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Span 412 Translation

Class Description: Spanish 412 is an introduction to the art of translation and interpretation (T/I) from Spanish to English. The primary focus of the course is translation. The course is divided into two parts: theory and practice. The theoretical part focuses on universal and language-specific problems in T/I: word order, cultural references, idioms, language varieties, etc. The practical part provides the student with situations in translation, including work in such fields as advertising, science/technology, literature and documents. Three class periods will be devoted to introducing the student to interpretation techniques.PREREQUISITE: SPAN 300 or equivalent.

Texts

  • Lunn, Patricia V., & Ernest J. Lunsford. En otras palabras. Perfeccionamiento del español por medio de la traducción. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013.
  • Unabridged Spanish-English Dictionary (required for taking the exams); Collins and Oxford dictionaries are good choices
  • Access to a good English dictionary and a good Spanish dictionary

Grading

Participation 15%
Vocabulary lists and homework 10%
Long translation assignments 15%
Exam I 15%
Exam II  20%
Exam III  10%
Final Project  15%

 

EXTRA CREDIT: No extra credit will be given under any circumstances.

 

PARTICIPATION: In this class as in others, the student’s attendance and active engagement are required for success. Attendance is mandatory. You can miss twodays of class (one full week of class) for personal reasons without penalty. For each unexcused absence beyond those, your final grade will be reduced by 2% points.

If you miss a class, contact a classmate to obtain any missed information or assignments. You are responsible for work assigned on days you are absent.

Your participation grade is based not only on attending all classes, arriving on time, and being prepared for class. It also includes completing all homework assignments in their entirety—with the completed assignments displayed on your desk—so you’re prepared to talk about them during class discussion, being actively engaged in whole class discussions by asking questions, volunteering answers and comments, as well as being actively engaged in small group discussions. (Note: Completing assignments and not missing class but not speaking regularly in class is considered average = C.)

 

5 – Excellent

  • Comes to class prepared with materials, homework, and all assignments due on a given day.
  • Frequently volunteers often each day without being prompted, and offers to respond to almost all the instructor’s questions; actively participates in group activities.
  • Fully on-task during all activities; fully dedicated to completing assignments.

 

4

  • Comes to class prepared with materials, homework, and all assignments due on a given day.
  • Volunteers without being prompted often, though not necessarily each day, and offers to respond to many of the instructor’s questions; fully participates in group activities.
  • On-task during all activities; fully dedicated to completing assignment.

 

3

  • Usually comes to class prepared with materials, homework, and all assignments due on a given day. Sometimes assignments may be partially complete.
  • Does not tend to volunteer without being prompted, but does respond to instructor’s questions from time to time; moderate participation in pair and group activities.
  • Generally on-task during activities; at times student may be distracted and only partially address the assignment.

 

0

  • Arrives late to class
  • Not prepared with materials, homework, and the assignments due on a given day.
  • Does not respond to instructor’s questions; not engaged in pair/group activities.
  • May work on assignments for other classes, or is otherwise distracted with activities unrelated to the class (ie. cell phone use, computer use)

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

Academic Integrity: Penn State defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (Faculty Senate Policy 49-20).

Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University’s Judicial Affairs office for possible further disciplinary sanction. Questions about academic integrity can be referred to Ashley Tarbet at 865-1070 or aet143@psu.edu.

University Policy on Disabilities: The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities and is committed to the policy that all people shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and admissions without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation in this course of have questions about physical access, please tell the instructor as soon as possible so that these needs may be met in a timely fashion. Questions about disability access can be referred to Bill Welsh wjw9@psu.edu or 863-1807.

 

FINAL PROJECT:

The Final Project (see syllabus for due date) is a translation from Spanish into English of a document of your choice which must be approved by the instructor. It should be a text a) that has not been previously translated, b) from an edited source (not a blog), c) intended for native speakers of Spanish and d) written originally in Spanish. Do not translate a text that was originally written in English and then translated to Spanish, i.e., pamphlets/articles published by US organizations, magazines, news agencies, etc.

Literary translation is acceptable so long as it is of a work that has not previously been translated into English. Do a search of four Big Ten Libraries. Find the university using the Database search on Lias. Once you access the library, type in the name of the literary text in Spanish. That will bring up copies of the text as well as translations. In addition to Penn State’s library, check the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan.

 

  1. Project Topic (See syllabus for due date) This is an assignment worth 10 points.

Please include the following when you hand in your project topic:

  1. a) a short, well-written explanation of why you chose the text.
  2. b) a copy of the text to be translated with its source and date of publication. It will not be returned to you, so keep a copy for yourself. If using an on-line source, the font size must be at least 11-12 pt. If the text is taken from a book, the size of the print must be reasonable.
  3. c) an approximate word count of the Spanish text. It should be about 660 words

 

Be certain to read your topic well before final selection because topics may not be changed unless the professor finds them inappropriate. Hard copies are more reliably edited than online materials. Choose cautiously

 

  1. The Final Translation will include the following:

 

1) The grading rubric sheet you will find in ANGEL

 

2) Introduction: You can reuse the paragraph from the project topic assignment, editing or changing it as needed. Describe your overall approach to translating your specific text in terms of a) subject matter, b) type of publication, c) probable audience, d) style, e) register, etc.

 

3) Translation: The English translation itself, which should be a minimum of 600 words and a maximum of 650 words double spaced

 

4) Word count of the final translation

 

5) Conclusion: A minimum of 250 words, which describes the issues you found as you translated your text. Discuss specific spots where you had difficulties, why they were problematic and why you chose the solution you did. These may be problems with word order, translation of pronouns/se, lexical choices, handling of cultural references, etc. This may be an informal commentary written in the first person about problems you encountered. You may use a bulleted list to show problems and their resolutions.

