HISP 203

Intermediate Spanish, Second Semester

MWF   9:00 – 9:50  a.m.   Peters 327


Instructor Barbara Sawhill     bsawhill@oberlin.edu
Office Location Peters 331 (inside of the CILC)  ph: (440) 775-8595
Office Hours M/W 10-11 and by appointment


Assistant Teacher Jorge Gaupp    jgaupp@oberlin.edu
Office Location Peters 403A  (4th floor of Peters)
Conversation Sessions Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in Peters 302

Course Description:

HISP 203 is a 4th semester language course that completes the Intermediate Language sequence begun with HISP 202. In terms of the sequence of courses in the Hispanic Studies Department, HISP 203 prepares students for HISP 304: Advanced Grammar and Composition and / or HISP 205: Conversation and Communication in Spanish Speaking Worlds.

In addition to the 3 class meeting times per week, students are required to participate in one hour of directed small group conversation with the Jorge Gaupp, the Assistant Teacher for HISP 203.  Those conversation sessions will be scheduled independently.

Course Objectives:

By the end of semester, a successful HISP203 student will be able to:

– Speak confidently about a subject of personal interest for 5 minutes while demonstrating enthusiasm, organization, a good control of grammar and a wide range of appropriate vocabulary;

– Converse for 10 minutes or more with a native speaker of Spanish in an informal but directed fashion, demonstrating proper use of register, grammar, vocabulary (including regional dialects and modismos) as well as a balance between asking questions and giving information;

– Develop one’s writing skills in order to complete, by semester’s end, a 3 page paper about a topic of personal interest, that is well organized, and shows a mastery of intermediate-level grammar & vocabulary;

– Learn and then apply the necessary strategies to read and comprehend a variety of college-level texts in Spanish  (articles, poems, lyrics, essays, short stories)

Required Work:

Creating Personal Linguistic Goals and a Project to Realize Them: Why are you taking this class?  Each of you will set goals and devise a semester long project (that incorporates writing and speaking) in order to achieve these goals. You will present your work to the class periodically during the semester.

Written/ Oral work: At specific moments in the semester, you will be asked to write and speak about the topics we have covered in class to date.  There will be a total of 10 assignments (5 written, 5 oral).  In order to better manage your time during the semester you can choose the 4 written and 4 oral tasks you want to complete. You are encouraged to do all 10 assignments, but only 8 will count for your grade.  One revision is allowed per assignment. Revisions must be cmpleted within a week. The only assignments that are obligatory are the 5th written and oral assignments, scheduled for December.

Las grabaciones: You will record yourself speaking Spanish. The recordings will increase in length and complexity as the semester progresses.

Los trabajos escritos:  We will begin with paragraph-level compositions  in Spanish and build in greater length and complexity.

Optional opportunities to enhance your learning:

 Los intercambios de idiomas:  It is possible to set up and English/Spanish language exchange with a Spanish speaker using Skype and The Mixxer  (http://language-exchanges.org).  Please speak to Barbara if you are interested in this activity.

RadioHISP203:  An online “radio” station is being created for HISP203 (listeners will be able to connect via iTunes, Windows Media, etc  You will be able to submit original recordings, create radio shows, conduct interviews with Spanish speakers, share music, etc.  More information will be shared about this option.

— Attend El Rincón  (Spanish Table in Stevie)  I will be there on Mondays.

— Attend events that are announced via the Eventos calendar.  Offer to share information about these events during class.


• There are no tests or quizzes.

• You must complete 8 graded assignments: 4 written and 4 oral.

• You must complete the 5th written and oral assignments (due in December)

• Graded assignments will be assessed as follows: P+   P   P-

P+ = demonstrates an exceptional use of the grammar/vocabulary in context, is well organized and comprehensible; P = shows a competent use of the language, but errors interfere with the overall comprehension,  P-= unsatisfactory

• Each graded assignment can be revised once.  Revisions must be completed within one week.

• In addition to the tasks that are assigned for the class, you will work on a semester-long project that is based on your personal interests and goals for the language.  You will be asked to report to the class on your learning periodically throughout the term.   You will be expected to make a midterm and an end-of-semester report on your project.

• You will be asked to assess your own learning twice during the semester.


You are expected to adhere to the Oberlin College Honor Code. Please read the Honor Code carefully. If you have a question about how the Code applies to a particular assignment, you should raise that question with me in advance of the due date. In

general, you are expected to neither give nor receive aid in the completion of exams, quizzes, recordings, or any work prepared outside of class that is to be submitted for evaluation.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:With the assistance of the Office of Disability Services (Peters Hall Rm. G-27/28), I will be happy to provide appropriate accommodation for students with disabilities and special needs. Please notify me at the start of the semester if you desire such accommodation.


If you are too sick to come to class, please email me prior to the start of class to let me know.  DON’T come to class if you are ill.  If your illness causes you to be absent for more than one class, you will need to provide me with a note from Student Heath Services or your Class Dean.   If you cannot complete an assignment because of illness, you will need to provide me with a note from one of these two resources.


We will be referring to these texts during the semester.  

- Rusch, Domínguez and Caycedo Garner. Fuentes: Conversación y gramática, 4th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

- Tuten, Esterrich and Caycedo Garner. Fuentes: Lectura y redacción, 4th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

- Rusch, Domínguez and Caycedo Garner. Fuentes: Student Activities Manual. 4th edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.