Spanish Conversation and Composition

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SPN 205

       Course Name: Spanish Conversation and Composition

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

SPN 202 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course reinforces oral and written communication skills. Content includes a variety of speaking and essay writing activities. Topics are drawn from contemporary life and culture.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To use spoken Spanish in class discussions, debates, role playing activities.
  2. To develop skills in written expression by composing essays on the topics of class discussion.
  3. To demonstrate deepening awareness of the culture and customs of Spanish-speaking people.
  4. To acquire and use a vocabulary base for authentic use of language in realistic situations.

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 1 —Identity
Art: Las dos Fridas, by Frida Kahlo
Introductory literary passage: La rana que queria ser una rana autentica—A. Monterroso
Poem: Geografia humana—Gloria Fuentes
Essay: El poder de la identidad—Manuel Castells
Short story—La casita de sololoi—Elena Poniatowska
Relative clauses, adjective clauses, relative pronouns
Descriptive essay
2 2 —Heritage, resistance, and assimilation
Arte: Ilustracion—Guaman Poema de Ayala
Essay: Intercultural communication—Miguel Rodrigo Alsina
Essay: Nuestra America—Jose Marti
Reading: novel fragment—La nina blanca y los pajaros sin pies—Rosario Aguilar
Preterite, imperfect, and pluperfect
Narrative, story-telling
3 Midterm Presentation
4 3 —Historic Memory
Art: Fragment of Mural del Estadio Victor Jara—Brigada Ramona Parra
Essay: Memorias y desmemorias—Eduardo Galeano
Poem: No, desaparecidos, Fernando Birri
Autobiography—fragment: El país bajo mi piel—Gioconda Belli
Essay: Un ano del ejercito zapatista—Subcommander Marcos
Nominal clauses and sequence of tenses
The review
5 4 —Judgements and prejudices
Art: Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe—Yolanda Lopez
Essay: Los prejuicios—Marcelo Colusi
Poema: Las dulces senoras—Marjorie Agosin
Short story: Naranjas rojas y amargas—Nieves Garcia Benito
Short story: El incidente de Maiguetia…--Alvaro Mutis
If clauses
The persuasive essay, Expressing a supported opinion
6 5 Art: El milagro—Carmen Lomas Garza
Essay: Fantasia y creacion artistic en America Latina y el Caribe—G. Garcia Marquez
Short story: La palliri—Victor Montoya
Play: Decir si—Grisela Gambaro
Adverbial clauses
The short story
7 Final Presentation

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Class work is organized around the communicative functions used in a variety of speaking and writing situations.  Students will engage in paired and small group activities, prepare oral reports, review and edit written work.  Listening activities in and out of class will involve students in the use of authentic audio and video materials.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

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

Students are expected to come to class prepared for the day's activities; complete assigned exercises and submit them on the date specified in the syllabus.  Students are expected to spend two hours per week listening, viewing, and reading assigned audio-visual and authentic material and submit written or oral reports.  Students in this course are required to produce at least 15 pages of critical writting assignments over the course of the semester.  These may be assigned in a variety of ways including essays, journals, response papers, lab or project reports, and the like.  The mid-term and final exams will include speaking, listening, reading, and writing components.

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.

Miradas, Contextos para Conversar y Escribir, Claudia M. Mejia, Conchita Davis, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Final grade is based on class preparation and participation, essays, and oral exams.

Attendance: 10%
Class Participation: 10%
Preparation: 25%
Exams: 30%
Essays: 25%

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.