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Spanish 1


Admission requirements

Enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree programme at Leiden University or any other Dutch university.
Only students who are pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies (Spanish track) can enroll for this course until August 1st. After August 1st, the course will also be open to other students.


This is the first of four language proficiency courses in Spanish under the Bachelor’s degree programme in Latin American Studies.

It is a communicative language proficiency course in Spanish in which all skills (reading, writing, listening, spoken production and spoken interaction), including grammar and vocabulary, are integrated. Following the levels and can-do-statements of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), seminars are designed according to the task-based approach and the students´ proficiency is aimed at A2+ level. During seminars, all topics will be discussed through written and oral texts, video or audio fragments and role-plays. Students work individually, in pairs or small groups. The students´ active attitude towards preparation for and participation during seminars is crucial in order to be able to meet the learning outcomes of the course.

Apart from specific language skills, this course will also help the students to develop their “soft skills”, including: effective communication, creative thinking, work ethic, teamwork, decision making, time management, flexibility, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will have achieved the A2+ level in the mentioned skills according to the CEFR. This means that at the end of the course the students will be able to:

● express simple opinions or requirements in a familiar context. ● handle very short social exchanges, even though not usually understanding enough to keep the conversation going. ● understand phrases and the most frequently used vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). ● understand straightforward information within a known area, such as on products and signs and simple textbooks or reports on familiar matters. ● identify important information in brief news or newspaper articles in which numbers, names and captions facilitate comprehension. ● follow simple instructions in a not very complicated text, for example, cookery recipe. ● write short texts (such as letters, postcards, etc.) related to personal information or matters in areas of immediate needs.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction

Seminars in which an active participation of the students is expected. A major part of class hours is focused on the activities that cannot be done at home such as oral activities and explanation of new topic (grammar and vocabulary). Students are expected to regularly check Blackboard for homework and other exercises. At home, students should consciously work on the skills that they need to improve depending on their individual need (listening, writing, more grammar and vocabulary exercises, etc.). It is the responsibility of the students to reach the target level by coming to class prepared and doing regular self-study not only for the exams and submission deadlines but throughout the semester.

Course Load

Total workload 10ECTS x 28 hours = 280 hours.

● Seminar attendance: 78 hours (6 hours per week x 13 weeks); ● Exams attendance: 6 hours; ● Class preparation: 78 hours (6 hours per week x 13 weeks); ● Assignments preparation: 78 hours (6 hours per week x 13 weeks); ● Exam preparation: 40 hours

Assessment method


The assessment method is divided into two: graded and not graded (continuous assessment).
Continuous assessment: participation in class, tasks, presentations, homework
Graded assessment: oral exam, listening comprehension exam, written exams (midterm and final) and writing tasks for the portfolio.

Continuous assessment:
The progress that the student makes during the semester will be taken into account through continuous assessment. This means that the lecturer will regularly check whether the student duly carries out the assignments and tasks as proposed in class and Blackboard.

At least 80% of the continuous assessment assignments should be submitted before deadline is a prerequisite to have access to the graded exams at the end of the course. A task is considered submitted if it is complete and instructions have been followed.

Graded assessment: ■ Listening comprehension test ■The oral exam consists of two parts: question-and-answer/interview type and interaction about particular daily or specific situations with another student or the teacher/s. ■ Written exams consist of three parts: 1. Reading Comprehension 2. Grammar and Vocabulary 3. Writing ● The portfolio is a physical file including reading, writing and self-assessment exercises. The graded part is the compilation of written exercises. For this, student must hand in a draft of each written exercise in a timely and regular manner. For participation in the midterm and final (oral and written) exams, handing in the complete portfolio (with all the assignments self-corrected and written tasks modified/rewritten) before deadline is compulsory. Writing tasks submitted late will not be commented upon by the lecturer and the student should ask another person (classmate, friend, etc.) who can correct it so that two versions (original and modified) can be included in the final portfolio file.


70% written + 30% oral

30% midterm exam
30% final exam
10% portfolio (writing exercises)

10% listening comprehension
20% oral exam
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. To pass the course, the final weighted grade should be 6 or higher.


The student that did not pass the course (weighted grade lower than 6) is entitled to a risit evaluation. This evaluation will consist of two parts: ● Oral exam(30%): question/answer session. ● Written exam (70% ): reading comprehension; grammar and vocabulary; writing assessment.

Exam review

The date of exam review will be announced in Blackboard.

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

  • announcements

Reading list

  • Gente hoy 1. Libro del alumno. Ed. Difusión. 2013 or later

  • Gente hoy 1. Libro de trabajo. Ed. Difusión. 2013 or later

  • Gramática básica del estudiante de español. Rosario Alonso Raya, Alejandro Castañeda Castro, Pablo Martínez Gila. Editorial Difusión


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in Engels and Nederlands

Registratie Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
M.V. Alcalde MA

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Students will only be allowed to take the midterm, final written and oral exams if all of these conditions are satisfied:

  • 80% compulsory attendance. Absence must be reported in advance to the lecturer giving a valid reason. Students who do not meet the 80% attendance requirement will not be allowed to take the exams. Frequent tardiness and both excused and unexcused absences are included in the 20% margin. Exceptions to this should be mutually agreed upon by both the lecturer and the student in writing (e-mail).

  • A complete portfolio is submitted on time (one submission per block) to have access to the midterm, final written and oral exams. The content and deadline of each submission will be set by the lecturer.

  • Progress throughout the course. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions during seminars and to duly carry out all assignments during and outside seminar hours. During the semester, you are expected to complete all assignments and to check all the topics and activities regardless of them being discussed or not in class. Students will be excluded from the exams if they fail to participate or prepare sufficiently (see “Continuous Assessment”).