 

  1. Word count of summary

 

  1. Bibliography: Includes the text you translated, any texts you used as references, the dictionaries you used, and the technical or native speaker consultants you may have contacted in the process. (You do not need to use strict bibliographical rules to list your resources. For books and articles, for example, list the title, author, publisher (if a book), and date of publication. If you used Wikipedia, list the title of the entry, and include the web address. If you used some other on-line resource, list the title or heading on the site, author if applicable, and then include the web address.)
  2. The name and signature of a native speaker of English (the target language)who has read your translation and who has found it well-written and understandable.

Spanish 410: Advanced Conversation

                                                                                               

Libro

  1. Blanco A, José, Revista, Boston: Vista Higher Learning, 2014, 4ta edición.
  2. Un buen diccionario (e.g. Collins, Larousse).
  3. Es recomendable que frecuentes el sitio www.wordreference.com

 

Descripción del curso

Éste es un curso avanzado para estudiantes de español que no son nativo-hablantes. La meta del curso es alcanzar la fluidez en el habla del idioma incorporando vocabulario y expresiones de uso común que pueden ayudar al estudiante a alcanzar dominio y eficiencia en el manejo del lenguaje.    Aunque no es un curso de gramática, en algunas ocasiones será necesario detenernos para realizar algunas apreciaciones. El curso tiene como propósito facilitar la habilidad de expresarse tanto en el ámbito profesional como en el personal. La clase se conduce en español y se espera que los estudiantes hagan uso de ese idioma todo el tiempo.

 

Las notas

Asistencia y participación      20%   (incluye pruebas de vocabulario y algunas tareas.)

Consultas individuales            15%

Exámenes de los capítulos      30%

Diarios orales grabados           15%

Presentaciones:                       20%

 

 

Asistencia y Participación:  Se requiere que los estudiantes asistan a cada clase y que lleguen a tiempo y preparados. Es una falta de respeto usar el celular en el aula y no se permite a menos en caso de emergencia. Como éste es un curso de conversación, es lógico esperar que la nota dependa en gran manera en su participación. Aun así, se permite que el estudiante pierda 3 clases sin perjuicio de su calificación. Se perderá 2% de la nota final por cada clase que se pierda después de la tercera. Quiero manifestar que se califica a los estudiantes según su participación diaria en la clase. Después de cada clase voy a apuntar las contribuciones de los estudiantes durante aquella sesión.   ¡Estamos aquí para conversar! Lo que vale más es tu actitud en cada clase.

You are required to provide verification from University Health Services for significant prolonged illnesses or injuries resulting in absences from classes.

 

 

Consultas: Cada estudiante debe reunirse con el profesor dos (2) veces durante el semestre manteniendo la conversación completamente en el español.   Las reuniones durarán aproximadamente 15 minutos.   La primera tiene que ser antes del 10 de octubre, la segunda después de aquella fecha. Se proveerá una rúbrica antes de las reuniones para dejar saber lo que esperar en ellas.

 

Exámenes de los capítulos: Los estudiantes tienen la responsabilidad de aprender TODO el vocabulario de los capítulos estudiados, además del contenido. Habrá 4 exámenes a lo largo del semestre.

 

Diarios: Los estudiantes van a hacer diarios orales.   Deben ser grabaciones en MP3.   Deben grabar 4 diarios a lo largo del semestre de aproximadamente 400 palabras cada una.   Se especificarán las fechas de entregarlas. Presenta cada grabación (en inglés) con la fecha y el tema. El resto de la grabación debe ser en español.  Los diarios pueden surgir de experiencias personales, artículos de los periódicos, las películas u otros temas de interés.

 

Presentaciones: Cada estudiante dará dos presentaciones.   La primera tiene que ver con algún aspecto de UN país hispanohablante. La segunda será de un tema de interés personal relacionado con el mundo hispano. Es necesario que el profesor apruebe el tema de antemano. Cada presentación durará de 9-11 minutos.

 

Calendario aproximado: (se lo pasará durante la primera semana) El calendario es mi plan, pero es muy posible que se ajusten los temas o que pasemos más o menos tiempo en ellos de lo que está señalado aquí. .

 

Grading Scale:

A = 94 to 100; A- = 90 to 93.99; B+ = 88.0 to 89.99; B = 83 to 87.99; B- = 80 to 82.99; C+ = 77 to 79.99 C = 70 to 76.99; D = 60 to 69.99 and F = 59.99 and below

 

Students with disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807(V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services website at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/.

In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation (see the documentation guidelines at http://equity.psu.edu/ods/guidelines/documentation-guidelines). If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.

(3) Faculty Senate Policy 42-27- Class Attendance (http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/welcome/illnessVerification/)

Academic Policies and Procedures for Undergraduate Students

The faculty, staff and other resources of the University are furnished for the education of students who attend the University. A class schedule is provided for students and faculty so that a reasonably orderly arrangement for instruction is facilitated. The fact that classes are scheduled is evidence that the faculty believes class instruction is important. Therefore, class attendance is important for the benefit of students.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the University that class attendance by students be encouraged and that all instructors organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind. A student should attend every class for which the student is scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken. In each case, the instructor should decide when the class absence constitutes a danger to the student’s scholastic attainment and should make this fact known to the student at once. A student whose irregular attendance causes him or her, in the judgment of the instructor, to become deficient scholastically, may run the risk of receiving a failing grade or receiving a lower grade that the student might have secured had the student been in regular attendance. Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for regularly scheduled, University-approved curricular and extracurricular activities (such as Martin Luther King Day of Service, field trips, debate trips, choir trips, and athletic contests). However, if such trips are considered by the instructor to be hurting the student’s scholastic performance, the instructor should present such evidence for necessary action to the head of the department in which the course is offered and to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled or to the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student is enrolled in that division. Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons. Legitimate, unavoidable reasons are those such as illness, injury, family emergency. If an evaluative event will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the student should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work. An instructor might not consider an unavoidable absence legitimate if the student does not contact the instructor before the evaluative event. Students will be held responsible for using only legitimate, unavoidable reasons for requesting a make-up in the event of a missed class or evaluative event. Requests for missing class or an evaluative event due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity (Policy 49-20).

