Spanish

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Sarah Lawrence College’s courses in Spanish cover grammar, literature, film, music, and translation—all with the aim of making students more capable and confident in thinking, writing, and expressing themselves in Spanish. Each of the yearlong courses integrates activities such as panel discussions, lectures, and readings with classroom discussion and conference work to provide students with stimulating springboards for research and study.

2017-2018 Courses

Spanish

Beginning Spanish

Open , Seminar—Year

The aim of this course is to enable students without previous knowledge of the language to develop the skills necessary to achieve effective levels of communication in Spanish. From the start, students will be in touch with authentic Spanish-language materials in the form of newspaper articles, films, songs, and poems, as well as short literary and non-literary texts. In the regular class meetings, we will actively implement a wide range of techniques aimed at creating an atmosphere of dynamic oral exchange. The acquisition of grammar structures will develop from the exploitation of everyday situations through the incorporation of a wide set of functional-contextual activities. Group conferences will help hone conversational skills and focus on individual needs. Both in class and in small group conferences, we will explore the multiple resources provided by the Internet, retrieving all sorts of textual and visual tools that later will be collectively exploited by the group. The viewing of films, documentaries, and episodes of popular TV series, as well as the reading of blogs and digital publications, will take place outside the seminar meetings and serve as the basis of class discussions and debates. Weekly conversation sessions with the language assistant are an integral part of the course.

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Advanced Beginning Spanish: Pop Culture(s)

Open , Seminar—Year

Course taught entirely in Spanish. Students should take the placement test prior to registration.

In this class, for students who have had some experience with Spanish but are still laying the foundations of communication and comprehension, we will do a thorough review of basic grammatical, lexical, and syntactical concepts at a more accelerated pace than the regular Beginning Spanish class. Working with music, visual art, film, and newspaper articles from Latin America and Spain, students will develop the ability to navigate real-life situations and will expand their vocabulary through group exercises with a communicative focus. Weekly conversation sessions are also a fundamental part of this course.

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Intermediate Spanish I: Latin America, a Mosaic of Cultures

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

The course will be taught entirely in Spanish. The Spanish Placement test is recommended for all students, especially those who have not taken Spanish at SLC.

This course is intended for students who have had at least one year of college-level Spanish or equivalent and who wish to review and expand the fundamentals of the Spanish language while exploring the rich cultural mosaic of Latin America. We will also pay special attention to oral communication and the expansion of new vocabulary; and we will explore different writing formats to create a dynamic dialogue between and among grammar, literature, and culture in order to contextualize multiple meanings while increasing fluency in every aspect of language production. For conference, students will have a chance to explore and develop topics related to Hispanic culture. To enrich the student’s exposure to the mosaic of Latin American cultures, we’ll try to take advantage of our local resources such as museums, libraries, and theatre. Students will meet with a language assistant once a week in order to practice their speaking and oral comprehension.

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Intermediate Spanish II: Culture in the Information Age

Intermediate , Seminar—Year

This course is taught in Spanish. Please take the Spanish placement test prior to interviewing with the instructor.

Once students have reached the linguistic command required to work at an advanced-intermediate level, they are in an ideal position to begin to explore the numerous resources that can be found on the Internet. Instrumentally, we will focus on the multiple uses of Spanish to be found in the virtual world, making use of its many possibilities such as blogs, newspapers, magazines, and other formats. We will identify the most relevant Web pages from the Spanish-speaking world, extract the adequate information, and exploit it in class jointly, making the necessary adjustments. Access to authentic sources from all over the Spanish-speaking world will give us an excellent idea of the varieties of the language used in more than 20 countries. We will explore all forms of culture, paying special attention to audiovisual resources such as interviews, documentaries, TV programs, and other formats—all of which will be incorporated into the course of study, complete or in fragments, depending on the level of difficulty. Art, film, music, photography, theatre, science, politics, comics, video games, gastronomy—all forms and manifestations of culture, high and low—will be the object of our attention, as long as the vehicle of expression is Spanish. We will minimize the use of printed matter, which will be devoted mainly to a more classical exploration of grammar. The class as a whole, as well as students on an individual basis, will be encouraged to locate different kinds of materials on the Internet. Weekly conversation sessions with the language assistants, in small groups, are required.

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Advanced Spanish: Coming of Age I

Advanced , Seminar—Fall

Course taught entirely in Spanish. Students should take the Spanish Placement Test prior to interviewing for the course and registration.

Growing up isn’t easy, but it does provide incredible material for creative expression and social criticism. With an eye toward topics like sexuality, physical and symbolic violence, and political activism, students will engage film and literature from Latin America and Spain, both critically and creatively, as they hone their communication, analytic, and essay-writing skills. Advanced grammar review and writing workshops will complement our work with canonical texts by Jorge Luis Borges and Alejandra Pizarnik and films like Machuca, among many others. Students will also meet with a language tutor, in small groups, every week.

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Advanced Spanish: Coming of Age II

Advanced , Seminar—Spring

Course taught entirely in Spanish. Students should take the Spanish placement test prior to registration.

Growing up isn’t easy, but it does provide incredible material for creative expression and social criticism. Building on the analytic and writing skills developed in the fall, students will engage novels by contemporary authors, including César Aira, Guadalupe Nettel, Alejandro Zambra, Roberto Bolaño, and Samanta Schweblin, as well as a selection of films from Latin America and Spain. In addition to classroom discussions, students will develop and workshop critical and creative responses to these works for publication on a class blog.

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First-Year Studies: States of Emergence, Stages of Emergency

Open , FYS—Year

The Golden Age of Spain, a period lasting roughly 200 years that coincides in its middle part with the Elizabethan era, is a period of extraordinary creativity that reflects, in myriad ways, the wondrous changes taking place—scientific, economic, social, philosophical, literary, and artistic—as the world becomes truly globalized for the first time and the early modern era is born. In Spain, these two centuries span the emergence and lexicalization of a number of new genres: the picaresque; the Moorish and pastoral romances; the exemplary tale; the sonnet form; a wondrous theatrical tradition, la nueva comedia—synchronous with Elizabethan theatre—that produced playwrights like Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina, and Calderón; and of course, Cervantes (playwright, short-story writer, novelist). We will explore the smaller entities “on the ground” that merge and bloom into this explosion of creativity. In the first semester, we will focus primarily on the emergence of a theatrical tradition as medieval fuses into modern; in the second, on the prose and poetry that leads us to a reading of Cervantes’ Don Quixote...naturally.

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