Credit points


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SPAN201 Intermediate Spanish A 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. To develop a deeper understanding of culture and language, and to be able to communicate effectively in most situations likely to arise while staying in an area where the Spanish is spoken, intermediate-level users of Spanish need to progress from concrete to more abstract language use. This unit is linked to the ‘B1+’ level of the expanded Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and ACFTL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language). Students at this level should be able to write letters or emails and compare and contrast ideas in writing as long as the topic is familiar, and to clarify misunderstandings in spoken interaction.

On completion of this unit, students should be able to communicate effectively in formal and professional settings (for example, responding appropriately during a job interview, writing formal correspondence, giving instructions and imparting basic knowledge). While the focus is on language, students explore, analyse and compare a variety of texts from different real-world Spanish and/or Latin American social settings on a variety of cultural topics to increase their intercultural awareness and their ability to interact effectively with Spanish-speaking and other culturally diverse communities.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to further develop their intermediate-level linguistic competencies, their intercultural knowledge and their understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture.

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 - Use correct and appropriate Spanish in formal, social and professional interactions (GA5, GA6)

LO2 - Identify and apply knowledge of different cultural perspectives which influence intercultural interactions in Spanish-speaking countries (GA1, GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Compare and analyse topical issues in Spanish and Latin American societies using more sophisticated Spanish language skills (GA4, GA6, GA7)

LO4 - Communicate in Spanish with members of Spanish-speaking communities at the level of proficiency linked to the ‘can do’ statements at B1+ level of the expanded EAQUALS/ Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) (GA5, GA6)

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include:

  • Spanish and Latin American social and cultural customs
  • Studying or working at a university
  • Professions and employment
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Formal letters
  • Historical topics and sites
  • Performing arts
  • Emotions, health and wellbeing
  • Social and professional etiquette
  • Learning skills and strategies to continue developing language proficiency

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

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Describing and explaining goals
  • Discussing cause and effect
  • Writing a culturally appropriate CV and a cover letter
  • Preparing for a job interview
  • Giving and accepting compliments
  • Describing a performance
  • Expressing emotions and giving reassurance
  • Expressing wishes and appropriate social responses
  • Expressing moods and emotions and state of health and wellbeing
  • Describing hypothetical situations
  • Expressing and responding to advice or suggestions

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 (as seen in the use of Spanish language and cultural material based on formal social and professional contexts in this unit), 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 the Learning Management System, interactive language practice and assignment preparation. Students will also develop their independent learning skills, intercultural awareness and critical thinking through the cultural communicative approach, that seeks to explore these issues through interactive engagement with real-life situations.

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. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks in this unit are chosen to give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills through engagement with authentic and increasingly sophisticated cultural and communicative contexts. Assessment task 1 builds students’ macro communicative skills by means of a listening, reading and writing task that explores the diversity of Spanish and Latin American social and cultural life.

Assessment task 2 builds upon the skills and knowledge developed in assessment 1 and, with a particular focus on listening and speaking skills, requires students to develop an individual digital project. Assessment task 3 provides the opportunity for students to showcase their linguistic and cultural competencies in a written task that is based on information drawn from audiovisual and written sources.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Compare and contrast Spanish and Latin American social and cultural customs: requires students to explore the diversity of Spanish social and cultural life through a listening, reading and writing task.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8 

Assessment Task 2

Individual project presented using a digital communication tool: requires students to demonstrate listening and speaking skills, and show an understanding of diverse cultural perspectives. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8 

Assessment Task 3

An original written text based on information from audiovisual and written sources: requires students to demonstrate listening, reading and writing skills.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Aragonés, L. (2014). Intermediate Spanish grammar. Madrid: McGraw-Hill Education.

Balea, A. (2011). Cultura en el mundo hispanohablante: B1/B2. Madrid: En Clave ELE. 

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. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cabrera, D., & Guevara, C. (2011). Che Guevara: Geografías del Che; nivel B1. Barcelona: Difusión.

Chamorro, C., Martínez, M., Murillo, N., & Sáenz, A. (2017). Todas las voces: Curso de cultura y civilización B1. Barcelona: Difusión.

Gies, D. T. (1999). The Cambridge companion to modern Spanish culture. Cambridge University Press.

Molero, A. (2009). El español de España y el español de América: Vocabulario comparado. Ediciones SM.

Moreno, A. (2014). Frida Kahlo: Viva la vida; nivel . B1. Barcelona: Difusión.

Muñoz-Basols, J., Pérez, S. Y., & David, M. (2011). Developing writing skills in Spanish. London: Routledge.

Nissenberg, G. (2018). Spanish sentence builder. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. 

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