 

 

 

Academic Integrity: Penn State defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other student’s dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (Faculty Senate Policy 49-20) Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. ‘Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University’s Judicial Affairs office for possible further disciplinary sanction.

 

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified people with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities and is committed to the polity that all people shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and admissions without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation in this course or have questions about physical access, please tell the instructor as soon as possible.

 

 

SPANISH 301: SPANISH FOR HERITAGE LEARNERS

 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION & OBJECTIVES:

This class is designed to:

  • provide an in-depth overview of Spanish grammar, especially of its more difficult aspects such as the use of ser/estar, the past tenses, the subjunctive, usage of different kinds of pronouns and complex sentence structures.
  • develop greater accuracy, improve style and acquire fluency in structured written expression.
  • expand Spanish vocabulary, especially in its more specialized and formal registers.
  • explore chosen aspects of Hispanic culture through exercises and writing activities which will contain specific culture-oriented content.

ITEMS TO PURCHASE

Required:

  • Textbook: Bleichmar, Guillermo and Paula Cañón. Taller de escritores. Vista Higher Learning, 2012.
  • Dictionary: A large or mid-size Spanish-English dictionary (Harper Collins, Vox, Oxford, or Larousse) or Spanish-Spanish dictionary (Larousse or Real Academia) is required. Electronic formats of these dictionaries are acceptable. If you have doubts, ask the professor.

Note: electronic or web-based translators are not acceptable.

 

Recommended:

  • 501 Spanish Verbs or Bescherelle: el arte de conjugar en español or any other verb conjugation manual.

METHODOLOGY

A major portion of each class period will be based on discussion and analysis of grammatical items from the textbook. Grammar, style and vocabulary will be examined and clarified while going over the assigned homework exercises from the textbook. Practice activities in pairs or groups, as well as whole class discussions will be carried out on a regular basis. Most activities will lead to the writing of compositions in class as well as at home. There will be several writing workshops and guided writing exercises carried out in the classroom. They will be designed so as to apply the discussed ideas, vocabulary and grammatical structures in creative compositions.


STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Be well prepared for each class period and test – spend an average of two hours outside of class for every hour in class to do homework and study).
  2. Participate fully and actively in all classroom activities.
  3. Dedicate plenty of time to write and review compositions.

 

EVALUATION:

 

Textitos (ANGEL)                                                                 15%

Compositions (3 )                                                               30%

Quizzes (3)                                                                          10%

Tests   (4)                                                                         35%

Participation & Attendance                                           10%

100%

 

GRADE SCALE

 

Label Minimum Percent
A 95
A- 90
B+ 87.9
B 83.3
B- 80
C+ 75
C 70
D 60
F 0

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENTS

 

  1. A) Textitos (15%) These are short writings to be graded in class following the model of a writer’s workshop. During this activity, we going to be seated forming a circle and we all are supposed to make comments about the analyzed text. Each participant has to bring copies to share whit his classmates and me. There will be a dropbox in ANGEL where the “texitos” has to be uploaded by 9 AM of the due date.

 

 

  1. B) Compositions (30%): After the first diagnostic composition on the first day of class. There will be 3 compositions (11% ea.) averaging 250-350 words, two written at home and one in class. Guided writing practice will be done in class as preparation for the compositions which will be finished at home. The dates for turning in the compositions are marked in boldface in the Schedule of Activities. All must be typed, numbered and triple spaced, with the number of words written at the end.

 

The correction of the compositions will comprise of two steps:

1) the first draft will be marked by the professor (using a correction code), commented on and graded.

2) the student will need to correct the first draft according to the professor’s indications, and turn in the second-final version along with the first draft and the grade sheet on the date specified in the Schedule as Revisión de composición. Depending on their quality, your revisions can raise or lower your grade of the first draft by up to one letter grade (max. 10 points). To receive full credit for a composición, you must write the first draft and revise it for a second draft. If you write only one draft (first or final), your composición will be graded and then that grade will be reduced by two letter grades (20 points).

 

  1. C) Quizzes (10%). There will be three pop quizzes during the semester. The topic in these quizzes has to do with the material revised during that particular week.
  2. D) Tests (35%)Progress in class is measured through 4 written tests (10% ea.) on grammar and vocabulary. All tests are announced in the Schedule as These 3 tests will be in class and will be approx. 50 minutes long.

 

 

 

* Late Work: all written work (including daily homework) must be turned in or shown on the day specified in the Schedule. Any late work will not be accepted for credit. If you are too ill to come to class and you must hand in a hard copy of an assignment, have a classmate hand in the work for you. If you have an excused absence for any reason, you may turn in your work early or late, or leave it in the in-box on the professor’s office door. Make-up exams or quizzes are only given to students who miss them due to justified circumstances (e.g. illness, a PSU-sponsored event), but the student must submit official written documentation to the professor (if from a doctor or another PSU office, it must be on letterhead with dates and with statement of when and for what reason the student could not attend class).

