SPAN 102 Beginning Spanish I, sec. 001

9:00-9:50 STR 128 M classroom
9:00-9:50 STR 109 T lab
9:00-9:50 STR 128 W classroom
9:00-9:50 STR 128 TH classroom

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Steven G. Symmes TELEPHONE: 231.591.5894 (O)    231.527.1013 (C)
OFFICE HOURS 12:00-12:50 & 11:00-11:50ish MW, or whenever you need me WEBSITE


"Success in this course is based on your performance and progress in the Spanish language."

COURSE DESCRIPTION: SPAN 102 Beginning Spanish II is the second of a four-semester sequence of courses designed for students with a prior knowledge of Spanish that covers the vocabulary sets --
  • greetings and "good-byes"
  • telling time
  • school-related (buildings, classroom, courses, etc.)
  • family and relatives
  • adjectives
    • descriptive (short/tall, thin/fat, rich/poor, pretty/ugly, etc.)
    • possessive (my, hers, our, your, etc.)
    • qualitative (opened/closed, dirty/clean, easy/difficult, etc.)
    • demonstrative (este/esta, esos/esas, aquel/aquella, etc.
  • numbers 1-1.000.000,00
  • clothing and buying
  • colors
  • rooms and furniture in the house
  • days of the week, months, seasons, etc.
  • weather
  • prepositions of location (on top of, underneath, beside, between, etc.)
and grammar concepts --
  • definite/indefinite articles
  • present tense verbs
    • -AR (hablar, cantar, llegar, etc.)
    • -ER (comer, beber, aprender, etc.)
    • -IR (vivir, escribir, abrir, etc.)
    • stem-changing or "boot" (poder, jugar, pedir, etc.)
    • irregular (ser, ir, hacer, decir, etc.
    • reflexive (llamarse, ducharse, acostarse, etc.)
  • comparisons
If your experience in the Spanish language does not include a working knowledge of these vocabulary sets and grammatical concepts you may need to enroll in SPAN 101.  If you have any questions about your experience/skill level, you will want to discuss your individual situation with me immediately so any schedule changes can be made within the "DROP/ADD" window. TOP

In this course you will learn about the culture, history, and daily lives of the Spanish-speaking peoples of the world. You will learn the language and by semester's end will be able to read, write, and speak Spanish on a Novice-Low to Novice-Advanced level on the ACTFL scale. You will learn of the many contributions that have been – and continue to be! – made by the Spanish-speaking peoples to the world's literature, art, music, science, archeology and commerce. This course is organized according to oral proficiency principles, as recommended by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and meets or exceeds the Michigan Department of Education's goals and standards: Content Standards and Benchmarks 1-10, inclusive.

ZACULEU, Zaculeu, the ancient capital of the Mam Maya group, lies on the banks of a stream in the Cuchumatan Mountains. The site contains a ball court and several temples that show the architectural influence of the Mexican highlands. The buildings seen today, date back to the Maya Post-classic Period, although the original settlement goes back to the 5th Century A.D.

Soon you, too, will be able to make heads -- no pun intended! -- or tails of photo explanations like this one: Los olmecas fueron los más antiguos escultores de Mesoamérica; trabajaron no solamente las piedras volcánicas para sus grandes monumentos, sino también las piedras duras, compactas semipreciosas para sus tallas pequeñas, principalmente algunas jadeítas traslúcidas de color verde esmeralda, azul verdoso o grisáceo y, en menor escala, la serpentina, la hematita y hasta se han encontrado en La Venta cuentas de amatista y de cristal roca.

COURSE MATERIALS: Knorre, et. al.: Puntos de partida, 8nd. ed.    You'll also need access to the World Wide Web (home, Computer Center, FLITE, etc.). TOP

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The course emphasizes oral communication, grammatical expertise, and listening comprehension in a culturally-authentic context. You will
  • read and discuss short passages from newspapers, magazines, and other sources.
  • write short paragraphs that utilize the active vocabulary from your textbook and discussion sources, doing self-correction by re-writing your paper with the aid of a compostion key, at a Novice level.
  • access the World Wide Web in conjunction with classroom assignments.
  • show proficiency in Internet-based computer skills through classroom presentations.
  • speak at a Novice - Mid level by semester's end.
  • demonstrate oral proficiency through participation in oral activities, both daily and evaluative.
  • demonstrate grammatical proficiency through written examination.



