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Columbia College
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391


17 / SPRG1 - Early Spring 8-Week Session

Course Syllabus

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Course Syllabus
17 / SPRG1 - Early Spring 8-Week Session
Evening Campus
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(800) 231-2391

Course Prefix and Number: SPAN 101
Course Title: Elementary Spanish I
Semester Credit Hours: 3
Class Day and Time: Tue 
5:30 PM-9:30 PM
Additional Notes:

In general, we will take 2 breaks for 10 minutes each class at approximately 6:50 and 8:20pm. This is a perfect time to use the restroom, have a snack and ask me any questions in English about homework or class exercises, since Spanish use is emphasized during class time.

This course is web-enhanced, taught entirely in a classroom setting using D2L course management software to supplement in-seat content.


Catalog Description

Spanish 101 emphasizes elementary proficiency in listening, oral expression, and reading and writing of Spanish, as well as basic understanding of Spanish speaking cultures.


Not open to native speakers or students who have had three or more years of high school Spanish.


Vistas: Introducción a la Lengua Española 5th edition
Author: Blanco and Donley (Vistas Higher Learning)
ISBN: 9781626806733
Category/Comments - Student textbook + Supersite Plus code

Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of basic spoken Spanish, including simple statements, questions and conversations on familiar topics.
  2. Speak Spanish in basic sentences and respond to questions using acceptable pronunciation.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to read and comprehend dialogues and readings, especially by using general contexts and cognates to infer meaning of new vocabulary in selected passages. 
  4. Write sentences, phrases, paragraphs and short compositions that show the appropriate use of basic Spanish grammatical structures.
  5. Identify basic cultural elements and the diversity of Spanish speaking communities.     

Additional Instructor Objectives

IMPORTANT: Buy the textbook and connect to the Supersite using the supersite access code included in an envelope with your book (I will send instructions by email) by the first day of class. Used copies of the textbook will most likely not include the access code, so beware.
You will need your textbook in hand on the first day and you will have your first online homework due before the end of the first week of classes. Time is short in these 8 week sessions and we need to start without delay.

Special Course Requirements

Learning a language requires a lot of work. There is a lot of reading, memorization, and practice exercises which must be done outside of class. Read "Graded Activities", below, carefully to get an idea of how much work you will need to do. Language builds upon itself, which means if you fail to keep up on a regular basis, you will find yourself lost in short order.
Perhaps the most important element of this course are the Vistas supersite assignments, which consist of grammar tutorials and exercises that are due twice a week, and should be spread out, not done all in one sitting.
The textbook and online tutorials are designed to provide you with the vocabulary and grammar concepts you need for each class, so in class itself I will minimize explicitly going over this information, focusing instead on activities which allow you to put into practice what you have learned in creative ways using the 4 skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Activities will vary from individual to partner and small-group format.

Instructional Methods

This class is NOT a lecture format, but rather is highly participatory and student centered. With each new concept we learn, we will start with some more basic, mechanical exercises and then build toward more communicative activities in which you will read, write, converse and play games with classmates and express yourself in simulations of relevant, real-world situations.
Spanish in the Classroom:
The class is almost entirely conducted in Spanish from Day 1. This may seem impossible, but trust me, it works. Research indicates, students who are exposed to Spanish consistently from the first day perform better than those who do not and it is impossible to learn a language without using it.
At the beginning, you may feel stressed by hearing many words you do not understand, but rest assured that l will not expect you to do anything that your homework materials have not prepared you to do and, little by little, you will find you understand more every time. It is crucial to come with a positive attitude and try to say as much as you can in Spanish. You may be surprised how fast you improve.
If you have never taken a foreign language, keep in mind that you went through a similar process as a baby in order to learn your native tongue. Slowly, by listening, imitating and experimenting, you came to be able to understand and express yourself in English, just as you will in Spanish. At the same time, do not forget that I am here to help, and if you become frustrated because you feel you do not understand or cannot express yourself, do not hesitate to TALK TO ME in English before or after class or during breaks. We can always create strategies to make sure you feel more comfortable in the class and to not feel resentful or alienated. Remember that you are in charge of your own education, and remember that teaching in Spanish is part of my commitment to offer you the best instruction possible.
One thing that you can do from the first class is to learn a few useful expressions which are found in the back of the text at the bottom of the second column on page A4 of Apéndice A: "¿Qué significa X?" —What does X mean?'; "¿Cómo se dice Y?" How do you say Y?. There is no reason to say 'I don't understand' if you already can say "No entiendo" or "Repite, por favor" . Moreover, using the Spanish phrase helps keep the class atmosphere on track and at the same time it keeps you engaged in active learning. Another suggestion: Be expressive: if you don't understand something, or you want me to repeat something, let me know at once (¡Repite por favor!). On the other hand, there are times when you just need to ask or say something in English, so do not be afraid to do so.

