Spanish Course Descriptions


Spanish I (1 credit) UC
The first-year language course introduces students to the Spanish language and demonstrates how students are already interconnected with it simply by living in California. Students learn the language necessary to speak about oneself, family, daily activities, and likes and dislikes. The ultimate goal is that students find their own voices in Spanish. This class introduces the present tense, commands, gender of nouns and adjectives, object pronouns, reflexive verbs, the gerund, the simple future, and the preterite. Cultural elements representative of the Spanish-speaking world are incorporated throughout the curriculum.

Spanish II (1 credit) UC
Second-year students acquire skills that allow them to discuss their opinions about topics as well as to express them in written compositions. They learn the present, preterite, progressive, and imperfect tenses, and they are introduced to the future, conditional, present perfect, and subjunctive. Students develop the ability to write short essays and discuss different Spanish texts, including songs, films, and stories. In so doing, they become more familiar with the culture, history, and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world, especially in Peru and South America.

Spanish III (1 credit) UC
The third-year language course expands the students’ cultural knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world. Special attention is given to the presence, contributions, and influences of Spanish-speaking people in the United States, particularly Chicanos, Mexicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans. Students are exposed to a variety of Spanish literature, poetry, and complex grammatical structures. Reading, writing, listening, and conversational skills are taught using a diversity of materials and techniques to attain proficiency. Special attention is given to students’ ability to write clear, complete, and persuasive compositions. The course culminates with an 8-10 page research paper and extensive oral presentation on a Spanish-speaking country.


Spanish IV (1 credit) UC
This advanced course further develops students’ language skills and ability to interpret visual, musical, and literary texts from the Spanish-speaking world. Short stories, plays, poems, novels, movies, and songs are studied, and students write short and long essays on these and other topics. Political violence in Latin America and migration to the United States are further explored. The main goal of the course is to have students gain considerable fluency and become comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas in written and spoken Spanish.

Spanish IV Honors UC
Spanish IV students earn honors credit by completing additional work and preparing for the Spanish language AP exam.

Spanish V: Latin American Literature (1 credit)
This class is designed as an independent study for advanced students who would like to experience a college-level literature course. Students select two texts within Latin American or Hispanic Literature. They familiarize themselves with the authors and contextualize their work according to the literary movements to which they belong and the context of their works’ genre. Students select four research topics, dealing with any sociopolitical or environmental issues of their choice, and write reports of 5-7 pages on each. Upon completing each project, students present their findings in a formal class setting with the instructor and invited guests. While this is not an AP literature class, students are strongly encouraged to take the AP Spanish Literature exam in May.

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