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Second Language Track

Overview

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The Spanish as a Second Language learners are those students with no previous background or some high-school education in Spanish. They are students who grow up in an environment where family members speak English or other languages, except Spanish. As part of the core curriculum UH requires 6 credits in a foreign language which can be fulfilled in the Spanish Program.

The MAIN GOAL of this Program is to develop communicative and critical thinking skills through materials and activities specifically designed for Spanish as a Second Language learners. Classroom activities focus on developing oral, listening, reading, writing abilities in a variety of formal and informal contexts. In addition, each course incorporates specific materials and projects to develop greater familiarity with Hispanic cultures around the world and with the community in Houston and the US, from a critical thinking perspective. "Critical thinking" refers to a pedagogy which has strong cultural components in relationship with social constructions which has to be questioned to better understand stereotypes, discrimination, racism, between others.

The Program classes implement current research in Second-Language Acquisition, critical thinking pedagogy, and Language Learning methodologies. The courses offered in the Program include Elementary and Intermediate Spanish. Students who successfully complete the Intermediate Level in this program fulfill the foreign language requirement and are encouraged to enroll in more advanced classes. The Hispanic Department offers a variety of undergraduate-level classes that includes linguistics, literature and cultural topics. For more information on Spanish Minor and Major visit the Spanish Undergraduate Program.

In order to enroll in any of the classes offered students must take the Spanish Placement Test for non- native speakers or show Spanish credit transferred from other higher-education institutions or have passed previous Spanish as a Second Language level with a C- or above.

Director of the Spanish as a Second Language Program
Alejandra Balestra, Ph.D.
Office: AH 449
Phone: 743 713-9914
Email: abalestra@uh.edu

Course Offering

The following courses, except SPAN 1505 and SPAN 2610, are taught in Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. (Before registration please check the semester course listing). Enrollment is subject to Placement

Level Course Description
Elementary 1501 It is a basic language class designed for students who enter with no previous knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (present tenses, verbs ser, estar, tener, haber, present progressive, subject and direct object pronouns, nominal agreement) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities. Critical thinking activities. CMC (Computer-mediated Communication) activities. Hybrid, flipped course.
Prerequisites: Placement Test
Elementary 1502 It is a basic language class designed for students who enter with some knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (past tenses, gustar, commands, direct and indirect pronouns, comparatives, por-para and introduction to subjunctive) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities. Critical thinking activities. CMC (Computer-mediated Communication) activities. Hybrid, flipped course.
Prerequisites: 1501 or Placement Test
Elementary 1505 It is an intensive language class designed for students with some formal background in Spanish, mostly in High School. This is a fast paced course not suitable for all students. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (simple and progressive present and past tenses, verbs ser, estar, tener, haber, gustar, adjectives and nouns agreement, commands, direct and indirect object pronouns, comparatives, por-para, future tense, present subjunctive) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities. Critical thinking activities. CMC (Computer-mediated Communication) activities. Online.
Prerequisites: Two or more years of High School Spanish AND Placement Test.

Intermediate 2301

It is the first intermediate language class designed for students who enter with good basic knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic-to-intermediate grammar structures (uses of present, past, and compound tenses, verbs similar to gustar, commands, direct and indirect pronouns usage, reflexive verbs, present subjunctive, impersonal se). Expansion of core vocabulary; conversation on general topics, reading and writing activities. Critical thinking activities. CMC (Computer-
Prerequisites: 1502, 1505 or Placement Test.

Intermediate 2302

It is the second intermediate language class designed for students who enter with good basic knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic-to-intermediate grammar structures (future and conditional tenses, present and past subjunctive, relative and other pronouns). Expansion of core vocabulary. Conversation on general topics, reading and writing activities. Critical thinking activities. CMC (Computer-mediated Communication) activities. Online and hybrid, flipped course.

Prerequisites: 2301 or Placement Test
Intermediate 2610

It is the intensive intermediate language class designed for students who enter with good basic knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on intermediate grammar structures (future and conditional tenses, present and past subjunctive, relative and other pronouns). Expansion of core vocabulary. Conversation on general topics, reading and writing activities. Designed for Second Language learners. Heritage speakers are not eligible to enroll. Continued development of oral expression and listening comprehension with increased emphasis on reading and writing skills and developing critical thinking. CMC (Computer-mediated Communication) activities. Online and hybrid, flipped course.

Prerequisites: 1502 or Placement Test

PLACEMENT - SPANISH PLACEMENT TEST FOR NON HERITAGE STUDENTS (Non-Credit)

Important Note: Students cannot enroll in any Spanish Language Program (Second Language or Heritage Language) if they have not taken the Placement Test required in each track. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in being dropped from the class.

Test-takers information

Place and dates:

  • Monday-Tuesday, 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Wednesday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm; Saturday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm [Saturday only selected tests]. No reservation required; walk-ins are welcome.
  • Duration: One hour
  • Location: University Testing Services Center. Student Services Building, Room 204.

Results:

  • Results are available immediately.
  • Students receive a placement form for their records.
  • Exam results will expire after thirteen months from the day that the exam was taken.
  • Students must upload the test results to the course on Blackboard in the first week of classes.

Resources and Materials

Course textbooks

COURSE

TEXTBOOK

PUBLISHER

SPAN 1501
SPAN 1502

Portales 1

Vista Higher Learning

Puntos de Partida

SPAN 1505

Conectados

Cengage

Puentes Book Cover

SPAN 2301
SPAN 2302
SPAN 2610

Portales 2

Vista Higher Learning

Mas 2nd Ed