Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



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. Taking the first steps in learning someone else’s language opens up new relationships as well as new understandings of one's own culture and that of others.

This unit is designed for beginners and, is linked to the ‘A1’ level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The unit focuses on developing students’ Spanish language skills across the listening–speaking–reading–writing spectrum of competencies. Students will be exposed to fundamental phonetic, lexical, and structural elements of the Spanish language. While the focus is on language, this unit will also include cultural and social elements to increase students’ intercultural awareness and their ability to effectively interact in Spanish-speaking communities.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with the ability to understand and use familiar expressions and basic phrases in everyday social contexts.

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 individual sounds and common stress patterns in Spanish (GA5)

LO2 - Demonstrate a basic knowledge of vocabulary and language structures through the use of simple phrases and sentences in familiar everyday contexts (such as greetings, introductions and ordering a meal) (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - Identify important aspects of Spanish culture and society reflected in the Spanish language (GA1, GA4)

LO4 - Communicate in Spanish at the level of proficiency linked to selected ‘Can do’ statements at A1 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 


Topics may include:

  • Greetings and Introductions
  • Hispanic World: where Spanish is spoken and how pronunciation varies
  • The Spanish alphabet and sound system
  • Common stress patterns in Spanish
  • Family
  • Countries and nationalities
  • Professions and workplaces
  • Meals, food and beverages
  • Interests and leisure activities
  • Numbers 1 to 100
  • Time expressions
  • Reflections on intercultural communication and the experience of learning another language

Language Functions and Competencies:

  • Greeting people and introducing yourself and others
  • Describing oneself and family members
  • Asking and answering questions about nationality and profession
  • Visiting a Spanish restaurant and ordering a meal
  • Talking about free time and leisure interests
  • Telling the time
  • Using polite expressions and forms of address

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 communicative approach to language learning emphasising real-life contexts and interactive learning that informs the teaching of this introductory unit also informs the design of its assessment tasks, which have been planned to build on the knowledge and skills developed in interactive lecture and workshop activities. The assessment tasks have been designed to provide the feedback students need to develop independent language learning skills, such as listening to and contrasting sound systems, discriminating sound and intonation patterns, improving communication skills, and extracting meaning from written and spoken texts. Through completing each of the assessments, students can track and test their developing language proficiency.

Assessment Task 1 is designed to assess students’ listening and reading skills in relation to everyday communication topics (LO1, LO2). Assessment Task 2 is a guided interview task, designed to assess students’ listening and speaking skills as they ask and answer questions about real-life interests and leisure activities (LO1, LO3, LO4). Assessment Task 3 assesses students’ proficiency in reading, writing, and listening to Spanish.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Listening and reading task on everyday topics: requires students to demonstrate basic knowledge of vocabulary and language structure.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2

A speaking task that is used to assess students' ability to communicate orally in everyday contexts in ways that demonstrate awareness of important cultural aspects. Examples of such a task could include a guided interview, video blog or role play.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 3

Summative assessment task: requires students to demonstrate appropriate proficiency in listening, reading and writing.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Representative texts and references

Alonso, R. R. (2019). Students' basic grammar of Spanish. Barcelona: Difusión.

Amores, M., Suárez, G. J. L., Wendel, A. R., & Waters, M. (2020). Experience Spanish: Un mundo sin límites. New York, NY : McGraw-Hill Education.

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.

Murillo, L., Concepcion, M., Lucas, & Dawson, L. M. (2017). Con brio!: Beginning Spanish. Malden: John Wiley & Sons.

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.

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.

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