Out of Class Activities

You are expected to read over the textbook pages, as well as do the Vistas supersite exercises online, which will be due 2 times a week. You should budget at least 4 hours of time per week for homework and preparation. If you do not, you may find yourself lost in class.
Participation is a crucial aspect of your grade, and since I will assume you are already familiar with the material when you come to class, preparation is crucial to being actively engaged and getting the most out of class.

Graded Activities

Chapter quizzes200 Points20% of grade
Description -

The quizzes will cover the vocabulary and grammar concepts from chapters 1 and 3 and will be taken in class on the second and sixth weeks. The format involves a mix of listening, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, and writing sections similar to supersite and in-class activities.

Unit Exams400 Points40% of grade
Description -

The unit exams are similar to the chapter quizzes in form and content, but longer. Listening and writing sections, in particular, will be more extensive, and, unlike quizzes, you will be responsible for the cultural content about the countries featured in the Panorama section, in addition to vocabulary and grammar.
Note: exams are comprehensive. Exam 1 will be taken in class on week 4 and covers Leccion 1 & 2 and is worth 150 points. Exam 2  will be taken in the final day of class and covers Leccion 1, 2, 3 and 4- with an emphasis on 3 & 4- and is worth 250 points. Therefore, students must review all the material of the course to be prepared for exam 2.

Participation200 Points20% of grade
Description -

In order to learn a language, it is vital to be actively engaged in the classroom- speaking, writing, listening, etc. in Spanish- as directed by activities. This is an area where students who may not be as strong test takers can compensate by a good effort and positive attitude. I will assign participation grades on the 4th and 8th week of class. Below you will find detailed criteria for what A-level participation looks like.
If you are absent and cannot provide a legitimate, documented excuse, you will receive a 0 for participation that day, that is, 25 pts off your total participation grade. Contact me if things come up or if you anticipate being absent. I tend to be more flexible if you consult me in a timely fashion. Tardies and leaving early also result in 8 point deductions from participation.

Method of Evaluation -

A- level participation means that the student...

  • Uses only Spanish when possible, asks (in Spanish) before using English
  • Has an active, positive role in class/partner activities
  • Always comes to class prepared with materials (text, notebook, pen) and having done homework
  • Volunteers regularly in activities without dominating discussion
  • Never asks instructor to repeat page or exercise number/previous student’s answer because s/he was not paying attention
  • Stays on task during class time, refrains from using phone or other electronics and never chats in English
  • Always responds to greetings, never leaves early or arrives late
Homework200 Points20% of grade
Description -

You have a number of homework assignments to be completed twice weekly on the Vistas supersite. I will send instructions before the first class on how to create an account, and I will demonstrate how to use the supersite on the first day. As a rule, you should expect to spend at least 4 hours preparing per week, including both supersite work and studying the pages of the textbook.
The homework is carefully designed to both expose you to the vocabulary and grammar and give you a chance to practice before it is practiced in class, as well as doing reviews of material in preparation for quizzes and exams. Supersite assignments are graded for accuracy, not just completion, but you will always have 3 attempts and have links back to tutorials on the topic covered, so take your time and use your attempts wisely.
If you have any questions concerning the homework answers, any technical problems with the supersite, or feel that somehow your assignment was graded unfairly by the supersite, please do not hesitate to send me an email or approach me during breaks, or before or after class.

