SPAN10140 Intensive ab initio Spanish Ia

Academic Year 2023/2024

This is a high-intensity language module aimed at ab-initio language learners. It is primarily recommended for students wishing to take Spanish to degree level. It is also suitable as an elective for those students who are willing to engage in an intensive study of the language. It seeks to develop independent learners who are prepared to devote 6 hours a week of personal study time outside the classroom focusing on grammar and written and aural skills to complement the 27 hours of class time. It also provides: a) an integrated approach to learning Spanish in which learners are required to actively use the four language skills: writing, reading, speaking and listening in the context of the classroom and to be able to practice writing, reading and listening autonomously, and b) a solid foundation in the grammar of the language. At the end of this module students should have covered most of the key linguistic elements of level A1 of the Common European Framework. They should demonstrate an ability to manage their own learning through the completion of specified learning activities in the classroom and in the exam: written exercises, aural tests, grammar tests. Students who have achieved at least a B grade in this module are deemed to be successfully progressing towards level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference in the competencies of writing, reading and aural comprehension.
PLEASE NOTE that this module focuses on practicing and improving linguistic competence so participation in language classes is essential (pending govt. guidelines these are due to be delivered F2F in 2021-22). Classes focus on the four language skills, and students should devote 6 hours a week autonomously outside the classes in order to achieve the learning outcomes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1) Write short descriptive and narrative texts employing an appropriate range of vocabulary to introduce themselves. (Production)

2) Describe people and places, both orally and in writing, and accurately convey basic information about daily routines and everyday activities, orally and in writing. (Production)

3) Engage with basic Spanish aural and written material, measured through class exercises and online tests, and be able to understand their overall meaning and specific details relevant to the contents of this module. (Reception)

4) Communicate in basic interactions in a grammatically accurate way. (Production)

5) Display a precise command of verb morphology (present and perfect tenses). (Production)

Indicative Module Content:

Aula digital e-book (teaching) and hard copy for student learning and work at home

Weeks 1-4: Aula Internacional A1 — Unidades 1-4

Content: Alphabet. Greetings. The noun (gender and ‘number’). Definite article. Adjectival agreement. Present indicative of regular verbs + ser, tener, estar. Superlatives. Numbers 1-100. Weather. Seasons.

Grammar Focus:
The Present Tense
Subject Pronouns

Week 4: Submit first online graded written tarea.

Content: Expressing needs and preferences. Shopping. Colours, clothes. Demonstratives (This, that, those). Tener que, ir, preferir. Numbers 100+.

Grammar Focus:

Self study: Aula Internacional A1 —Unidad 5
Appearance and character, likes/dislikes.

Grammar focus: gustar, quantifiers, possessives

WEEK 6: Aula Internacional A1 — Repaso Unidad 5 and Unidad 6

Content; Habits, frequency, telling the time. Grammar: present indicative

Week 7: Aula Internacional A1 — Unidad 7

Content: Daily routine. Frequency. Telling the time of day. Days of the week. Reflexive verbs. Impersonal use of ‘se’. Eating out.

Grammar Focus: Direct object pronouns. Poner, traer.

Aula Internacional A1 — Unidad 8

Content: Describing the neighbourhood (el barrio). Prepositions & quantifiers. Asking for directions.
Time of day

Grammar Focus:
Object pronouns
Reflexive verbs

Week 9: Aula Internacional A1: Unidad 9.

Speaking about past experiences
Grammar Focus:
Perfect tense, Saber, poder.

Week 10: Submit second online graded written tarea

Perfect tense: recap


Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Small Group




Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Small group tutorials. All timetabled classes are to be conducted in person with possibly one group having classes online. Office hours may be conducted online also. The approach is 'hands' on', teacher fronted but with students' active participation required online through Brightspace. Students will be encouraged to practice grammar points/vocabulary in pairs or break-out groups as directed by the tutors. The 3 hours a week class time will be focused on the text book/ digital e-book, as indicated in the module content, but will also incorporate other relevant exercises: tests supported by technology, for example. There will be specified learning activities in the 3 hours class time and to prepare for the exam: written exercises, audio-visual tests, supported by technology. Some of these are graded and some are not. Students will be encouraged to work on their speaking, writing and aural comprehension skills in class and in the 6 hours self study outside class.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Minimum of a H4 in Leaving Certificate, or equivalent, in another Modern Language.

Learning Exclusions:

Students with prior studies of Spanish, and attainment of Leaving Certificate Spanish, A-Level or equivalent, are not eligible to take this module.

Learning Recommendations:

If you have taken Spanish for your Leaving Certificate, A-level or equivalent, you cannot register to this module.

We recommend an H3 in Leaving Certificate, or equivalent, in another Modern Language.

Students unsure of their eligibility for this module are urged to consult with the module co-ordinator.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
LANG10230 - Spanish Gen Purp 1, LANG10240 - Spanish Gen Purp 4, LANG10260 - Spanish Gen Purp 2, LANG20470 - Spanish General Purposes 4, LANG20490 - Spanish General Purposes 6, SPAN10010 - Spanish Language I a

Span Language I a (Beginners) (SPAN10020)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: 2-hour written exam in the centrally -scheduled exam period. This will test the main grammar areas studied and involve a written composition at the end. The exam will take place online. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Class Test: 50-minute test that focuses on the grammar points covered so far in preparation for the exam. Week 7 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Audiovisual Test: 50 minute writing test involving listening and watching activities. May be supported by technology (week 10) Week 10 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given on non-graded tests at the discretion of the tutor Individual feedback will be given on graded assignments Feedback may be given to the class, e.g. on a particular grammar point, where appropriate. Students will complete regular take-home tasks/tasks supported by technology on grammar and written compositions throughout the semester and an in-class test in week 8 The audio-visual test in week 10 to be supported by technology. The final exam will take place online.

The set text for the module is: 'Aula International 1, Curso de español: A1', published by Difusión, 2013 (hard copy). Please note that the tutors will be teaching this trimester using the e-book version of Aula 1 which contains interactive class exercises.

There is no set grammar text but we recommend that students do buy a grammar book to accompany their studies. Recommended is Batchelor, R. 'A Student Grammar of Spanish', Cambridge UP, 2005 and '¡Exacto! Third Edition, A Practical Guide to Spanish Grammar', Ane Ortega, Tita Beavan, Cecilia Garrido and Sean Scrivener, Routledge, 2018.
Name Role
Dr Pascale Baker Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Philip Johnston Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Paul McAleer Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Julio Sanz Tutor
Leire Zubiaurre Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Small Group Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Fri 14:00 - 14:50
Small Group Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 09:00 - 09:50
Small Group Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 2 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 10:00 - 10:50
Small Group Offering 2 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 10:00 - 10:50
Small Group Offering 2 Week(s) - 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 14:00 - 14:50
Small Group Offering 2 Week(s) - 3 Wed 14:00 - 14:50