Welcome to Spanish 201: Spanish for Beginners II, the second of two three-credit, introductory-level telecourses based on the textbook Destinos and popular telenovela (soap opera) of the same name. If you have taken Spanish 200 with Athabasca University, you will have covered episodes 1 through 26. This course covers episodes 27 through 52. It is important that you read the Student Manual before you begin your study of Spanish 201.
Reading the Preface of the textbook Destinos for an overview of the course would also be helpful. The course will take you to Argentina, México, and Puerto Rico—three important countries in the Spanish-speaking world. You will learn more about how everyday Spanish is spoken and structured through a colourful plot that involves interesting characters from the first 26 episodes of the video Destinos. The supplementary audio programs will reinforce your understanding. Besides, you will satisfy your curiosity about how the Castillo family saga concludes.
If it has been some time since you studied Spanish, when you first listen to Spanish at usual speed you may get the feeling that you have forgotten quite a few things about vocabulary and grammar. That is normal! You will progressively recall what you heard, read and learned in Spanish 200 or another course and will continue developing your comprehension lesson by lesson.
Spanish 201 will help you to improve in all four basic language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing—as well as to develop a wider and richer awareness of Hispanic cultures. It will also prepare you to go on to more advanced Spanish courses.
In order to further develop speaking and listening skills, you will be working with the Destinos episodes, backed up by the audio programs on CD. By the end of the course, you should be able to fluently perform such daily routines as making phone calls, participating in a conversation, and giving your opinion as you exchange ideas or argue with other people. You should also be better able to describe people and places and narrate present and past events.
To help you develop reading and writing skills, you will be working mainly with the Destinos textbook and Workbook/Study Guide II. These print materials were written for you as a second-language learner, but you will also read materials written for proficient Spanish speakers. The improvement in your writing skills will parallel that of the speaking skills noted above—that is, you will be able to write about both current and past events. Furthermore, you will learn how to express wishes, and give personal opinions of agreement or disagreement.
At Athabasca University, we stress the importance of written skills in addition to oral and written comprehension. Learning to write in Spanish using proper sentence structure and correct grammar is essential. You will be provided with the basic techniques to help you write compositions and short essays. Your tutor will evaluate your overall progress using the Tutor Marked Written Exercises (TMWEs) Tutor Marked Oral Exercises (TMOEs) and a short composition.
In Spanish 201 all the TMOEs are to be done by telephone. While you are required to prepare all questions of a TMOE, your tutor will select only a few for you to answer. As a rule, expect to spend about 10 minutes per TMOE on the telephone, depending on how well prepared you are. The purpose of the Tutor Marked Oral Exercises is twofold. First, we want you to practice using your newly acquired vocabulary, grammar, listening skills and cultural information. Second, we want to give you feedback so that you know how you are doing and what areas, if any, need improvement. You are responsible for planning and completing the oral assignments within the sequence of the Study Schedule given in this manual.
Good luck and enjoy your studies! Your tutor will be ready to help you.