1.  DON'T CHEW GUM IN CLASS  (you do not possess the skill to speak Spanish and chew gum at the same time).
2.  DO NOT TALK WHEN ANOTHER PERSON IS TALKING TO ME  (common courtesy will be observed in this classroom).
3.  DO NOT TEXT  (you will be ordered out of the classroom, you will not be allowed to continue the course, and you will fail the course).

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cannot obey these three RULES, you should drop this course and enroll in another course.


ATTENDANCE: For you to meet the course objectives set out above it will be necessary for you to attend class each and every day it meets.  Due to socio-cultural changes in the educational preparation of today's students, with respect to their ability to be successful at the university level, I have had to make some dramatic changes to my personal policies governing classroom attendance, to whit:  
  1. Attendance is taken each day.

  2. Students are allowed three (3) unexcused absences without adversely affecting their academic standing in the course, except on the day of an evaluation activity.

  3. Students with eight (8) or more "unexcused absences" -- not including the three "freebies" mentioned above -- will fail the course.

    • An "excused absence" is defined within the limits of the following: 1) a University-sanctioned academic or sporting event in which the student is a participant or team member, and for which the student has proper documentation; 2) a documented illness; 3) a funeral service for a member of the immediate/nuclear family; 4) religious observances; and 5) any situation/activity that I designate as "excused," and which is approved previous to the absence.   All other absences are considered "unexcused" and count against your total.

    • "Evaluation activity" is defined as: 1) all quizzes; 2) all written exams; 3) all oral exams; and 4) all in-class compositions.  

    • In the case of multiple-day in-class evaluation activities, such as oral exams, student presentations, etc., students must be in attendance each day, whether they are "presenting" or not.  Failure to attend will result in a numerical score of "0" entered into the gradebook for the evaluation activity.

  4. There are NO MAKE-UP quizzes, NO MAKE-UP exams, NO MAKE-UP in-class compositions or NO MAKE-UP in-class evaluation activities available.

  5. Students are responsible for the material covered in class on the days they are absent, whether the absence is "excused" or "unexcused."

  6. It is the students' responsibility to let me know via telephone or email when/if you plan on being absent.  Unless otherwise indicated via your communication with me, all absences are marked "unexcused."


Those students with a classifiable learning, physical, emotional, social, or other disability, and who need specific accommodations for academic success, should see me immediately.  You should be registered with the Disability Services Office (DSO) -- these professionals will assist us in the determination of what strategies to use and what acommodations to make to assure a positive outcome for you with respect to this course.  Let's not put this off!  The sooner we get DSO assistance, the sooner we'll experience success.  Of course, this syllabus and other course materials are available in alternative formats upon request.  Here is the contact information:

Educational Counseling and Disability Services Office (DSO)
901 S. State St.
STR 313
Ferris State University
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
(231) 591-3057 Voice/TDD

(231) 591-5039
Starr 310


Evaluation of student effort and skill-level acquisition is quantitative only to a point, it is also a qualitative exercise.  The quantitative reflects the number scores that you attain on the assigned evaluation activities, the qualitative is based on your active participation within the classroom dynamic.  If you fulfill your responsibilities as an engaged, on-task learner, you will have at your disposition all the information necessary to determine "how you are doing" in class at any time during the semester.  So, with this in mind, here are items of importance to you with respect to your course grade.    Be aware of the following:
  1. I do not discuss grades over the telephone or in e-mail messages.    If you have questions about the evaluation process or its outcomes, you will need to discuss it with me face-to-face.    This is how important issues are treated in the real world.
  2. I DO NOT POST MID-TERM GRADES -- this is not junior high school.  So don't ask me "how you are doing in the class" before the LAST DAY TO DROP A COURSE day rolls around.   You will always have the necessary information to make that determination for yourself.