 

E). Participation and attendance (10%):

  • Attendance and class participation are essential to success in this course since optimum performance in language learning requires constant exposure and practice. It is very important that you attend every class session because the course is designed as a workshop, and because of the sequential nature of the material. Active participation in class is essential to demonstrate your daily preparation, initiative, and acquired skills. Being prepared for class will enhance the effectiveness of in-class communicative situations and of your lexical and grammatical accuracy.
  • Although there is no specific penalty for absences, you must be in class in order to earn participation and homework credit. There is no make-up of in-class activities or participation points. Therefore, absences will directly or indirectly affect your grade.
  • In case of a medical situation resulting in a prolonged absence, you should contact the professor and be prepared to provide official written documentation from the physician (on letterhead with tel. number).
  • You are responsible for missed assignments, coming prepared for the following class, and for turning in collected assignments on time, whether you attend class or not. You should get the name, e-mail and phone number of at least a couple of your classmates so they can inform you of any additional assignments or turn them in for you.
  • Athletes and band members or any other participants in PSU-sponsored events are required to make arrangements with the professor at the beginning of the semester if they anticipate leaves during the semester. Documentation from the appropriate office is required.
  • Arriving late to class or leaving early without an apparent or documented reason will affect your participation grade.

OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION

 

  1. Accommodations statement: “PSU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programs, activities, or services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodation to participate in class activities or to meet the course requirements should first register with the office of Student Disability Services .

 

  1. Academic Honesty:

All work submitted for a grade must be the product of the student’s own efforts. Academic dishonesty in any form (e.g. cheating on tests, copying another person’s assignment, plagiarism, which includes quoting from a text without giving credit to the author and copying from internet sources; using an electronic text translator, using unauthorized outside help, or providing forged documentation of any type – eg. for excuse of absence) will result in a minimum penalty of no credit for the work submitted and may result not only in a failing grade for the course but in the student being reported to the Office of Student Life for prosecution.

I encourage working together with other students; however, work merely copied from another person or revised by another person is a form of cheating.

 

  1. Classroom Civility:

Each PSU student is encouraged to help create an environment during class that promotes learning, dignity and mutual respect for everyone. Students who speak at inappropriate times, sleep in class, display inattention, take frequent breaks, interrupt the class by coming late or leaving early, engage in loud or distracting behaviors, use cell phones or pagers in class, use inappropriate language, are verbally abusive, display defiance or disrespect to others, or behave aggressively could be asked to leave the class.

 

  1. Mobile Phones, PDAs, and Portable Computers: The use of mobile phones and PDAs or texting during class is prohibited unless an activity which calls for such use is carried out. Upon coming to class, students are required to silence their mobile phones and PDAs. Students may use a laptop computer to take notes or access homework during class. Students who are observed using a laptop computer for purposes not related to taking notes will be required to turn off their computers and will be prohibited from using a laptop during class for the remainder of the semester. No one may use any electronic devices during exams. Failure to follow this policy will result in a failing grade on the exam.

 

Cmlit 005 Introduction to Literatures of the Americas

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

 

CMLIT 005, Introduction to Literatures of the Americas, will explore literary and cultural notions of”America,” and what it means to be “American,” in terms of the entire hemisphere. Literature from the United States, Spanish America, Canada, the Caribbean, and Brazil will be the basis for exploring the cultural traditions of North and South America. Readings include many genres and artistic forms dealing with histories and accounts of “American” issues, such as conquest, nationalism, slavery, diaspora, and immigration. We will examine issues of race, ethnicity, class, religion, as well as other vital concerns of identity and “American-ness” as reflected in both oral and written literary traditions through the history of the Americas. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to understand and make comparisons among the many “American” literary and cultural traditions.

 

** This course fulfills requirements for the Comparative Literature major, the World Literature minor, General Education and Bachelor of Arts Humanities, and General Education United States and International Competency. Because of the open-ended nature of the issues at the heart of the course, students will be expected to immerse themselves in the assigned texts and the notions of America they present (i.e., be prepared to read, and to read attentively!). Though the instructor will provide background information to contextualize the texts and their authors, the class periods will primarily consist of student-centered discussion. Students will also engage the “American” issues of the texts by completing two take-home exams, and completing writing assignments.

 

In this course, students will:

 

  • Encounter the great variety of literatures of the Americas by reading the assigned texts.

 

  • Make comparisons among the many American literary traditions.

 

  • Become better able to understand American literature as a hemispheric phenomenon; that is, to better see the cultural, political, and historical connections (and divergences) between American literatures.

 

  • Critically analyze literary and cultural notions of “America.”

 

  • Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze literary works in terms of form and style.

 

  • Identify literary techniques (relating to themes, motifs, points of view, etc.) used in the assigned texts and evaluate their effects in class discussion and during the final group presentation.

 

  • Engage in collaborative learning by completing activities as a group.

 

  • Actively participate in the creation of a vibrant and rewarding learning community. • Demonstrate the critical thinking skills necessary for further study of literature and culture.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

 

  • Roberto González Echevarría, ed. The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. ISBN: 9780195130850.

 

  • Lex Williford and Michael Martone, eds. The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. ISBN: 9781416532279.

 

  • Additional materials will be available on CANVAS.

 

GRADES AND ASSIGNMENTS

 

Your grade will be determined by the following assignments:

 

Attendance, preparation and participation                    5%

Quizzes                                                                       6%

Discussion Questions                                                4%

In-Class Group Assignments                                             35%

Short In-Class Writing Assignments                30%

Take-Home Exams                                                   20%

 

Grading Scale

Your grades will be available on CANVAS at all times. Please make sure you check your grades frequently so there are no issues at the end of the session. The College of the Liberal Arts’ grading scale is:

 

A          95 and above

A-        90-94.9

B+       85-89.9

B          80-84.9

B-        75-79.9

C+       70-74.9

C          65-69.9

D         60-64.9

F          59.9

 

Attendance: Two unexcused absences are permitted without penalty; please save them in case of minor illness, emergencies, family events, a job interview, etc. Beyond these, each additional unexcused absence will result in a reduction of 1% from the 5% allotted to attendance. In the event that a student must miss a class, he/she should contact other students to obtain missed information. Students who must miss class due to serious illness or other university-approved absences, and have an official written excuse, may make up the work that was done in class and be excused from that absence; all such requests must be made within one week of the missed work and will not be considered after that time. In the case of chronic unexcused absences, the student’s grade will be lowered further, including the possibility of failing the course, in accordance with university policy.

