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Course Syllabus: Spanish for Travelers: A Beginner's Guide

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Course Description

¡Buen viajeEnjoy your trip!  The Essential Spanish for Travelers: a Beginner’s Guide (with audio clips) is a fast, fun, and manageable way to learn the Spanish you need to travel around the Spanish-speaking world.  This course starts at the beginning, assuming you know nothing about Spanish, and takes you through easy lesson by easy lesson, until you feel comfortable ordering food in Mexico, reserving a hotel room Costa Rica, asking for directions to the beach in southern Spain, and maybe even flirting in Argentina.


This course will teach you how to ask questions, understand the answers, talk about what you did yesterday and explain what you plan to do tomorrow. Along the way you will gain essential vocabulary and hear real conversations so you can travel con confianza (with confidence)!  Throughout your journey to learning Essential Traveler’s Spanish, you will find explanations, examples and activities that provide the building blocks to construct a base for the Spanish language. Watch for the side text boxes that provide insightful clues and hints to assist you in your learning process. Eventually you will be able to speak and understand one of the world’s most important languages.


This Essential Spanish for Travelers: A Beginning Guide (with audio clips) is designed to give you the basics in grammar and vocabulary but always focusing on travel so that you can communicate on your journeys as soon as possible. All activities, examples and vocabulary lists are geared towards traveler’s needs. But be forewarned: merely reading through the course as if it were a novel will not help you reach the levels that are possible if you truly take advantage of the tool you are reading right now.  In order to get the most out of this course, you must actively work with it, completing the exercises, working on the activities and having fun.


Course Requirements

No previous experience is required. Each lesson will contain audio clips that illustrate specific dialogues and word pronunciations. The ability to listen to these audio clips is not a requirement. 

Course Goals

Here's what you will learn:


- The Spanish Alphabet, the vowels, pronunciation rules, stress and accents, diphthongs, and tongue-twisters.

- Travel vocabulary: words of greetings and introductions, leave-taking, days of the week, months of the year, counting 1 -- 199, and telling time.

-Describing daily activities with verbs in the present tense, personal pronouns, verb conjugations, and negating verbs.

- Stem changing verbs, To be or to be? Ser vs. Estar, Haber -- another verb meaning to be, and reflexive verbs.

-Improving your travel vocabulary with common phrases for airport- money- shopping- asking for directions, health related issues, family, accomodations , dialogue in a restaurant, and forming plurals.

- Describing people and places with nouns and adjectives, list of adjectives to describe people, list of adjectives to describe places and things, colors, placement of adjectives, and possessive adjectives.

- Talking about your tastes with the verb gustar (to like) and other similar verbs, such as parecer, a verb that works like gustar.

- Prepositions por vs. para, preposition used to describe location, and common prepositions in use.

- The preterite tense: regular verbs, vocabulary that triggers the preterite tense, irregular verbs in the preterite, the imperfect tense, and irregular forms of the imperfect.

- Asking questions and question words.

- Direct objects, indirect objects, and reflexive pronouns.

- Word endings to refer to the near future, future tense, and vocabulary that triggers future tense.

- The concepts of Cognates, and False Friends for Travelers.

Course Materials

All course materials are provided in this class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will be accompanied with a few practice activities as well as a brief 10 pt. lesson quiz to reinforce what you had learned.

Course Outline

1.    Introduction

2.    Lesson 2: The Alphabet and Pronunciation Guide

3.    Lesson 3: Start Building Your Basic Travel Vocabulary

4.    Lesson 4: Describing Routine Activities: Introduction to the Present Tense

5.    Lesson 5: Irregular and Otherwise Tricky Verbs in the Present Tense

6.    Lesson 6: Improving Your Travel Vocabulary Part 1

7.    Lesson 7: Improving Your Travel Vocabulary Part 2

8.    Lesson 8: Describing People, Places and Things

9.    Lesson 9: Talking About Your Tastes and Interests and Expressing Opinions

10.Lesson 10: Asking Questions

11.Lesson 11: Talking About the Past

12.Lesson 12: Talking About The Future

13.Lesson 13: Cognates and False Friends For Travelers


Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate reciting the Spanish alphabet and utilize pronunciation guide.
  • Build a traveling vocabulary.
  • Demonstrate describing routine activities.
  • Demonstrate usage of irregular and otherwise tricky verbs in the present tense.
  • Demonstrate describing people, places and things.
  • Demonstrate talking about your tastes and interests and expressing opinions.
  • Demonstrate asking questions.
  • Demonstrate talking about the past.
  • Demonstrate talking about the future, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
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Assessment Guide

Activity A for Lesson 25
Lesson 2 Exam9
Activity A for Lesson 35
Lesson 3 Exam12
Activity A for Lesson 45
Activity B for Lesson 45
Activity C for Lesson 45
Lesson 4 Exam9
Activity A for Lesson 55
Activity B for Lesson 55
Activity C for Lesson 55
Activity D for Lesson 55
Lesson 5 Exam8
Activity A for Lesson 65
Activity B for Lesson 65
Activity A for Lesson 75
Activity B for Lesson 75
Lesson 7 Exam9
Activity A for Lesson 85
Activity B for Lesson 85
Lesson 8 Exam10
Activity A for Lesson 95
Activity B for Lesson 95
Lesson 9 Exam8
Activity A for Lesson 105
Activity B for Lesson 105
Lesson 10 Exam10
Activity A for Lesson 115
Activity B for Lesson 115
Activity C for Lesson 115
Lesson 11 Exam10
Activity A for Lesson 125
Lesson 12 Exam8
Total Points:213
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