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Spa 3315 – spring 2008
The University of Texas at Arlington
Composition Through Literature
The mission of The University of Texas at Arlington is to pursue knowledge, truth and excellence in a student-centered academic community characterized by shared values, unity of purpose, diversity of opinion, mutual respect and social responsibility. The University is committed to lifelong learning through its academic and continuing education programs, to discovering new knowledge through research and to enhancing its position as a comprehensive educational institution with bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and non-degree continuing education programs.
Halty, Raquel María and Angela Labarca. Convocación de palabras. Thomson/Heinle,
Unamuno, Miguel de. San Manuel Bueno, mártir.
Useful texts for upper-divison coursework in Spanish:
A good bilingual dictionary. (I like the Oxford Spanish Dictionary).
Foster, David William, Daniel Altamiranda, Carmen de Urioste. The Writer’s Reference
Guide to Spanish. University of Texas Press: Austin, 1999.
Gac-Artigas, Priscilla, Gustavo Gac-Artigas. Directo al Grano: A Complete Reference
Manual for Spanish Grammar. Prentice Hall: NJ, 2000.
Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 6th edition. You will need to have available for consultation a current edition of the MLA Writer’s Handbook. You can find this in the reference section of the library though much of the information you will need for proper citations can be found on the internet.
Blog: There is a course blog ( http://spanish3315.wordpress.com/ ) that you should check frequently for any assignments and updates. It will also be a medium through which I may supply you with handouts, useful links, and hopefully useful links you have found that you’d like to share with the class. Eventually, we should be able to build a very useful and informative blog. Any assignment or information that I have produced and distributed in class will also be available on the blog, including the syllabus, but I will try to keep them exclusively on the blog to use less paper. The goal is to avoid excessive printing and paper use – lookout class, we’re going green here at UTA!
Course description: SPA 3315 is an advanced course in the Spanish program at the University of Texas at Arlington.You should have already passed Span 3314 or have the consent of the department before entering this course. You will work toward perfecting your ability to read and write Spanish, though other skills will complement this endeavor. The course has two specific aims. Primarily, the goal is to acquire reading and writing strategies necessary for upper-division coursework and for professional opportunities, including teaching Spanish, through readings of Hispanic literature. Secondly, we will briefly review and refine the grammar concepts you have already studied on an “as needed” basis. Class time will be devoted to discussions of reading and writing strategies, discussion of literary theory, proofreading of compositions, presentations, and grammar review and vocabulary acquisition. Students are also expected to review grammar rules and forms outside of class if they are having problems, and should speak with the professor about things to do to improve.
Course objectives: The primary objective is to offer students an opportunity to advance the communicative skills learned in beginning and intermediate Spanish classes, though the focus will be on reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary acquisition. The objectives are:
1. Development of writing skills related to critical analysis, independent thinking and
communication in Spanish through reading a variety of texts and engaging with the
texts through written response papers. Students will use the MLA style for all written
2. Give students the tools for intellectual expression needed in the more advanced courses
in Spanish, specifically 4000-level literature and culture courses by increasing their
vocabulary and reading comprehension.
3. Build reading skills through exposure to Spanish and/or Latin American literature by
discussing these texts in class, commenting on them in the journal, and creating
formal. written response papers.
4. Quick review of orthography and selected grammatical issues already covered in
SP3303, SP3314 or SP3304/3305, such as preterit/imperfect, accent marks
and ser/estar. Grammar presentation will be adapted to the needs of the class
and specific questions the students bring up.
Course requirements: Completion of Spa 3314 or consent of the department. Students are expected to do the following: read the assignments for the date indicated prior to coming to class that day; do the assigned exercises in the book; turn in assignments on time; use the language skills inside and outside the classroom (i.e. using Spanish with friends when possible, watching Spanish TV or movies, reading Spanish magazines or newspapers) in order to maintain and improve your speaking and comprehension skills.
Writing Assignments 40 %. You will receive instructions for each writing assignment inin advance of the due date. These assignments should be typed and double -spaced. Each composition should incorporate ideas from class and other readings you have chosen to aid your understanding of the text. Designated assignments will have 2 versions to provide you with a chance to minimize grammatical errors and reconsider the clarity of your ideas. The final paper and in-class essays cannot be rewritten. Students should write in ATAJO if possible for extra support on grammatical issues. Two of the papers will be “mini” research papers. We will go through the steps of forming a thesis, developing ideas, supporting your ideas with research and citing this research in MLA style.
Journals 30%. I consider the journals to be an important tool for improving your writing. Keeping notes, and or a journal, is an important stategy for the preparation that goes into a written project. This is an effort to instill the habits of the “buen lector.” Unlike the traditional journal, they should be typed in ATAJO. You will be expected to make comments on each reading, along with a vocabulary list. I will judge the journals based on the quality of the entries. This includes your ability to engage with the text, express your ideas grammatically, and articulate complex positions and ideas in Spanish.
Quizzes 15%. You can expect short anwer or multiple choice quizzes on many of the literary readings. These quizzes are meant to urge people to keep up with the reading so that our class discussions will be more productive for everyone involved – and I want you to be involved! You will be given 10 minutes to finish. There are no make-ups for these quizzes. I will automatically drop your lowest grade at the end of the semester.