 

Preparation and participation: This class requires you to read. In order to complete the assignments, students must be able to read and discuss in class what they have read. Please do not neglect to come to class prepared to engage in an informed discussion of the day’s assigned readings.

 

Quizzes: You will answer multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true or false questions based on the readings. No questions will come from the lectures; however, the lectures will help students gauge how to read and what is important to know. There will be 5 quizzes. Each quiz will be available for 24 hours—Midnight on Sunday to Midnight on Monday (see exceptions below).

 

Class Discussion Questions: You are required to bring one or two written discussion questions to every class. These may be answered through my lectures but if not, we will get to them before the end of class. Students will be randomly asked to turn in their discussion questions.

 

In-Class Group Assignments: There will be five in-class group assignments based on the readings for that week. You will be required to analyze a text with your peers and present your analysis to the rest of the class.

 

Short In-Class Writing Assignments: There will be at least five in-class writing assignments (additional ones will count as extra credit, no more of 2% of the final grade). These assignments will be based on the readings for the week.

 

Take-Home Exams: There will be two take-home exams, one midterm and one final. For these exams you will be required to answer questions related to the readings. The purpose of these is to allow you to reflect on how certain texts compare/contrast.

 

Extra Credit—Student Engagement: Learning about literature can occur in a number of ways within a university, and many of these opportunities exist outside the classroom. By attending Monday talks in the Comparative Literature Luncheon series delivered by visiting professors and other scholars, or, with my advance approval, by attending talks and cultural events offered by other departments, you can expand upon the knowledge we build in our class. Within one week of attending the lecture, write a brief report (no longer than one single-spaced page) summarizing and reacting to the talk/event, for up to 3 points, depending on the quality of your report. You may earn up to 3% extra credit in this way.

 

Late Work: Unless you have requested prior authorization and I have granted it, I will not accept late

work.

 

COURSE POLICIES

Lectures: My lectures will provide you with background information for the texts and their authors, as well as socio-historical context.

 

Readings: It is critical for you to keep up with the readings, which have been subdivided by weeks and by topics. You will need to complete the readings to take quizzes and complete other assignments. You should expect to complete approximately 50 to 200 pages of reading per week so make sure you give yourself enough time to read.

 

Assignments: All assignments MUST be completed and submitted during the allotted time frame (see the “Schedule of Assignments” below). At the end of the posted time (this will be according to U. S. Eastern Time), the drop boxes will shut down and you will not be able to submit the assignment. When a due date is given, you have up until 11:59 pm of that day to submit. Please be alert to deadlines because no late work will be accepted.

 

Technological Requirements: You will need a reliable computer with internet to access some of the readings and complete the assignments. CANVAS has glitches with a few browsers, so please make sure you use either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox (if you have a PC, Internet Explorer works better and if you have a Mac, Mozilla Firefox works better). You will also need Adobe Acrobat Reader or another PDF reader to view some of the PDF files posted on CANVAS. These are programs that can be downloaded for free.

 

Deadlines: All time deadlines are U.S. Eastern Time and all assignments are due by 11:59 p.m. on the day assigned—no late assignments will be accepted. The last day of the Regular Drop period is Wednesday, September 4; the last day of the Regular Add period is Thursday, September 5 (8:00 am ET); the last day to Late Drop is Friday, November 15, and the last day to withdraw from this class is Friday, December 13.

 

Copyrights: This course includes third-party copyrighted materials, which are intended for educational use only by registered students during participation in this course. Texts and images shall not be downloaded, copied, retained, printed, shared, modified, or otherwise used, except for educational purposes by individual students. To make sure that the course adheres to these guidelines, we ask you NOT to share files from the Lessons or Readings folders with anyone else.

 

Course Website (CANVAS): Please be aware that this course website may occasionally be unavailable due to routine CANVAS maintenance, system changes, etc. This situation is beyond the instructor’s control. If CANVAS becomes inaccessible unexpectedly, corresponding extensions WILL be added to the deadline—for example, if CANVAS is down for two hours, a midnight deadline will be changed to 2 a.m. Keep in mind that CANVAS is down for routine maintenance EVERY DAY from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. (ET). Please make sure to allow enough time to complete assignments and postings, and do not wait until the last minute to access the course website. NO INDIVIDUAL EXCUSES FOR COMPUTER MALFUNCTION WILL BE ACCEPTED. If you experience individual technical difficulties with CANVAS, please contact CANVAS SUPPORT directly. They are the ones who can access your files remotely and provide you with the support you may need. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that I can do to help in these situations.

 

Contacting Your Instructor: You may contact me by sending e-mail through CANVAS. I will respond to all emails within 24 hours on weekdays and within 48 hours on weekends.

 

Disability Statement: The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified people with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities and is committed to the policy that all people shall have equal access to programs, facilities, and admissions without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation in this course or have questions about physical access, please tell me as soon as possible.

 

Disclaimer: We have a great number of things to read in a short time. I therefore reserve the right to modify this syllabus throughout the semester as appropriate—please check your email at least once a day, as notification of changes will be disseminated electronically.

 

Extra help: I hope that this course is challenging, motivating, and fun. If you are having difficulty with any aspect of the course—in-class discussions, reading assignments, presentations, etc.—please come talk to me during office hours (or by appointment, if you can’t make it during my regular hours). I’d much rather spend some extra time with you working through whatever’s giving you difficulty than have you have a bad experience with the course.

 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PLAGIARISM

 

University policies related to academic matters (for example, rules governing academic dishonesty) are strictly upheld in this course. Penn State defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, hones, and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect of other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (Faculty Senate Policy 49-20). Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used, or tampering with academic work of other students. Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University’s Judicial Affairs Office for possible further disciplinary action. See http://www.la.psu.edu/CLAAcademic_Integrity/integrity.shtml for more information. For further information on plagiarism, see http://www.la.psu.edu/CLA-Academic_Integrity/plagiarism.shtml for more information on plagiarism.