  3. It is the responsibility of each student to keep accurate records of her/his attendance, quiz scores, exam scores, oral exam scores during the course of the semester.  You will have at your disposition all the quantitative information needed to determine sixty five percent (65%) of your grade.   Remember that the average of the sums of the scores is calculated by weight (see GRADING SCALE below).   If you are
    • attending class,
    • actively participating in the oral, aural, reading, and writing proficiency activities,
    • conscientiously fulfilling your homework assignments, and
    • not being a discipline problem
  4. then you can safely assume that you will receive the lion's share of the thirty percent (30%) of your grade assigned to CLASSROOM PARTICIPATION.
  5. Homework is assigned in this class; it is to be completed by the next class period because you will utilize the information contained in the homework for oral classroom activities the following day.
  6. There will be quizzes [check out some examples here] given over the course of the semester with the lowest quiz score dropped from the final grade calculations. Each quiz is cumulative, meaning that the quiz covers the current material as well as all previous material studied in the classroom.  Remember, there will be no "make-up" quizzes or exams.
  7. There will be formal oral exams throughout the course of the semester.  These may be in the form of "Small Groups," "Show 'n Tell," "Individual Interview," "Delta Drills," etc. [click on each of the titles to read more about each one].
There is a final exam over all the material studied during the semester. There are no "extra credit" assignments available which can be done in lieu of the required above-mentioned homework, quizzes, and exams.


Participation 30%
Quizzes 40%
Mid-term Exam 15%
Final Exam 15%
Grade Scale

     Academic misconduct is defined as any activity which tends to compromise the academic integrity of the institution, or subvert the educational process. All suspected cases of academic misconduct will be reported to the Student Judicial Services as required by University rules. Such instances include, but are not limited to: plagiarism (representing as one's own work anything done by another), cheating on assignments or examinations, collusion, falsification of excuses, submitting work from a previous quarter without explicit permission of the current instructor, violation of course rules contained in the syllabus or provided in class.
     For example for a written or oral report you should use the vocabulary, grammar structures, and strategies you've learned. Paraphrase your information and DO NOT "cut and paste" whole paragraphs from the web. Work submitted must be in your own words. "Borrowing" materials without citing sources is plagiarism.
Please be aware of the fact that this is a "flexible" syllabus and, due to pedagogical considerations, it may be necessary to modify it during the course of the semester. Any changes, however, will be minimal.

Primera semana Segunda semana Tercera semana Cuarta semana
Class I Capítulo 1 – lab Class I Capítulo 1 – lab Class I Capítulo 1 – lab Class I Capítulo 2 – lab
Class II Capítulo 1 Class II Capítulo 1 Class II Capítulo 1 Class II Capítulo 2
Class III Capítulo 1 Class III Capítulo 1 Class III Capítulo 1 Class III Capítulo 2
Class IV Capítulo 1 Class IV Capítulo 1 Class IV Capítulo 1 Class IV Capítulo 2
Quinta semana Sexta semana Séptima semana Octava semana
Class I Capítulo 2 – lab Class I Capítulo 2 – lab Class I Capítulo 3 – lab Class I Capítulo 3 – lab
Class II Capítulo2 Class II Capítulo 2 Class II Capítulo 3 Class II Capítulo 3
Class III Capítulo 2 Class III Capítulo 2 Class III Capítulo 3 Class III Capítulo 3
Class IV Capítulo 2 Class IV Capítulo 3 Class IV Capítulo 3 Class IV Capítulo 4
Novena semana Décima semana Undécima semana Duodécima semana
Class I Capítulo 4 – lab Class I Capítulo 4 – lab Class I Capítulo 4 – lab Class I Capítulo 5 – lab
Class II Capítulo 4 Class II Capítulo 4 Class II Capítulo 5 Class II Capítulo 5
Class III Capítulo 4 Class III Capítulo 4 Class III Capítulo 5 Class III Capítulo 5
Class IV Capítulo 4 Class IV Capítulo 4 Class IV Capítulo 5 Class IV Capítulo 5
Décimatercera semana Décimacuarta semana Décimaquinta semana Exámenes finales
Class I Capítulo 5 – lab Class I Capítulo 6 – lab Class I Capítulo 6 – lab  
Class II Capítulo 5 Class II Capítulo 6 Class II Capítulo 6  
Class III Capítulo 5 Class III Capítulo 6 Class III Capítulo 6  
Class IV Capítulo 6 Class IV Capítulo 6 Class IV Día final  
Examen Final To Be Announced