Syllabus for Mr. Bellantonio’s Spanish I Class

Fall Semester 2010 

General Description: ¡Bienvenidos! This is an introductory course to both the Spanish language and the cultures where the Spanish language is spoken. This course is modeled on the communicative approach where emphasis is placed on communicating a message through meaning-bearing input and structured output rather than repetition and rote memorization. While it is still important for you to study vocabulary and produce the language, our approach will be directed toward the exploration and deeper understanding of the language. 

Course Objectives: The main objectives of this course are to develop basic communicative skills in Spanish as a second language and to develop some rudimentary knowledge about the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. These goals will be accomplishedthrough the following: • Student will be able to describe the world that surrounds him/her in the present tense,compare and contrast, talk about events in present and planned future events, and givecommands. 

• Speaking: Student will mimic pronunciation modeled by instructor, Sol y Viento video,and on student website. Student will respond to feedback and provide pronunciationfeedback to peers. Student will use Spanish almost exclusively. If the student lacks the specific lexical knowledge to express an idea, student will develop the ability tomaneuver within the same context by using Spanish and gesticulation rather than falling back on English. Student’s speaking will be evaluated daily during output activities as part of their participation score and twice during the semester via oral interviews. 

• Listening: The majority of the course will be taught in Spanish. Student will beresponsible for self-advocating; if the student doesn’t understand something or if theinstructor is going too fast, student will request repetition (Repita, por favor) or a slowerpace (Más despacio, por favor). Student will receive messages through listening and beable to do something with that message. Aside from pronunciation practice, student willnot be expected to simply parrot information back to the instructor or to his/her peers. 

• Writing: Student will demonstrate mastery of material and individual point of view.Student will use or a dictionary of their choosing to best express thedesired message efficiently and accurately. I will be happy to help you with early drafts of all writing assignments and you may receive help on grammar points and vocabularyselection, but the expression must be your own and use of translation websites will because for an automatic fail on that assignment. 

Grade Scale: The grading scale is as follows:



Grading: All significant assignments will have written instructions including due dates and clearexpectations.

Since the goal of this class is to help you convey a message in Spanish, your assignments will be graded on how clearly and accurately you conveyed that message using what you’ve learned inclass.

Tarea: Practice is crucial for language learning so you will have short homework (tarea)assignments most nights. Often, you will be able to finish these in class and they will be graded for completion.

Participación: You will give yourself a participation grade ranging from 1 to 5 for every day that class meets. You will choose this grade based on the attached participation expectations, and the instructor will collect these sheets every day and verify that the grade youhave given yourself is an accurate reflection of your participation. Please do not ever take thissheet home with you. Participation points cannot be made up, but the lowest three will be dropped at the end of the semester.

Redacciones: Each composition (or redacción) will be a 200 word minimum and you will receive a ½ point for each word that is comprehensible and contributes to the overall meaning of the message. Words with meaning changing errors (incorrectly conjugated verbs, for example) will receive no points. You may go over the 200 word minimum to give yourself a better chance of getting 200 comprehensible words (which would equal 100%), but please do not exceed 300 words. [A score that exceeds 100% will positively influence the other redacción grades, but your total score for all redacciones cannotexceed 100%.]

Entrevista Oral: This assessment of your speaking skills will look a lot like the output activities you do in class every day. You will be given time to prepare and you may use notes, but you may not simply read a prewritten script aloud. Grade will be given based on the attached Oral assessment rubric.

Presentación de juego: You and a partner will sign up topresent the material of a particular class day by teaching the class a game. You will give allinstructions in Spanish. You will only be expected to present new vocabulary or review already covered grammar. You will never be asked to present new grammar during your game. The same expectations for the entrevista oral will apply to this game, but creativity goes a long way here and you can earn yourself extra points with creativity and preparedness. Léxico: Instructor will sometimes point out interesting words or colloquialisms that are not part of your test table vocabulary. You will enter these in your léxico along with any other words that you encounter that you particularly enjoy or see as useful and you will date each entry. These words will showup on quizzes and tests for extra credit points. 

Grade Reporting: This class will follow the DA discipline plan as described in the handbook and discussed during orientation. Students who misbehave will be given a green or red card, be excused from class, and be expected to email their parents about whatever behavior issue they struggled with.   