 

Registration policy: During the drop/add period at the beginning of the course, the Department of Comparative Literature encourages students to visit this and other courses in order to make informed decisions about which courses to take. After the drop/add period, however, only students who are registered in the course may remain; no student may late-add (or restore a dropped registration) after the second week of the course without petitioning the department on a form in the main office (202 Burrowes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Span 110- Fourth Semester Language (Conversation on cultural topics)

 

Ø Prerequisite: SPAN 003 or approval of Intermediate Language Coordinator

Ø Required Materials:

  • Conversaciones creadoras: Mastering Spanish Conversation
  • A good quality paperback dictionary
  • An active PSU email account and access to the Internet.

Note: Please bring the textbook to class each day.

 

Nota bene: Given the nature of the courses and our goals in the Intermediate Program, we are assuming not only that you have a sincere interest in learning Spanish, but also that you will be dedicated to mastering and memorizing the vocabulary, terms, and concepts as we progress (this includes anything that you have not studied for whatever reason in previous courses). Again, the pace and level of complexity of the courses in the Intermediate Program will perhaps require that you spend more time studying that you might have needed to spend in previous courses. This will be especially true as the semester advances and the material becomes more complex, and as we examine more sophisticated uses of the language. Please remember: This is a vocabulary-driven course and in order to be successful and keep up you will be required to memorize new words and expressions on a daily basis!

Spanish 110 is a coordinated course and all sections will cover the same material and you all will be tested and evaluated using the same guidelines and other tools to gauge your progress and proficiency.

Should you have any questions, concerns or disagreements about any aspect of the course, please approach your instructor first and try to resolve the problem together.

 

GRADING SCALE: Grades shall be assigned to students on the basis of the instructor’s judgment of the student’s

Scholastic achievement using the Undergraduate Grading System (PSU policy 47-00)

 

Quality of Performance Grade (From the PSU website :

http://www.registrar.psu.edu/grades/grading_system.cfm)

 

Excellent : A (95-100%) A- (90-94.9%) Exceptional Achievement

Good : B+ (87-89.9%) B (84-86.9%) B- (80-83.9%) C+ (76-79.9%) Extensive Achievement

Satisfactory : C (70-75.9%)   D (60-69.9%) Acceptable Achievement

Failure : F (below 60%) Inadequate achievement (to secure credit, course must be repeated.)

 

Ø EVALUATION :

  • EXÁMENES ESCRITOS (4)…………………………………… 25%
  • EXÁMENES ORALES (2)………………………………………… 25%
  • ESCENAS (Fluidez)(2)….…………………………………… 15%
  • CONVERSACIÓN CREADORA (Pronunciación)(2)…… 15%
  • PROYECTO ORAL (1) (Pronunciación y fluidez)………….10%
  • COMPOSICIÓN (1) ………………………………………………….. 5%
  • PARTICIPACIÓN   ……………………………………… 5%

 

DESCRIPTION OF CATEGORIES:

 

  • EXÁMENES ESCRITOS: You will take four (4) in-class written exams. More detailed information about the format and content will be made available well in advance of each exam, but the activities will reflect the types of exercises done in the text in/ out of class. The dates of the exams are on the syllabus. No make-ups will be allowed without valid documentation.

Do not expect a review/study guide before an exam. You are responsible to learn all the material in the chapters studied in class.

 

  • EXÁMENES ORALES: There will be two oral exams in this course, a midterm exam and a final one. They will be 5-10 minute long one-on-one oral exams. Your instructor will give you a list of topics to prepare

and the exam will consist of a conversation and a situation between the instructor and the student. Note that the topics you will be asked to prepare will be based on the main thematic units of the chapters covered throughout the course. The grading criteria used to evaluate can be found in the workbook.

 

  • ESCENAS: You will be asked to do two short formal presentations. These will not require outside preparation. You will work with other members of your group; however, these assignments will be individually graded. The dates can be found on the syllabus. More information will be given as the dates approach. Video recordings are sometimes part of the oral presentations category. Class attendance during oral presentations is mandatory.

 

  • PARTICIPACIÓN: As this is a conversation course, it is crucial that you attend class each and every day, that you prepare thoroughly prior to coming to class, and that you participate actively. You must use Spanish to learn Spanish, so again, daily attendance and active participation are expected . Please understand that if you are not in class, you are responsible to contact a fellow student, not your instructor, to find out the information missed.

Please keep in mind that attendance during the presentations is mandatory

 

  • CONVERSACIÓN CREADORA (2): To complete these assignments you will listen to, practice, and then record yourself reading the Conversación creadora in each chapter that we study. The purpose of this is to help you to be able to better hear, understand, and produce Spanish sounds. You will then read the dialogue or dialogues to your instructor, who will evaluate your pronunciation and intonation. The dates are shown on the syllabus.

 

 

  • COMPOSICIÓN: You will be asked to write a reaction paper after we watch an in class this semester. This paper must be typed and uploaded to a dropbox in ANGEL. The date is listed on the syllabus.

 

  • PROYECTO ORAL: You will be asked to make a short video in which you have to promote the Spanish program in Penn State. Information will be given as the dates approach. Video recordings are sometimes part of the oral presentations category. Class attendance during oral presentations is mandatory.

 

OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION

 

  1. Accommodations statement: “PSU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programs, activities, or services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodation to participate in class activities or to meet the course requirements should first register with the office of Student Disability Services .

