ULSP30040 - Proficient Spanish

  • Credits: 20
  • Level: 3
  • Pre-requisite: Very good level of spoken and written Spanish or ULSP30030, or A-level + 2 years of tuition in Spanish or equivalent. Recommended for students returning from a year abroad
  • Co-requisite: Open to students not following Honours courses in Spanish
  • Taught during: Both semesters
  • Timetable: Timetable for the course.


Proficient Spanish is aimed at students who have reached near-native fluency in the language, probably after spending an extended period in a Spanish-speaking country. The course will allow students:

  • to further expand the range and accuracy of their lexical and syntactical skills with special regard to written and oral production
  • to keep up to date with the latest developments in contemporary Spain and Latin America and to further develop a contextual understanding of these

The course also serves as introductory preparation for the DELE C2 should students wish to sit for this internationally recognized qualification in a near future.

Activities are adapted to the interests and needs of participants with a view to developing expert standards of communication in the academic and social fields. Those done in class mainly focus on oral and aural work while those done at home focus on written skills, providing the opportunity for individual corrective feedback. They include:

    • debates on current affairs based on a weekly dossier of Spanish and Latin American newspaper articles
    • listening comprehension based on Spanish and Latin American weekly TV broadcasts
    • production of small translation passages from English into Spanish
    • essays based on controversial contemporary issues
    • advanced grammar and stylistic revision

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will have deepened and broadened their knowledge of:

  • aspects of Spanish and Latin American contemporary life
  • topic-specific vocabulary and phraseology
  • advanced grammar rules
  • various spoken and written registers
  • oral and written argumentative techniques

And will be able to: 

  • produce grammatically correct and richly idiomatic Spanish in a variety of controlled or creative contexts, both spoken and written
  • understand spoken and written Spanish with greater confidence and ease
  • express views and opinions and discover those of others
  • persuade others

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level C2.1 of the Common European Framework.

Transferable skills

  • presenting and defending an argument
  • essay writing
  • language analysis
  • cultural awareness
  • IT skills

Teaching and learning methods

Seminars - three hours per week. 


  • Semester 1:
    • either one 1,000-word essay in Spanish (argumentative, commentary of an article/literary extract), or a 1,000-word approved-text English to Spanish translation (to be submitted in week 11, 15%)
    • one oral test: debate (week 12, 15%)
  • Semester 2:
    • one in-class listening comprehension in week 8 or usually the week after the Easter Break (15%)
    • one final written test (week 11, 40%)
    • one oral discussion (week 12, 15%)

Language of assessment


Nature and timing of feedback

  • Coursework assignments and in-class oral tasks: Individual written comments, plus individual oral feedback, within two weeks of submission for written work. Global feedback is delivered orally in class.
  • Summative tests in class: Written comments on individual performance and global feedback (delivered orally in class), within two weeks of submission.


Dr Ana Niño

Taught by

See timetable.

Maximum entry


Set texts

Material will be provided weekly by the tutor as a dossier and on Blackboard, and students will be encouraged to recommend and share their own resources and views ahead of classes using the same medium.


Recommended texts


Successful completion of this course unit will enhance your curriculum vitae and your employability by showing that you have a capacity to learn other languages and the desire to engage with other cultures.