Course Synopses

Synopsis 203

940:203- Composition and Conversation
Prerequisite: Spanish 132, Placement Test, or permission from the Department


Course Learning Goals:
Students renrolled in this course will build upon their prior study of the Spanish language in the written and spoken modes of communication, they will further develop their comptency with respect to:

  1. Communicative abilities of spoken Spanish, and will demonstrate their understanding of central themes and relevant details in various contexts
  2. Speaking skills to converse with native speakers and and others for whom Spanish is a second language. Students will enhance their ability to speak on a wide range of themes, with increased grammatical accuracy, using varied verb tenses and moods.
  3. Writing communicative skills in both formal and informal contexts, with special emphasison precise, grammatically accurate description and narration in the past.
  4. Reading skills from a selection of original texts, from a variety of genres, that deal with contemporary themes from different cultural sources from the Spanish-speaking world. At the same time, students will critical abilities to discuss those texts in both the written and spoken modes of communication.

For further information on Learning Goals, please consult our Department website  at:

Synopses are intended to give students a general overview of the courses. Instructors will provide students with additional course-specific information , including attendance/make-up policies, assignment/test scheduling  and instructor contact information in the syllabus to be distributed the first day of classes.  Textbooks for courses are subject to change. Please speak with or email your instructor for textbook information before purchasing.

Blanco, Jose. Revista. 4th edition.Cengage: 2014. ISBN (includes Supersite Access Code) 978-1-61857-148-9.

Class participation, attendance, and participation
2 Oral Quizzes
3 Written Quizzes
3 Compositions (1 in class, 2 at home)
2 Presentations
Supersite Homework
(Grade distribution may vary from semester to semester)

Synopsis 202

940:202 Cultura y Composicion for Native Speakers
Prerequisite: Placement Exam or Spanish 139. Courses 201 and 202 can be taken out of sequence.


Culture and Composition (in conjunction with Spanish 201, which begins the advanced intermediate learning sequence of the Spanish language), continues to develop proficiency in communication which was aquired in course 139: Spanish for Native Speakers I. In this course, students are able to develop their linguistic ability in association with their written and comprehensive skills.  Furthermore, emphasis is also placed on the subjects of Spanish culture, technology and communication. This course also prepares students for the gateway courses following the 201/202 sequence, which are 215/261/325.  Class discussions, workshops and activities will revolve around class lectures, movies and other materials that are used to demonstrate various aspects of interdisciplinary Hispanic cultures from past through present.

Synopsis 471

01: 940:471 Internship


The Spanish translation and interpreting internship course offers the students the opportunity to practice their acquired skills in a variety of professional settings. Students will intern in different agencies and organization and provide guided and supervised translation and interpreting services. Students will intern a minimum of 9 hours weekly. The course meets weekly in order to share experiences and learn about professional issues in the field such as: ethics, different careers in the field, finding job opportunities, resume building, professional transactions, translation tools, legal issues, socioprofessional issues, professional accreditations, preparations for different job assignements, etc. The students will be exposed to a variety of professional speakers that hold top positions in different areas.


Learning Goals:
These objectives help fulfill the overall learning goals of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese


Evaluation methods:
Students will be graded on class attendance and participation, supervisor´s final report of performance in the internship and two classroom presentations.

Synopsis 450

01:940:450 Spanish American Theater

This course provides an overview of contemporary Spanish American theater and includes texts by playwrights from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. Among the playwrights likely to be included are Rodolfo Usigli, Abelardo Estorino, Osvaldo Dragún, Enrique Buenaventura, Emilio Carballido, Roberto Cossa, Griselda Gambaro, Sabina Berman and Antonio Skármeta. Class discussions focus on the unique ways performance communicates cultural values, socio-political themes, and the issue of individual and collective identity. We will pay special attention to the themes of revolution, dictatorship, human rights and social justice, and we will examine the specific historical and cultural contexts in which the plays were written and performed, as well as some of the major theater trends of the twentieth century. One of the course projects will involve presenting a group reading of a scene from one of the plays we will read in class.

Learning Goals:

This course is certified in the Core Curriculum for the following 21st century goals:

  • Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person’s experiences of and perspectives on the world
  • Analyze issues of social justice across local and global contexts.

Upon completion of the course students will be able to:

  • Identify how theater communicates cultural values, socio-political themes, and the issue of individual and collective identity;
  • Analyze how both text and staging create meaning for readers and spectators;
  • Identify the historical and cultural contexts in which the works were written and produced.

Course Evaluation:

Class grade: 20%
Presentation (scene reading): 10%
Two papers (short textual analysis and research paper): 30%
Three quizzes: 40%

Required Texts:
No textbook required. Course materials will be posted on class Sakai site

Synopsis 402

940:402 Intro to Translation of Specialized Texts
Prerequisites: 940: 401 Advanced Translation I


The course 940:402 Intro to Translation of Specialized Texts introduces students to the theory and practice of specialized translations in different specializations, such as law, medicine, science, international relations or finance. It focuses on the acquisition of specialized translation competence following the PACTE (2003) translation model by means of using a socioconstructivist approach to translation learning through group projects (Kiraly 2001).


Learning Goals:

1. Introduce students to the different types of specialized translations.

2.   Learn to translate the main textual genres in these specialized areas.

3.  Acquire an advanced knowledge of the different stages in the process of translation of specialized texts.

4.  Acquire the necessary metalanguage to discuss specialized translations, the process of translation, problem solving, discussing solutions to translation problems or the evaluation and analysis of translated texts.

These objectives help fulfill the overall learning goals of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese


Required Texts:
All coursework materials and readings will be provided by the instructor.


Students will be graded on a portfolio of weekly translations, class presentations, two translation exams and a final specialized translation project.

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