Skip to main content
Unit of study_

SPAN1621: Spanish Level 1

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit of study is for absolute beginners or for students who have no substantial prior knowledge of Spanish. It focuses on the basic vocabulary and grammar necessary to introduce and talk about yourself and other people, and communicate successfully in simple everyday situations, both by speaking and in writing. It also introduces elements of the history, society and culture of the Spanish-speaking countries.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SPAN1621
Academic unit Spanish and Latin American Studies
Credit points 6
SPAN1601 or SPAN1611
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Ruben Perez-Hidalgo,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small test Final in-class test
In-class grammar and cultural test covering all topics
25% Formal exam period 800wd-equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Small test Written reflective project
Written & audiovisual reflections due in weeks 4,6,8,10, and 12
15% Multiple weeks 1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4
Participation Participation
Awarded weekly based on 1) homework completion and 2) class participation
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Small test Early Feedback Task
Mock writing reflection. #earlyfeedbacktask
0% Week 02 N/A
Outcomes assessed:
Online task Online language test 1
Online quiz
5% Week 04 275 words, 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Online task Online culture test 1
Online quiz
7.5% Week 06 400 words, 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3
Online task Online language test 2
Online quiz
5% Week 08 275 words, 45 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2
Online task Final online test
Online grammar quiz
10% Week 11 550 words, 60 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Online task Culture test 2
Online quiz
7.5% Week 12 400 words, 30 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO3
Creative assessment / demonstration group assignment Oral task (YouTube Project)
Group video project
15% Week 13 800 words/ 5-6 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Early feedback task

This unit includes an early feedback task, designed to give you feedback prior to the census date for this unit. Details are provided in the Canvas site and your result will be recorded in your Marks page. It is important that you actively engage with this task so that the University can support you to be successful in this unit.

Assessment summary

2 Culture tests 15% of final grade (7.5% each test)

-These tests are online and consists of mainly two types of questions: multiple choice (with one or more choices for one question) and true or false questions.

-The testscontent will be based of both cultural texts in the course reader, audiovisual material seen in class or for class, and discussions generated during class time.

2 Language tests (online) 10% of final grade (5% each test)

Test 1

Test 2

2.5% Meta-linguistic knowledge

2.5% Traditional grammar knowledge (precision based)

2.5% Listening skills (precision based, but focused on cultural knowledge imparted during class time)

2.5% Reading skills (same as above)

1 Final online test 10% of final grade

5% Meta-linguistic knowledge

5% Traditional grammar knowledge (precision based)

It includes all linguistic material covered throughout the course

1 Final in-class test 25% of final grade

Listening skills

Reading skills

Overall grammar knowledge

Written critical reflection

Participation 10% of final grade

Graded based on completion of tasks assigned for class as well as actual participation during class time.

Written reflective project 15% of final grade

3 IN-CLASS written reflections (marked out of 100)

2 Audiovisual reflections (marked PASS or FAIL)

Oral task 15% of final grade

Group video project on a cultural topic discussed during the semester

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The Assessment Procedures 2011 provide that any written work submitted after 11:59pm on the due date will be penalised by 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date. If the assessment is submitted more than ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes

Attendance and class requirements

  • If NOT taken on-campus, this unit replicates the face to face format in a video conference mode via Zoom
  • Lecture Recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately two hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Before the commencement of classes you must have purchased the following :

  • Beginning Spanish Grammar: A Practical Guide to 100 Essential Skills. Luis Aragones, Ramon Palencia. ISBN 9780071840644. McGraw Hill.
  • Spanish-English bilingual dictionary
  • SPAN1621 course reader to be purchased at USYD Copy Centre

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. know how the Spanish language works grammatically at the sentence level
  • LO2. acquire an introductory solid practice of basic language skills such as reading and writing in order to progressively transition to practicing more advanced ones such as listening and speaking.
  • LO3. discover how essential concepts in the Spanish speaking world intersect with your own perceptions of the world
  • LO4. start doing cultural analysis in a second language.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.