Welcome to an excellent Spanish program at North 

Bienvenidos a un excelente programa de español en el Norte


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(How the brain learns)


COURSE SYLLABUS: SPAN&121 (Winter 2018)

SPAN&121:04 11-11:50am


Classroom IB 3325

INSTRUCTOR: Cristina C. Zahajko
Office Hours:
(preferably by appt.)
1:00 - 1:50 pm Mo.&Thu

1:00 - 2:15 pm Tue.& Wed

Telephone: (206) 934-4539
Fax: (206) 934- 3784

E - mail: cristina.zahajko@seattlecolleges.edu

Web page: http://facweb.northseattle.edu/czahajko/

* for homework - go to



VISTAS - Introducción a la lengua española...5th Ed., Blanco / Donley > ISBN 978-162 680 6702 ( MPORTANT NOTE ! THERE IS A HARDCOPY AND A SOFT BOUND VERSION OF THIS TEXTBOOK AT OUR BOOKSTORE - BUY ONLY ONE OF THEM AS THEY ARE THE SAME BOOK). You do not need an Activity or other workbook. You may also get the 4th Edition VISTAS - Introducción a la lengua española...4th Ed., Blanco / Donley > ISBN 978-1-60576-888-5 (they are actually the same book with different covers) If you buy a used book do not buy the audio component, you can get the whole series (18 chaps) at the library.

Link to Vistas "Supersite" activity center - use your code to access




TUTORING CENTER - language learning assistance:


Page One Writing and Language Center

Find it under tutoring:



And here is e-tutoring:




COURSE DESCRIPTION: SPAN&121 is the first segment of a structured introduction to the language and to the cultural aspects of regions and countries where Spanish is spoken. There is no prerequisite for this course, but students are expected to understand the basic grammatical structures, such as the function of nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, pronouns, etc. in English and/or in their native language.

The learning process emphasizes all four elements of language acquisition and use, i.e., reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Students begin with basic survival language, such as identification, address, numbers, etc. and are encouraged to use it even before understanding the grammatical formations. The structures develop alongside and eventually explain some of the spoken language already in use.

To facilitate this process and to address the different methods of memorization, we use in class and we have available in our resource center a series of audio and video programs and other electronic tutorial. We also have personal tutoring - free of charge



This course will satisfy the following:

Communication in oral, written, and artistic modes of expression, individually an in collaboration with others..



B) Specifically:

* read with a fairly good pronunciation

* understand basic instructions and communicate in the present tense with good use of descriptions (students will prepare a photo album with descriptions and locations of relatives and friends and they will also write a ready- to-send postcard )

* conjugate verbs in the present, present progressive and immediate future tenses with a variety of subjects and endings

* recognize the main similarities and differences between their own culture and the Hispanic world

* have (optional / extra credit) a personalized mini-portfolio entitled "Mi vida en español" which will adapt the textbook-learned structures into their own experiences.



COURSE OUTLINE: Grammatical structures, vocabulary, idioms, etc., and written assignments, will be taken from the textbook- Chapters 1-6

NOTE: Textbook exercises will be reviewed in class and then will be turned in ( neatly organized and with corrections clearly shown) on the days of the corresponding exams. Students need to work through each exercise by writing and understanding complete sentences in order to read and translate them in class.

Other individualized homework , "Mi vida en español", will be picked up, corrected and graded by the instructor as stated on the web page.  The completion of all assigned homework is mandatory in order to receive a grade for this course.  Students are expected to spend at least one hour- a- day on homework in addition to the work done in class.

(Suggested Organization)

#1. A notebook with 5 divisions is ideal for this course:

A.  Classroom notes  
B.     1.  List of homework assignments  
    2.  Homework with page and exercise numbers  
 C. Verbs  
    1.  Regular  
    2.  Irregular
    3.  With Prepositions
D.  Vocabulary  
    1.  Nouns  
      a.  Masculine
      b.  Feminine  
    2.  Adjectives  
  E.   Idiomatic Formations  

#2.  Seating arrangement. Please rotate around the classroom every class day, so that throughout the quarter, you may be able to work with every single student. Since we have different backgrounds and levels of Spanish knowledge in class, this interaction will be of benefit to all students.


The proficiency in conversation, structure, vocabulary, reading and overall communication will be measured by:

* class participation and reading
* preparation of questions for classroom dialogues
* Interviews with classmates (intended to create a relaxed classroom atmosphere)


The final grade will be based on the number of points earned during the quarter. The maximum of 320 will be tallied as follows:

Exams: There will be three major exams based on textbook and other material covered in class. The exams will be worth 100 points each. Two of the three will be considered for the grade (- this is to provide for any unavoidable absence as there is no make up of missed exams). The lowest score of exam #1 or #2 will be automatically dropped by the instructor. 200 points

NOTE: ELIGIBILITY TO DROP THE FINAL EXAM: If a student took the first two exams, s/he may be exempt from the final provided that:

1) s/he has perfect attendance and has completed all written assignments from the day of the second exam (Thu Feb 22) to the last day of class (Fri Mar 16)

2) s/he has scored at least 75% on exams #1 and #2 (without adding extra points).

