Beginning Spanish I

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SPN 101

       Course Name: Beginning Spanish I

       Credits: 4 (3 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course develops basic language skills within context of cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. Content includes pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening comprehension and oral and written communication within the context of the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. No prior study of the language presumed. Recommended that experienced students discuss proper placement with instructor.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To actively communicate in Spanish, making spontaneous use of structures and vocabulary studied.
  2. To demonstrate an appreciation of contemporary Spanish culture through written and aural class work.
  3. To demonstrate spoken Spanish in everyday contexts through responding to simple basic questions.
  4. To illustrate reading comprehension through answering relevant questions on uncomplicated selections.
  5. To use elements of beginning grammar through short listening, spoken, and written exercises.
  6. To write simple sentences within the context of what has been studied.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

1-3 1 Greetings and leave-takings
Physical and emotional conditions
Classroom and campus vocabulary
Couting to 100
Exchanging personal information
Subject pronouns, the verb “estar”
Nouns and articles
The verb “ser”
The verb “ir”
The verb “tener”, expressions with “tener”
Culture focus: the Spanish-speaking world
4-6 2 Telling time
Days of the week
Expressions of frequency
Basic sentences, negation
Yes/No questions
Present tense of –ar, -er, and -ir verbs
Information and tag questions
Culture focus: Spain
7-9 3 Vocabulary to talk about family, friends, pets
Describing physical characteristics
Personality and character traits
Possessive adjectives and pronouns
More on “ser” and “estar”
Comparisons, superlatives
Present tens of stem-changing verbs
The verb “gustar”
Culture focus: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
10-12 4 Vocabulary to describe vacation plans and activities
Months of the year, dates, seasons
Weather expressions
Vocabulary for travel-related expressions, transportation
Irregular verbs in present tense
The construction “Ir” + A + infinitive
Numbers over 100
Present progressive
Verb phrases
Indefinite and negative expressions
Culture focus: Mexico
13-16 5 Vocabulary to describe daily routine, chores, one’s room. Describing a house and furnishings
Sequence, frequency, and time expressions
Describing spatial relationships
Reflexive verbs in present tense
Reflexive verbs in verb phrases with present progressive
Direct objects—nouns and pronouns
Regular verbs in the preterite
Preterite of the verbs “hacer”, “ir”, “ser”, and “tener”
Uses of the preterite
Cultural focus: Guatemala and Honduras

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Course may be taught face-to-face, hybrid, or online course.

Class time will be devoted to practice, in large and small groups, with structures, expressions, and vocabulary in the context of everyday functions.  Students are expected to have studied segments of the text assigned in the syllabus prior to class, in order to be able to participate as fully as possible.  Workbook and lab exercises provide additional practice in reading, writing, and listening. 

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

  1. Attend class regularly.
  2. Do assigned preparation in time for class: the students will read the text's explanations in order to be prepared for the drills and exercises included in each of the topic units detailed in section V.
  3. Accompanying listening and written exercises in the online and workbook lab manual (MyRussianLab) must be submitted to the instructor on the date specified in the syllabus.
  4. Take the quizzes and the exams.  They will include a mix of listening, reading, writing, and speaking elements.
  5. The Oakton Community College catalog states: Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, or marital status in admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or employment practices.  

In keeping with this policy of tolerance and non-discrimination, in this class all of us (myself included) should strive to:
•    Listen and give careful consideration to all ideas expressed in class, especially those that are different from our own, without attacking or demeaning the people who have those views, and
•    Avoid using insulting terms or telling offensive jokes when talking to or about individuals or groups.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.

For face-to-face and online courses instructors will use the following:


Marinelli, P. and Fajardo, K.  Conectados.  Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

Electronic workbook and lab manual for Conectados.


  1. Spinelli, Emily. English Grammar for students of Spanish, Latest Edition, Ann Arbor, MI:The Olivia and Hill Press.
  2. Harper Collins. Spanish Concise Dictionary, Latest Edition. Recommended for use in basic Spanish courses (first and second year courses).


X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

1. Participation, preparation: 20%
2. Lab Assignments: 25%
3. Cultural presentation: 10%
4. Exams: 45%

Grading Scale:

1. A 90-100
2. B 80-89
3. C 70-79
4. D 60-69
5. F Below 60

Final grade is based on quizzes, online workbook, lab manual, and assignments from MyRussianLab, and exams. In this course at least one speaking exam is required.

Instructors might give other type of grades such as attendance, participation, or cultural presentations.

In order to practice the course content online workbook assignments from MyRussianLab must be done by students outside of the classroom. These assignments will count as 25% of the course final grade. Students need to have at least a D (60%) in this section in order to pass this course.

XI.   Other Course Information

In this section, each instructor should specify policies on attendance, make-up exams, and late assignments.

Oakton has two Language Labs to support your language study. The Language Labs offer the perfect atmosphere for doing your lab homework, meeting with a language tutor, attending a conversation group, or working on a computer. You can find a variety of language specific resources and equipment: language reference books and other supplementary language materials, headphones with microphones, keyboard covers for typing in another language, and more. Language Lab personnel are always available to help students working individually. Visit one of the Language Labs today:

Des Plaines, Room 2446, 847.635.1612
Ray Hartstein (Skokie) Campus, Room C132, 847.635.1493

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.