Method of Evaluation -

At the end of the semester, I will simply take your accumulated grade on all of the assigned supersite activities and that will be 20% of your final grade. I give it such a large weight because the supersite is vital to be prepared and not spend precious class time on lengthy explanations of grammar, rather give you a space to use that grammar in a meaningful way. Keeping up with the homework is not only vital, but in the end can help boost your grade if you do not do as well as you hoped on exams.
Note: any late homework will receive a grade of 0 automatically on the supersite. Only in the case of technical issues or a documented personal situation will I consider accepting late work. Though homework is due twice a week and can be completed ahead of time, I highly recommend spreading it out as much as possible and not waiting until the last minute.


Grading Scale

90-100 A
80-90 B
70-80 C
60-70 D
0-59 F

Additional Information / Instructions

Absences:  If you miss a class you should email me, briefly let me know why, and ask for information about any assignments. Recall that absences will strongly affect your participation grade. In order for absences to be excused, and therefore not affect participation and allow for make up of quizzes or exams, you will need to provide a documented excuse that involves a personal illness, family emergency, flat tire or some other unavoidable personal situation. Please do not schedule travel, social or professional activities, etc. for during class meetings. If you anticipate a conflict, please let me know ahead of time. If you have any doubt as to what constitutes an excused absence, please ask me.
With reasonable study (at least 3-4 hours per week) most students get a C or a B. Getting an A is hard work; consistent studying throughout the session and being actively engaged in class is required. A grade of C is the minimum required to proceed in Spanish. If your grade on the first quiz is below your expectations, please, talk with me right away and we’ll try to discuss strategies to improve. Be proactive and do not wait until exams to ask for help.

Schedule of Activities and Assignments

Week 1
Leccion 1 (Chapter 1) Hola, ¿qué tal?

Introduction to course
Setting up Vistas supersite account
Leccion 1 "Contextos" and "Estructura" 1.1-1.3 


The text is REQUIRED for the first class session. If you will not have a textbook in hand the first day of class, please contact me as soon as possible. Also, make sure you have the access code for the supersite and create an account on the supersite using the instructions I send prior to day 1.


For the first class, look over Leccion 1 in your textbook, including the vocabulary in "Contextos" and grammar in "Estructura" 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3 and be prepared to do activities about these sections in class.
Your first homework on the Vistas supersite will be due later in the week, but it is a good idea to connect to and look over the website in advance.

Additional Notes:

You will have homework on the Vistas supersite due twice weekly during the whole session unless otherwise stipulated. You should also look over the sections in the textbook that will be covered before each class.

Week 2
Leccion 1 continued

"Estructura" 1.4 and "Panorama" pp. 36-37 and review the rest of Leccion 1 to be prepared for Quiz 1.


Quiz 1 over Leccion 1

Week 3
Leccion 2: En la universidad

Leccion 2
"Contextos" and "Estructura" 2.1- 2.3

Week 4
Leccion 2 continued, Exam 1

"Estructura" 2.4 and "Panorama"
Review for Exam 1 over Lecciones 1 & 2


EXAM 1 over Leccion 1 & 2

Week 5
Leccion 3: La familia

Leccion 3
"Contextos" and "Estructura" 3.1-3.2

Week 6
Leccion 3 continued

"Estructura" 3.3 & 3.4, "Panorama", and review for  Quiz 2 over Leccion 3.


Quiz 2 over Leccion 3

Week 7
Leccion 4: Los pasatiempos

Leccion 4
"Contextos" and "Estructura" 4.1-4.4

Week 8
Leccion 4 continued, review and exam 2

We will review Lecciones 1-4 and take EXAM 2


Exam 2 over Lecciones 1-4


Library Resources

Columbia College Resources - Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Course Policies and Procedures


Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled.  Students are directly responsible to instructors for class attendance and work missed during an absence for any cause.  If absences jeopardize progress in a course, an instructor may withdraw a student from the course with a grade of "F" or "W" at the discretion of the instructor.  For additional information, see the Columbia College policy on Student Attendance.

Instructor Policy - Absences without proper documentation of an emergency, illness, flat tire or other unexpected personal situation will result in 0% in participation for that day (12% off overall participation grade). Arriving late and leaving early will also result in deductions if not supported by proper documentation.