Tentative Schedule for the Fall Semester

Adjustments will be made as necessary to meet the interests of the students and to maintainreasonable expectations. Unless otherwise stated, homework assignments are due the day afterbeing assigned.  

Self-Evaluation Participation Criteria

Outstanding = 5 points-arrives for class on time-greets people and takes leave using Spanish expressions-strives to speak exclusively in Spanish during whole class and group discussion relative to material already covered-during whole group discussion, often initiates interactions by responding to classmates' comments inaddition to responding to Instructor questions-works on comprehension skills by listening attentively when others speak-participates in all activities with enthusiasm and a positive attitude-often asks questions when something isn't clear-contributes actively during group activities 

Average = 4 points-arrives no more than 5 minutes late for class-sometimes greets people and takes leave using Spanish expressions-speaks Spanish during whole group discussions, and rarely uses English during small group activities-during whole group discussion, participation is only sometimes limited to answering instructorquestions-is usually an active listener when not participating during whole class or group interactions and onlyrarely does not listen while others talk-participates in all activities, sometimes enthusiastically-usually asks for help in Spanish when something isn't clear, but not always 

Below Average = 3 points-arrives no more than 5 minutes late for class-sometimes uses more English than Spanish during group activities, but always uses Spanish duringwhole class activities-during whole group discussion, participation is often limited to answering instructor questions-is usually an active listener when not participating during whole class or group interactions and onlyrarely does not listen while others talk-sometimes contributes actively during group activities-sometimes contributes to getting the task done in group work 

Unacceptable = 0 point-arrives more than 5 minutes late for class-uses more English than Spanish when speaking with the instructor or class members-doesn't listen while others talk-doesn't contribute much to getting the task done in group work-contributes to the failure of activities by not completing small group or individual assignments-works on assignments for other classes

Name: __________________________________ Date: ____________Oral Grading Components (Spanish 1)    


A Displays communicative ease with in context(s); creative, resourceful; easily understood; takes risks

B Topics handled adequately; ideas clearly conveyed; requires little effort to be understood; somecreativity.

C Topics handled adequately but minimally; ideas conveyed in general; basically on-task but no more

D Requires extra-sympathetic listening; parts of message still not understood; minimally successful

F Topics handled in totally unsatisfactory manner; unsuccessful communicative effort. 


A Shows exceptional control of required grammar concepts and correctness in a variety of contexts.

B Makes some grammar mistakes that do not affect meaning (agreement, articles, etc.); reasonablycorrect.

C Makes more serious mistakes that often give unintended meaning (conjugation, tense inconsistency,word order mistakes, etc.); although generally adequate.

D Meaning frequently obscured by grammar mistakes; very poor control of a wide range of concepts.

F Meaning completely obscured by grammar mistakes; totally inadequate control. 


A Normal, “thoughtful” delay in formulation of thought into speech; language flows; extended discourse.

B Takes longer than necessary to organize thoughts; says more than required.

C Speech somewhat disjointed because of pauses; language very halting.

D Painful pauses make speech hard to follow; says less than required.

F Speech totally disjointed; long pauses interrupt flow of though and meaning. 


A Very conversant with vocabulary required by given context(s); excellent control and resourcefulness.

B Vocabulary mistakes generally do not affect meaning (wrong gender, wrong preposition, etc.); attemptsat resourcefulness.

C Adequate, although more serious mistakes give unintended meaning (wrong preposition, incorrect wordchoice, mangled words, etc.)

D Meaning frequently obscured by minimal/inadequate mastery of vocabulary.

F Meaning totally obscured; inadequate vocabulary. 


A Correct pronunciation and intonation; very few mistakes; almost native-like.

B Some mispronunciation; meaning still clear; tries to “sound” like a native Spanish speaker.

C Pronounced foreign accent requiring extra-sympathetic listening; comprehensible.

D Meaning frequently obscured by poor pronunciation; minimally comprehensible.

F No effort at all to “sound” native like; often incomprehensible. 

Weighting of Grades Communication ________ x 3 = _________A = 4.5-5.0 Accuracy _________x 4 = _________B = 4.0-4.4 Fluency _________x 3 = _________C = 3.5-3.9 Vocabulary _________x 5 = _________D = 3.0-3.4 Pronunciation _________x 5 = _________F = below 3.0

Total Score: _________