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Spanish 201 - Cultural portfolio

This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, including U.S. Hispanics, as well as your ability to use the Spanish language outside the classroom. An important component of the course involves engaging with the Spanish speaking community in your area through participation in social and cultural activities that will take place outside the class.

During the quarter, you are expected to participate in three* of these activities and to include them in your cultural portfolio, which counts as 5% of your final grade. The following are examples of the kinds of activities you may include in your portfolio:

  • Attend a cultural event related to the Spanish-speaking world and write a 200-word reflection paper in English. Examples of events you can attend are speaker talks, concerts, art exhibitions, film festivals, documentary exhibitions, etc. Whenever appropriate, you will take pictures and include them with your reflection. For a weekly updated list of cultural events you can attend throughout the quarter CLICK HERE.
  • Have a spontaneous conversation (minimum 10 minutes) entirely in Spanish with a Spanish native speaker about any topic related to the Spanish-speaking world. You will audio record this oral conversation and include the audio recording in your portfolio.
  • Video record yourself speaking in Spanish about a cultural topic related to the Spanish-speaking world. Include the video recording, a minimum of 5 minutes, in your portfolio and the sources you used in your research about the topic.
  • Volunteer for a minimum of 3 hours in a NGO or local institution serving the Hispanic/Latino community in Seattle. You will need to submit proof of your volunteering activity.
  • Attend a Spanish-language church service and write a 200-word reflection paper in English.
  • Attend three of the Spanish tertulias offered by the AULA CERVANTES or three of the meetings of the UW SPANISH CLUB. Make sure the moderator takes down your name so s/he can confirm your attendance.
  • Watch a Latin American or Spanish movie preapproved by your teacher and write a 200-word reflection paper in Spanish.
  • Etc.

*Summer students complete 2 activities instead of 3.

VERY IMPORTANT: All activities need to be pre-approved by your instructor. S/he will give you information about cultural events and activities you can attend during the quarter, including those sponsored by the Spanish and Portuguese department. If you know about a cultural event or activity in the Seattle area that may be of interest for the rest of the class, please let your instructor know.

VERY IMPORTANT: You need to submit a different activity type for each of your three portfolio entries.

VERY IMPORTANT: Some of the cultural activities may be completed in pairs or small groups, but only with the approval of your teacher.



Your teacher will give you instructions in class on how to submit your cultural portfolio. The cultural portfolio is a long term project completed across Spanish 102, 103, and 201. You will need to share with your teacher your entire cultural portfolio, including activities you may have completed in previous courses or quarters.



You will be evaluated based on the relevance of the activities you choose (when a written report is required you should explicitly address this in your report), the overall content of your written report or audio/video recording, and your effort to use the Spanish language and engage with the Hispanic/Latino community and its culture. The following rubric will be used:

0 points

The student did not submit his/her cultural activity before the deadline established in the calendar

2 points

The activity does not fulfill all the requirements established in the course website—e.g., it is not relevant enough (was not preapproved by the teacher), the instructions on the course website were not followed, the report is incomplete (less that 200 words and/or does not address the relevance of the activity), etc.

3 points

The activity is relevant, the report is complete, and the student has made an honest effort to use the Spanish language and/or engage with the Hispanic/Latino community in the area

VERY IMPORTANT: You will submit your first activity by the end of week 4/5, the second by the end of week 7/8, and the third by the end of week 10/11.