 

  1. Academic Honesty:

All work submitted for a grade must be the product of the student’s own efforts. Academic dishonesty in any form (e.g. cheating on tests, copying another person’s assignment, plagiarism, which includes quoting from a text without giving credit to the author and copying from internet sources; using an electronic text translator, using unauthorized outside help, or providing forged documentation of any type – eg. for excuse of absence) will result in a minimum penalty of no credit for the work submitted and may result not only in a failing grade for the course but in the student being reported to the Office of Student Life for prosecution.

I encourage working together with other students; however, work merely copied from another person or revised by another person is a form of cheating.

 

  1. Classroom Civility:

Each PSU student is encouraged to help create an environment during class that promotes learning, dignity and mutual respect for everyone. Students who speak at inappropriate times, sleep in class, display inattention, take frequent breaks, interrupt the class by coming late or leaving early, engage in loud or distracting behaviors, use cell phones or pagers in class, use inappropriate language, are verbally abusive, display defiance or disrespect to others, or behave aggressively could be asked to leave the class.

 

  1. Mobile Phones, PDAs, and Portable Computers: The use of mobile phones and PDAs or texting during class is prohibited unless an activity which calls for such use is carried out. Upon coming to class, students are required to silence their mobile phones and PDAs. Students may use a laptop computer to take notes or access homework during class. Students who are observed using a laptop computer for purposes not related to taking notes will be required to turn off their computers and will be prohibited from using a laptop during class for the remainder of the semester. No one may use any electronic devices during exams. Failure to follow this policy will result in a failing grade on the exam.

Testimonials

 

 

Professor Alex Ramirez is a great teacher and his class was not only memorization based, but we were using a variety of skills to learn Spanish. Learning a language in college is difficult, but he was always ready to help with anything his students may not understand. He is also always willing to go over material again if it was not clear the first time. We were also encouraged to share our ideas and communicate more with each other in Spanish. I had a good experience in the class because there was always a good and happy atmosphere.

~Shivani V Rathod

 

Álex Ramírez-Arballo was a phenomenal professor, and he helped me become comfortable in a Penn State classroom. He was always smiling and knew how to connect with the students. Not only was he an effective Spanish teacher, but he would relate topics to life and how to be mentally happy. There were very few dull moments while in class with Álex. Each day I looked forward to going to class because I knew that there would always be positive energy coming from the professor. I hope everyone who takes Spanish courses has the pleasure of getting into his class. I hope that I have a second chance to sign up for another class of his in my future semesters.

~Joey Chawaga

 My name is Emma Burd and I am a freshman here at Penn State. This past fall I took my first ever college language class with Álex Ramirez and I was extremely pleased with my experience. I have taken Spanish classes for 13 years now and I can honestly say that my experience in Spanish 110 with Álex was one of the best ones yet. From day one he expressed to us how passionate he was about teaching the language and really wanted us to just work our hardest and succeed in the course. He was constantly available during and after class to seek help and made sure we fully comprehended the topic. Aside from his will to help all of us he kept the class and materials extremely organized. There was never any confusion on assignments or exams and we constantly knew what the class plan was for the day and what needed to be done outside the class. Finally, Álex Ramirez helped us learn the material by connecting it to real life events and having the students share things about ourselves, which really helped me learn more efficiently. Álex Ramirez was a fantastic Spanish teacher and I am very fortunate to have had him this past semester.

~Emma Burd

With each class you enroll in, it can be easy, it can be hard, it can be hard, yet you can master the topic. Much of it depends on how much effort you put into the class, but another great portion is your teacher and how you teacher decides to structure the class. I took Spanish 412 with Álex Ramírez-Arballo, and as a Senior graduating this spring, I can with confidence say that this class was my favorite class throughout my college experience. Professor Álex is so outwardly compassionate about what he teaches, and he is a teacher that genuinely wants to help his students learn and succeed. I loved both going to class and participating in the class. If I could take another course with Professor Álex I easily would. Penn State is lucky to have him as a part of their staff and students are fortunate to study under his instruction. I couldn’t have had a better experience in Spanish 412. Professor Álex both gave me skills I have not yet learned after seven years of studying Spanish and boosted my confidence with the overall language.

~Brooke Scicchitano

 

In Spanish 412 I learned a lot of valuable aspects about the language that I had not learned previously in other courses. This course was extremely helpful and practical because we are constantly translating words/lengthy texts as we study Spanish. Alex was a very knowledgeable professor on translation. He challenged students to not just translate the literal meaning of the text but rather to convey the sense of the text. The class was ran like a workshop so we were able to work in groups to create the best possible translation and then we would review them on the projector as a class. Alex and other students provided constructive criticism so that modifications could be made if need be, because the point of the class was to constantly improve our translation skills. I believe students felt very comfortable sharing their suggestions and thoughts with the class because of the open workshop environment. I enjoyed this class a lot and think the skills I learned on translation will help me in future courses. I would highly recommend other students studying Spanish to take Spanish 412 with Alex. We translated something new each class, worked on exercises in groups, and improved the way we analyzed different words. Alex always had each class planned out with new tasks to do each day and I think students were very engaged and enjoyed actively participating in the translation workshop.

~Stephanie Jacoby

 

I am studying to be a teacher myself, and you were not only a professor that taught me Spanish translation skills, but teaching skills as well. That was something I really appreciated, and I know other students did as well. By stressing group work everyday with the same people helped someone like me (who has extreme social anxiety and is always afraid to speak up in class) make friends in the class and be more confident in my Spanish skills, both in small groups and as a whole. SPAN 412 was truly my favorite Spanish class I’ve taken. As a student with lots of anxiety and nervousness about my language skills, I greatly appreciate how you made the class a positive environment and encouraged a variety of answers. Reviewing all translations as a class (after doing them together as a small group) also really helped. Seeing things in a different way was helpful. Before taking the course I honestly wasn’t sure if a minor in Spanish for me was possible, but this course really helped me move it along and now I’m taking the last class for the minor!

¡Gracias por todo!