Presentations 15%. The purpose of the group presentations is to share the research that goes into an interpretation of a text or an analytical essay. Groups will be assigned a topic, but it is up to each group as to how you would like to present that information to your classmates. You will be given a handout stipulating required components of the presentations. It should, however, involve some form of multimedia to create an attractive and informative presentation.
Attendance and late work: Regular and active participation in all activities is mandatory. Your presence in class is imperative. In order to be able to participate in class, you must be present! Three tardies or leaving class early three times equals one absence. Roll will be taken every day, and attendance is mandatory. If you are absent more than three times, for each absence beyond the three allowed, your final grade will be lowered by 1% up to a maximum of 10%. After the third absence, you may receive a warning letter. Absences due to routine illness or unexpected situations count as absences. The only absences that do not count beyond the three allowed are those resulting from required participation in university events, hospitalization, religious holidays, or family emergencies of which the professor has been notified by university officials. Late work will result in an automatic deduction of points (5 points per class day) but the student is still encouraged to turn in all work in a timely fashion (no work will be accepted during dead week). There will be no make-up work unless the professor is notified of your absence prior to the absence. At that time, the professor will decide how to handle the absence.
Participation: Regular and conscientious participation will ensure that you get the most out of this class. This includes attendance and coming to class prepared. Students who miss class or attend on an irregular basis will find it difficult to succeed.
Extra Credit Opportunities: The only opportunities for extra credit depend on the following criteria. Points will be added to your final average if you’ve earned them..
2 pts. for perfect attendance
1 pt. for not telling me why you’re absent. You are allowed three absences without penalty which are for emergencies, illness, family/car/work/health/boyfriend/girlfriend problems. If you go beyond 3, I do not want to know why unless you’re bringing documentation that is credible and verifiable. If you feel you need to explain absences, please see me during my office hours.
1 pt. for not missing a day the last two weeks of class.
1 pt. for turning in the last page of this syllabus during the first week of class.
Final Exam: There is no final exam, just your last paper.
Study Abroad: We encourage students to pursue an immersion experience in Spanish by participating in our study abroad programs. Please speak to your professor if you are interested in traveling to Spain or Mexico for academic credit.
UNIVERSITY AND DEPARTMENTAL POLICIES
E-Mail Communication: I will communicate with you via your university email account. Students at UTA are entitled to an email account. E-mail will be considered the official means of communication between the university and students, effective August 22, 2005. Utilize your UTA e-mail for all communications.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): If you are a student who requires accommodations in compliance with the ADA, please consult with me at the beginning of the semester. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide “reasonable accommodation” to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Your responsibility is to inform me of the disability at the beginning of the semester and provide me with documentation authorizing the specific accommodation. Student services at UTA include the Office for Students with Disabilities (located in the lower level of the University Center) which is responsible for verifying and implementing accommodations to ensure equal opportunity in all programs and activities.
Student Support Services: The University supports a variety of student success programs to help you connect with the University and achieve academic success. They include learning assistance, developmental education, advising and mentoring, admission and transition, and federally funded programs. Students requiring assistance academically, personally, or socially should contact the Office of Student Success Programs at 817-272-6107 for more information and appropriate referrals.
Academic Honesty: Academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form at The University of Texas at Arlington. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. “Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts.” (Regents’ Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter VI, Section 3, Subsection 3.2., Subdivision 3.22).
Bomb Threats: If anyone is tempted to call in a bomb threat, be aware that UTA will attempt to trace the phone call and prosecute all responsible parties. Every effort will be made to avoid cancellation of presentations/tests caused by bomb threats. Unannounced alternate sites will be available for these classes. Your instructor will make you aware of alternate class sites in the event that your classroom is not available.
Commitment to Diversity: The University of Texas at Arlington seeks a campus climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the entire variety of human experience. In our commitment to diversity, we welcome people from all backgrounds. We seek to include knowledge and values from many cultures in the curriculum. Dimensions of diversity shall include, but are not limited to, the following: race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, sex/gender, disability, socioeconomic status, cultural orientation, national origin, and age.
Drop Policy: The Last Drop Date for undergraduates will occur at a point two-thirds of the way through a given semester or session; for spring semester 2008, that day is March 28th. As usual, students are allowed to drop until 5:00 p.m. CST. Undergraduate students who drop a course on or before the Last Drop Date will receive an automatic grade of “W” regardless of whether they have completed assignments or not.
Programa de clases
Detach and return this page to the instructor:
I have read the syllabus for Spa 3315 and I understand all of the information contained in it. If I have questions later on in the semester about the syllabus, it is my responsibility to discuss it with my instructor. I also understand that the syllabus is subject to change, and that it is my responsibility to attend class regularly and consult with the professor when I have missed class in order to keep abreast of any changes. I have read and understood the absence and participation policies.
PRINT YOUR NAME: _______________________________________________
University E-MAIL ADDRESS AND CONTACT NUMBER (Please let me know whether or not I can distribute your email address to others in the class, or if you prefer that it remain unpublished):
What is your background in Spanish, if any?
What is your major and minor? Have you declared them and/or spoken with someone about majoring or minoring in Spanish? If not, and you’re interested, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.
Have you ever taken a writing intensive course in English or Spanish?
What other courses are you taking this semester?
Do you feel that you’re knowledgeable about library resources and how to use them to your benefit?
Do you have the necessary prerequisites for this course (3314 or 3304/3305)?