Academic Integrity

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College students must fulfill their academic obligations through honest, independent effort.  Dishonesty is considered a serious offense subject to strong disciplinary actions.  Activities which constitute academic dishonesty include plagiarism, unauthorized joint effort on exams or assignments, falsification of forms or records, providing false or misleading information, or aiding another in an act of academic dishonesty.  For more information, see the Columbia College Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures.

Class Conduct and Personal Conduct

Columbia College Policy - Students must conduct themselves so others will not be distracted from the pursuit of learning.  Students may be disciplined for any conduct which constitutes a hazard to the health, safety, or well-being of members of the College community or which is deemed detrimental to the College's interests. Discourteous or unseemly conduct may result in a student being asked to leave the classroom.  For more information, see the Columbia College Student Code of Conduct and Student Behavioral Misconduct Policy and Procedures.

Cancelled Class Make-Up

Columbia College Policy - Classes cancelled because of inclement weather or other reasons must be rescheduled.  For more information, see the Columbia College Inclement Weather Policy.

Make-Up Examinations

Columbia College Policy - Make-up examinations may be authorized for students who miss regularly scheduled examinations due to circumstances beyond their control.  Make-up examinations must be administered as soon as possible after the regularly scheduled examination period and must be administered in a controlled environment.

Campus Policy - Make up examinations are scheduled on designated Saturday mornings 9am in 103 Buchanan. Students must present a picture I.D. in order to be admitted to the testing session. Students must arrange with the instructor to take the exam before or after it is given in class and permission to take a makeup examination (or any graded activity) is granted at the discretion of the instructor.

Adding, Dropping, or Withdrawing from a Course

Columbia College Policy - Students may add a course through Wednesday of the first week of the session and drop a course without academic or financial liability through close of business on Monday of the second week of the session.  Once enrolled, a student is considered a member of that class until he or she officially drops or withdraws in accordance with College policy.  An official drop/withdrawal takes place only when a student has submitted a Drop/Add/Withdrawal form.  A failure to attend class, or advising a fellow student, staff or adjunct faculty member of an intent to withdraw from a class does not constitute official drop/withdrawal.  The drop/add/withdrawal periods begin the same day/date the session starts, not the first day a particular class begins. If a student stops attending a class but does not submit the required Drop/Withdrawal form a grade of "F" will be awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Registration Policy and Procedures.

Withdrawal Excused

Columbia College Policy - A student may request an excused withdrawal (WE) under extraordinary circumstances by submitting a Drop/Withdrawal form accompanied by a complete explanation of the circumstances and supporting documentation to the location director.  The WE request must include all classes in which the student is currently enrolled.  The Vice President for Adult Higher Education is the approving authority for all WE requests.  A student who receives approval of their WE request may still be required to return some or all of the federal financial assistance received for the session.  For more information, see the Columbia College Withdrawal Policy.


Columbia College Policy - A student may request that the instructor award a grade of "I" due to extraordinary circumstances (unforeseen or unexpected circumstances beyond the student's control) that prevent a student from completing the requirements of a course by the end of a session.  An "I" will not be given because a student is failing, negligent or not meeting requirements.  If the instructor believes an "I" is appropriate, the instructor will specify the work needed to complete the course and the time allowed to complete the work.  Work missed must be made up within two subsequent sessions unless the instructor specifies an earlier date.  Extensions beyond two sessions must be approved by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  If the work is completed during the specified time period, the instructor will change the "I" to the grade earned.  If the work is not completed during the specified time, the instructor may allow the incomplete to remain on the student's permanent record or change it to any other letter grade.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.

Grade Appeal

Columbia College Policy - A student may appeal any grade given if it is believed to be in error or in conflict with Columbia College policy and procedures.  The student must state in writing to the location director why the grade awarded is believed to be in error and request a desired remedy.  The faculty member who awarded the grade will be given the opportunity to comment on all student allegations.  If the issue cannot be resolved at the location the appeal will be transmitted through the location director to the Vice President for Adult Higher Education.  A grade appeal must be received for review by the Vice President for Adult Higher Education prior to the end of 60 days from the date the grade was awarded.  For more information, see the Columbia College Undergraduate Grading Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Course prerequisites are established to ensure that a student has adequate academic preparation to succeed in a particular course.  Staff members will attempt to ensure that students meet prerequisite requirements.  However, it is the student's responsibility to closely examine the course descriptions to determine if prerequisites exist and to enroll in courses in the proper sequence.  In some exceptional cases it may be apparent that the student possesses the required skills and knowledge to succeed in a particular course, even though they have not taken the prerequisite course.  In this case the prerequisite course may be waived by the location director.  Waiver of a course as a prerequisite does not remove the requirement to complete the course if it is a requirement for the student's degree program.


