This course follows a communicative approach that emphasizes interaction and peer collaboration while fostering learner autonomy. Your active participation in the classroom as well as your independent work outside the class are absolutely essential to your success in this course.
Your homework grade counts as 10% of your final grade.
Your participation grade counts also as 10% of your final grade. At the end of each chapter; i.e. five times per quarter, you will receive a participation grade based on a scale of 20 points.
In order to get a good participation grade you need to:
- PARTICIPATE ACTIVELY IN ALL CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES—PAIR AND SMALL GROUP TASKS, AS WELL AS WHOLE CLASS ACTIVITIES. Research on second language acquisition has shown that the best way to learn a language is through interaction and collaborative work. In this course, instead of “learning the language to use it” you will be “using the language to learn it”. This means that most classroom time will be devoted to communicative activities to be completed in pairs or small groups. Your active participation in these activities is crucial. Active participation means not only speaking, but also listening to other students’ contributions respecting their different opinions.
- COMPLETE YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS. Although some homework activities are intended to consolidate what you have learnt in class, most of them have been designed to prepare you for the next class. You need to complete these activities before the beginning of each class in order to be able to participate effectively in it.
Most of your homework will be assigned via Supersite (imagina.vhlcentral.com) and will therefore be completed online. Do not wait until the last moment to do your homework and make sure you have access to the necessary equipment to complete all activities, including listening and recording tasks.
VERY IMPORTANT: Due dates for online homework are posted on Supersite (imagina.vhlcentral.com). You will not be allowed to submit any late work.
VERY IMPORTANT: Your instructor may also assign homework in class. You are responsible for completing this homework before the due date, whether you are present in class or not.
VERY IMPORTANT: Technical problems are not acceptable excuses for not completing your homework on time. If you have difficulties with your own computer, you can use the university computer labs or the Language Learning Center facilities—see http://depts.washington.edu/llc/
- STUDY THE VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR ASSIGNED BY YOUR INSTRUCTOR BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS.
VERY IMPORTANT: This course follows a flipped classroom approach, which means you are responsible to study grammar and vocabulary outside the class. Grammar explanations can be found in the textbook and in Supersite. During class time, your teacher will solve your grammar doubts and correct your lexical and grammatical errors, but s/he will not provide long grammar explanations. Most class time will be devoted to communicative activities in which you will be required to put into use the vocabulary and grammar previously studied as homework. You will only be able to complete classroom activities successfully, if you have studied the new vocabulary and grammatical structures in the textbook and completed your practice homework before the beginning of each class. Your teacher will explain the rationale for this approach, what is expected from you, and the resources you have to succeed in the class.
Remember that, according to University of Washington regulations, a 5-credit class is equivalent to 15 hours of student work per week. Since this course meets 5 times per week, you are expected to devote an average of 2 hours per day to study and homework.
- USE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN THE CLASSROOM WHENEVER POSSIBLE. From the very first day, your instructor will conduct the class almost entirely in Spanish. You are also expected to use Spanish as much as possible, during small group work as well as whole class activities. Remember that you are not expected to understand everything your instructor is saying and you should not be afraid of making mistakes—we learn by making them. Throughout the course, your ability to produce and understand oral Spanish will develop.
VERY IMPORTANT: Daily attendance is crucial since it is essential for participation. But you will be graded exclusively on your class participation, not your attendance. This means that your participation grade will be based on (1) your preparedness for the class, (2) your participation in pair and small group work, (3) your willingness to volunteer during whole class activities, and (4) your effort to use Spanish as much as possible during class time.
VERY IMPORTANT: More than three absences, whether justified or not, will have a negative impact on your final participation grade. Arriving late or leaving the class before its end can also be considered as a partial absence. During the summer term more than one absence, whether justified or not, will have a negative impact on your participation grade.