Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


SPAN101 Introductory Spanish or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

Learning an additional language facilitates a rich engagement with the worlds of others. The positive intercultural values and the analytical, conceptual and communication skills developed by students who learn additional languages are highly valued by employers in business, government and industry. As they develop mastery of elementary Spanish, language learners are able to meet and respond to direct, personal needs when engaging with communities of Spanish speakers.

This unit is designed for basic users of Spanish and is linked to the ‘A2’ level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The unit will continue to develop students’ Spanish language skills across the listening–speaking–reading–writing spectrum of competencies. On completion of this unit, students should have a deeper knowledge of the phonetic, lexical and structural elements of the Spanish language. They will be able to start a conversation, exchange greetings using appropriate forms of address and respond to questions in everyday situations (for example, daily routines, shopping, using public transport). While the focus is on language, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture and reflect on the nature of intercultural communication, as they develop their ability to interact effectively in Spanish-speaking communities.

The aim of the unit is to extend students’ ability to apply their Spanish language skills to understand and use expressions and communicate with simple and direct exchanges of information on familiar and routine matters.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Recognise and produce sounds, words and common stress patterns in Spanish (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Use vocabulary and language structures appropriate to familiar contexts (GA5, GA6)

LO3 - Identify important cultural values or perspectives reflected in personal and social contexts (GA1, GA4, GA6)

LO4 - Communicate in Spanish at the level of proficiency linked to selected ‘Can do’ statements at A2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA4  - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


Topics will include:

  • Places in the city and neighbourhood
  • Transport and directions
  • Shopping and/or basic banking
  • Basic telephone etiquette
  • Weather and seasons
  • Family and friendships
  • Daily routines
  • Celebrations and special occasions
  • Recipes

Content on intercultural difference and diversity will be integrated in selected topics.

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Asking for and giving directions
  • Writing a shopping list
  • Describing daily activities
  • Talking about the weather
  • Describing simple past events
  • Describing your family tree
  • Making polite requests and giving instructions
  • Expressing good wishes
  • Making future plans
  • Expressing needs and preferences
  • Answering the phone and providing personal details
  • Writing a simple message

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to be offered fully online and will include synchronous delivery of unit content, collaborative online learning activities and other technology-enabled learning synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities to foster interaction between students.

The approach to language learning and teaching taken in this unit is the ‘communicative approach’ which focuses on developing students’ competence in ‘real life’ communication. This approach emphasises using language for meaningful purposes in authentic situations, and encourages students to practice and experiment with communicating through the use of activities that have real purpose and a real-life communicative context. In keeping with this approach, learning and teaching strategies have been chosen to bring real-life communicative contexts to the classroom, and to facilitate the communicative interactions between students that will help them develop accuracy and fluency. For example, audio-visual language material based on everyday contexts will be used as a key learning and teaching resource. Students are encouraged to be active participants and work individually, in pairs and in groups. Through this interaction, the key competencies of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be developed. Teaching and learning activities include weekly online exercises in LEO, interactive language practice and assignment preparation.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks in this unit are chosen to develop different domains of language acquisition and are sequenced to support students in developing proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening to Spanish. The tasks will also develop students’ knowledge of Spanish and Latin American culture and their ability to reflect on intercultural communication and difference.

Assessment Task 1 is designed to assess students’ listening and reading skills in Spanish (LO1, LO2). Assessment Task 2 is an oral interview, designed to assess students’ listening, speaking skills and conversation skills in Spanish. This task builds on the skills and knowledge of everyday communication contexts developed in the first assessment task (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4). Assessment Task 3 is a task that builds on the skills and knowledge developed throughout the unit: it assesses students’ language proficiency in listening, reading and writing in Spanish. It also assesses student cultural appreciation of the diversity of Spanish and Latin American cultures (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Listening and reading task: requires students to demonstrate listening and reading skills in Spanish.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2

Oral interview: requires students to demonstrate listening, speaking and conversation skills in Spanish.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 3

Summative assessment task: requires students to demonstrate appropriate proficiency in listening, reading and writing, along with their developing intercultural awareness.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Representative texts and references

Alonso, R. R. (2019). Students' Basic Grammar of Spanish. Barcelona: Difusión.

BarCharts, Inc.. (2012). Spanish grammar. BarCharts.

BarCharts, Inc.. (2016). Spanish verbs: conjugations.

Bembibre, C., Cámara, N., Cabeza, M. C., Carvajal, S., Fernandez, F., Marin, E. J., Meana, C., Molina, A., Molina, S., Pereyra, L., & Riva, F. F. (2016). Entornos: primer curso de lengua Espanola: Student book. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Nissenberg, G. (2018). Practice makes perfect: Complete Spanish all-in-one. McGraw-Hill Education.

Richmond, D. D. (2020). Practice makes perfect: Basic Spanish (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Roberts, R., & Kreuz, R. (2015). Becoming fluent: How cognitive science can help adults learn a foreign language. Cambridge, MA; London, England: The MIT Press.

Rollin, N., Carvajal, C. S., & Horwood, J. (2009). Pocket Oxford Spanish dictionary = Diccionario Oxford compact: English-Spanish (4th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Utrera Cejudo, M. (2020). Access Spanish: A first language course (2nd ed.). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Zollo, M., & Wesson, A. (2018). Spanish grammar made easy. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY : Routledge.

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