~Jaime Ellenberger

I can honestly say Alex was my favorite Spanish professor I’ve ever had. He created a positive learning environment that everyone felt comfortable speaking in, something very important in a language class. Unlike most Spanish classes, Alex emphasized the use of technology which I found really useful in my progress in translation. Every class had engaging conversations that always made class interesting. Alex as a professor is not only knowledgable in translation and interesting to listen to, but very nice. I always looked forward to coming to his class.
       ~Amy Neumann
After coming back from a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain and only needing one more credit for a Spanish minor; I knew that I needed to focus on my major classes in order to graduate in the spring and Spanish was not a top priority. After the first few translation classes with Alex, I completely changed my mindset, and his translation class quickly became my favorite of the semester. Alex’s style of teaching is unlike any other language class I have taken at Penn State and he truly understands how students think and learn. He realizes that students learn more in a class that they are succeeding in, and he provides the necessary tools to help everyone in the class succeed. I never wanted to skip one of Alex’s classes because the activities were engaging and I was going to benefit and develop my translation skills after each class. Alex’s method of teaching should be used by more professors not only at this university, but also around the world. I have taken numerous skills away from Alex’s translation class and I hope to continue building on my Spanish knowledge in the future.
Gracias Alex!
~Michael Hartman

 Hello, my name is Lissette Velazquez and I am a former student of Alex Ramírez. I am currently a junior majoring in Human development and family studies with a minor in Sociology. I took English 226 and I absolutely loved the class. The books that were given to read were very intriguing and the discussion in class was very helpful. This course cross-listed with Latino Studies minor which I was interested in. It brought to my attention that there was Latino authors and they books that not only I could relate to as a Latina, but also that it was intriguing and interesting. Because of this class, I have hope that latin@ Studies will become a major.

~Lissette Velazquez

 I took Intro to Hispanic Literature (SPAN 253W) with Professor Ramirez.  I am an English major, so I am used to analyzing literary texts, but I had never done so in a foreign language and being forced to do so pushed my proficiency in Spanish to a new level.  It was invaluable to have a native-Spanish speaking professor because he was able to explain to the class idioms that one cannot find in the dictionary, for example: “al pan, pan y al vino, vino” (I originally heard this phrase in a song and was excited to learn that Chayanne was not simply singing about bread and wine).  I could see that Professor Ramirez has a passion for literature (I believe he is an avid writer), which made the class even more enjoyable.

~Vanessa Marie Shalkey

My name is Alina Mackenthun and I took the SPAN 253 literature course with Senor Ramirez. I am majoring in Energy, Business and Finance with a Spanish minor. I enjoyed the course, mainly because of the texts that were chosen for the semester. All in all, this course proved to be challenging in that it introduced a new way of analyzing literature. I realized that, although I had previously subconsciously analyzed it in the way that Senor Ramirez presented, I had not had to outwardly interpret what I read in such a way, thereby making the course an exploration of interpretation and communication. I feel that what I learned was useful, but sometimes the systematic approach was a little tiresome and perhaps a little bit like objective “butchering” of the literature. That is not to say, however, that Senor Ramirez did not force the class to think; he did a good job of involving the class in his discussions of the works and gave us perspective on what he thought the texts’ messages were. I feel this communication between native speaker and non-native student is vital to the growth of both parties.

~Alina Mackenthun

My name is Danielle Blackburn and I am currently a senior at Penn State University majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Spanish Language. I took Spanish 253W with Alex Ramirez during the fall semester of my junior year in 2009. Spanish 253W is a heavily based literature and writing course. I really enjoyed taking this class due to the fact that it was interesting material and also challenging at times. This was the first Spanish class at PSU that required me to apply all of my previous knowledge regarding Spanish grammar and vocabulary into cohesive papers and essays on a regular basis. This class allowed my Spanish skills to grow tremendously which benefited me during the following spring semester when I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Alex’s class prepared me for the course work that I encountered while I was at La Universidad de Salamanca. I am continuing to study Spanish and hope to integrate it into my career and one day become a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist. I appreciate the time and effort that Alex put into this particular class to help me achieve my future career goals.

~ Danielle Blackburn 

My name is Katie Hatfield.  I am a Nutrition major and am minoring in Spanish.  Last year I took Spanish 253W.  Taking this class was a really great experience for me, in that it improved my spanish at a conversational level.  The main contributing factor to this was that it was a discussion-based class.  It was my first time being in a spanish class where we learn more than grammar and vocabulary.  We read real spanish literature and then had class discussions, which were fully in spanish.  I always looked forward to going to class because I knew we would be discussing interesting topics, whether it was about poetry, novels, or short stories.  I always recommend this specific class (Alex Ramirez’s) to anyone who is studying spanish, because I know that they will enjoy it as much as I did, and they will also learn as much as I did.

~Katie Hatfield

My name is Lauren Freda.  I’m a double major in Business Management and Spanish Business.  I took Spanish 253W with Álex Ramírez.  I really enjoyed Alex’s class because he really helped me to improve my writing skills in Spanish.  He challenged us in class, which really helped to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language.

~Lauren Freda

The site is currently under construction. I will be adding more information and completing the links shortly.

I am a Ph.D. candidate focusing on contemporary Latin American literature and culture at the University of Pennsylvania. My research concentrates on the changes in modes of articulation within artistic productions and critical thought in recent decades that reflect the ongoing changes brought about by the phenomon known generically as globalization. I have especially focused on Colombian cultural texts and their connections to the wider framework of Latin America since the 1970s. My scholarly interests also include literary theory as well as film and media studies.

Please feel free to browse the links for more information. For current students and those interested in the courses that I teach, the Courses page will have links to the courses and their content. My Curriculum Vitae and Teaching Portfolio are interactive and contain links to pertinent documents. If you wish to reach me, see the Contact Information page.

 

 

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