de manera pragmática la gramática y vocabulario deseados para niveles avanzados. Además, presenta usos costarricenses de la lengua dentro de contextos culturales auténticos.

SPN 200 Módulo Comunicación y Cultura Nivel Intermedio (16 hours)

El curso está dirigido a aquellos estudiantes con un nivel básico de competencia comunicativa en español, quienes deseen complementar los cursos intensivos de lengua mediante un énfasis en el desarrollo de la destreza oral y el conocimiento de los elementos culturales de la lengua meta. El curso se impartirá una vez por semana de dos a tres horas de duración.

SPN 100 Módulo Comunicación y Cultura Nivel Básico (16 hours)

Este curso está diseñado para estudiantes de español como segunda lengua de niveles básico I o básico II. Durante las clases, el estudiante desarrollará su competencia comunicativa oral, que le permitirá desenvolverse de manera efectiva y eficaz en situaciones cotidianas  de la cultura costarricense, mediante el conocimiento de expresiones, costumbres y tradiciones de Costa Rica.