Credit points


Campus offering

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SPAN202 Intermediate Spanish B or equivalent


SPAN203 Spanish for Social and Professional Purposes

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.

This unit, linked to B2 on the expanded Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and ACFTL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language), emphasises academic Spanish and provides students with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of Spanish and Latin American culture. Students will engage in the critical study of social and cultural issues related to the Spanish-speaking world and learn to develop a critical argument in Spanish. Their research will connect their growing knowledge of Spanish-speaking societies to broader global issues.

The aim of this unit is to enable students to develop more sophisticated linguistic skills and extend their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the cultural diversity of Spain and Latin America.

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 an extensive variety of Spanish vocabulary and grammatical structures to communicate on social and cultural topics (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Identify and apply an understanding of the social and cultural practices and perspectives of different communities in the Spanish-speaking world (GA1, GA4, GA6)

LO3 - Communicate in Spanish using discipline-related and persuasive language in an academic setting. [GA3, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8]

LO4 - Apply intercultural awareness to academic communication in Spanish (GA4, GA5, GA8

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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:

  • Approaches to Spanish and Latin American culture and society
  • Spanish cultural influences
  • Selected topics on the art, music or dance of Spain and/or Latin America
  • Geography – national, regional or urban
  • Academic cultures, educational systems and practices
  • Genres in academic writing
  • Academic vocabulary

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Listening and notetaking
  • Researching and presenting a short paper
  • Developing an argument
  • Outlining and defending a point of view
  • Comparing and contrasting
  • Reflecting on cultural differences

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. In the course of this unit, students will have the opportunity to produce multiple forms of academic Spanish by practising each stage in the creation of academic knowledge: identifying an area of interest; undertaking research and notetaking; developing lines of argument; and reviewing and reflecting to foster greater understanding (in this case, greater understanding of the significance of cultural differences). 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 directly aligned with the learning outcomes and are sequenced to further extend students’ language skills in Spanish and bring intercultural awareness to their academic communication in the Spanish language. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their independent learning skills and strategies, and their ability to reflect upon intercultural communication, by completing a final research project.

 The first assessment task, a researched debate on a social or cultural topic, develops students’ research skills, engages them in consideration of Spanish-speaking society and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to practice oral skills (LO1, LO2). The second assessment task, an oral presentation on a research topic, further develops research skills, and elicits formal, academic oral communication (LO1, LO2, LO3, and LO4). Students demonstrate their research skills and their ability to use persuasive language in an academic setting and reflect on intercultural difference by completing their final research project (LO1, LO2, LO3, and LO4).

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Debate: An informed debate on a social or cultural topic relating to the Spanish-speaking world. This task assesses proficiency in listening, reading and writing.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6

Assessment Task 2

Presentation on Research Topic: A researched oral presentation about cultural aspects of Spain and/or Latin America: requires students to demonstrate their research skills, their ability to use persuasive language in an academic setting and reflect on intercultural difference.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Individual Research Project:

An essay on an approved topic that presents an argument following the academic conventions of written academic Spanish


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, 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. EnClave-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. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 

Chamorro, C., Martínez, M., Murillo, N. and Sáenz, A. (2014). Todas las voces. B1. Barcelona: Difusión. 

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

Holloway, T. H. (2011). A companion to Latin American history. Chichester, England: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Labanyi, J., & Pavlovic, T. (2012). A companion to Spanish cinema. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 

Muro, D., & Lago, I. (2020). The Oxford handbook of Spanish politics. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press

_____. (2010). Spanish Literature: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 

Ross, C. J., Richardson, B., & Sangrador-Vegas, B. (2013). Contemporary Spain (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. 

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