This course follows a communicative, task-based 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 participation grade counts as 10% of your final grade.
Throughout the quarter your class participation will be graded five times, once at the end of each chapter. Each of these five participation grade scores will based on a scale of 20 points.
If you have a valid reason to miss class you need to let your teacher know, via email, as soon as possible. Excused absences will not affect your participation grade.
Valid reasons to miss class without being penalized include illness, and death or serious illness in the immediate family. If you are sick, let your teacher know you will be missing class via email. You should NOT provide medical documentation as proof of short-term illness to justify an absence.
If you are a student athlete, in the national guard, or are missing class because of a UW mandatory academic activity, you need to provide your teacher with proper documentation indicating the dates you will be missing class.
Your work schedule is not a valid reason to miss class.
Personal trips or vacations are not a valid reason to miss class.
Class participation evaluation:
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.
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.
- STUDY THE VOCABULARY AND GRAMMAR ASSIGNED BY YOUR TEACHER BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF EACH CLASS. 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 the grammar tutorials available in MySpanishLab. 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 viewed the online grammar tutorials and studied the new vocabulary and grammatical structures in the textbook before the beginning of each class. On day 1, your teacher will explain the rationale for this approach, what is expected from you, and the resources you have to succeed in the class.
- USE THE SPANISH LANGUAGE IN THE CLASSROOM WHENEVER POSSIBLE. From the very first day, your teacher 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. However, it is OK to ask a question in English if you feel you don’t have the necessary competence to do it in Spanish. Also, remember that you are not expected to understand everything your teacher 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.