IMPORTANT: If s/he has two passing exams but did not fulfill the attendance or the homework requirements, s/he must take the final exam. In this case, the final exam will be included in the final grade and the lower score of exams #1 or #2 will be dropped. (NO EXCEPTIONS)

QUIZ GRADE  There will be 2 sets of written assignments required to be turned in or done in classworth 10 points each . (THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT GRADE ­THE SPECIFIC ASSIGNMENT WILL BE PICKED UP ONLY ON THE DAY THAT IT IS DUE) 20 points

CLASS PARITICIPATION:  Each student will receive up to 100 points for his/her participation in class. The instructor's criteria will be based on discussion of written and oral assignments, pronunciation, reading techniques, preparation of questions for classroom dialogues and class attendance.

Great emphasis is given to attendance for the full class period each day,  participation in class,  homework turned in or reviewed in class on the day that it is due, reading skills, structure comprehension , pronunciation, , class group activities, overall oral proficiency, etc. 100 points

Total ______________________________320 points

VERY IMPORTANT: Class attendance is the key element in grading class participation. If the student foresees more than three hours of absenteeism during the quarter, s/he must discuss the circumstances with the instructor.

NOTE: This course is not designed for students who have a reasonable knowledge of the language and want to take a couple of exams. If this is your situation, please ask about our Challenge exams.

Other Credits:
*a) Perfect attendance ( 10:00 - 10:50 am, 11:00 - 11:50 am or 12:00 - 12:50 pm) depending on youtr session. 10 points


*b) Extra credit from the selection following:

To a maximum of            10 points

* 5 min. skit (turn in a written draft to be corrected before oral presentation)

*Class presentation and drill of a grammatical point.
* Presentation of "how to use or operate" something (full explanation given in Spanish)
* Written presentation of vocabulary and its application -from sources outside of the textbook - i.e. magazines, films, radio, TV, Internet, etc.
*Viewing a Hispanic film and writing 10 sentences in the present tense following the same guidelines as on Quiz #2
* Peer-tutoring helping a classmate at least 5 different times for one hour each time. Tutor gets credit. (Form must be obtained)

* Etc. (please submit your suggestions)

* Service Learning. Students may get 5 points for working as volunteers in a Spanish-speaking helping capacity. Students must work at least 5 hours. They must present a) documentation signed by the supervisor of the program b) a brief report 10 sentences in Spanish about the project.

*Mini-porfolio "Mi vida en español" Making Learning Visible (Best work will be exhibited at the symposium in June) . Organizing all "para entregar" homework after rewriting all corrections, illustrating and turning it in. (Students must make all of the orrections in order to get the full points) 3 points

*Conversation. Students will receive 3 points for participating 5 hours in the conversation sessions offered by the Loft. (Note this is not the regular "tutoring" session)

* Borderline students (with excellent class participation ) may be granted up to: 3 bonus points (usually on exam #1)


SPAN&121:04- 11-11:50 am > Mon Mar 19 (10:30 am.)


EXAMS (50 minutes each) HOLIDAYS (Non-instructional day)

# 1 -Thursday Jan 25

Mon Jan 15 MLK's BD

Mon Feb 19 President's Day

#2 - Thursday, Feb 22

Final Exam:
SPAN&121:04- 11-11:50 am >
Mon Mar 19 10:30 am

Thu Feb 8 Collaboration Day


The Seattle Community Colleges use a numerical grading system. Numerical grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as follow:

A   94-100  3.9-4.0  301-320  
A-   90-93  3.5-3.8 288-300   Excellent
B+  87-89  3.2-3.4 278-287  
B   84-86 2.9-3.1 267-277   High
B- 80-83  2.5-2.8 256-266  
C+ 77-79 2.2-2.4 246-255  
C 74-76 1.9-2.1  237-245   Average
C- 70-73  1.5-1.8   224-236  
D+   67-69   1.2-1.4  214-223 
D  64-66  1.0-1.1 205-213   Minimum
F  -63 0.0 

212>below  Unsatisfactory


Students cannot receive a grade of W (withdraw) after the eighth week of classes. If you need to withdraw from this class for any reason,please do so before the final day of the eighth week.

Accommodations for students with disabilities.

In our commitment to student learning we want to support all students. If you have a disability that will affect your performance in this class please let me know . Students with disabilities are encouraged to use Disability Services for support in implementing reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. You may make an appointment with Disability Services by calling (206) 934 3697 or stopping by the DS office on the 2 nd floor of the Campus Center.


Seattle College District has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, discrimination, sexual violence, rape, bullying, or hazing. Please see District Policy and Procedure 419 for our process on investigating and responding to reports of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination. If you have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination, sexual violence, or bullying, or are aware of an incident involving these violations, report it immediately to NSC’s Title IX Coordinator (Marty Logan at  206-934-7792, marty.logan@seattlecolleges.edu) or to the District Compliance Officer (Jennie Chen at 206-934-3873, jennie.chen@seattlecolleges.edu ).  All Seattle Colleges faculty are required by the District to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.