Columbia College Policy - The College provides all students access to CougarMail (the official means of e-mail communication for the College), online resources from the Stafford Library, and their Columbia College records (transcripts, grades, student schedules, etc.) through CougarTrack.


Columbia College Policy - The official student email address (also known as CougarMail) will be used for all official correspondence from faculty and staff.  Students are responsible for the information received and are required to monitor their CougarMail account on a regular basis.  Students may forward their CougarMail to another email account but will be held responsible for the information sent over CougarMail, even if there is a problem with the alternate mail service.

Cell Phones

Columbia College Policy - Cell phones can be a distraction to the learning process.  Location directors or course instructors may require that cell phones be turned off or set to vibrate during class periods.  Students requiring special arrangements to receive a cell phone call during class should make prior arrangements with their location director or course instructor.

Instructor Policy - Cell phones, laptops and any electronic devices should be turned off and put away during class. Failure to do so can result in deductions from your participation grade. 

Bookstore Information

Columbia College Policy - As part of Truition, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below. 

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address.  Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional loose-leaf print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource Bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns:  Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy.  Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.  Visit for details.


Columbia College Policy - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  For more information, see the Columbia College Family Education Rights and Privacy Policy.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College Policy - Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources.  Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted.  If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible.  The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible.  Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626.  For more information, see the Columbia College ADA and Section 504 Policy for Students.

Alcohol and Other Drugs: Columbia College Policies & Resources

Columbia College Policy - Columbia College recognizes the negative health effects associated with the use, possession, and distribution of controlled and/or illicit substances, and their detrimental impact on the quality of the educational environment.  Therefore, all members of the College community share in the responsibility of protecting the campus environment by exemplifying high standards of professional and personal conduct.  For more information and resources, see the Columbia College Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Tobacco-Free Policy

Columbia College Policy - The following policy goes into effect on August 21, 2017.  Columbia College values and is concerned for the health and well-being of its students, employees and visitors. The College is committed to providing a healthful and productive educational and employment environment for members of the College community. Consistent with this commitment and in the interest of the general health and welfare of the College community, the College prohibits the use of all tobacco products and related devices on all College property and premises.  For more information, see the Columbia College Tobacco-Free Policy.


Columbia College Policy - Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of protected status (see Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity for a definition of "protected status") are strictly prohibited. Persons who engage in such conduct are subject to discipline up to and including termination or dismissal.  For more information, see the Columbia College Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Columbia College Policy Library

Columbia College Policy - The policies set forth in the Online Policy Library are the current official versions of College policies and supersede and replace any other existing or conflicting policies covering the same subject matter.  The Online Policy Library is currently under construction with new policies being added on a frequent basis and the policies currently listed are not comprehensive of every College policy.  Questions regarding the Online Policy Library should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.  For more information on policies applicable to students, see Student Policies.  For more information on policies applicable to the entire Columbia College community, see College-Wide Policies.

Technical Support

Columbia College Policy - If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance.  If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource.  Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

        - Columbia College Technology Solutions Center:, 1-800-231-2391 ext. 4357

        - D2L Helpdesk:, 1-877-325-7778

        - VitalSource:, 1-855-200-4146


Course Evaluations - All students are encouraged to complete the online course evaluations. Students are notified by way of CougarMail when the evaluations are available. The evaluations are used to help instructors improve their teaching techniques. They are reviewed carefully by the Evening Campus Director, Assistant Director, and several AHE Administrators. Student should know that all responses are completely confidential, instructors only view results after grades are posted. Your input is valued and appreciated.

Late graded assignment/activity policy - All graded assignments or activities are due when stated in the syllabus or by the instructor. Graded assignments or activities submitted after the stated due date/time will not receive any credit unless the instructor has specifically stated that full or partial credit may be awarded to late submissions.


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