SP113 — Spanish III — Spring 2018

Professor John Gardner

A204 Moench Hall
+1 812 877 8524


Puntos de partida (10th edition)
Workbook / Laboratory Manual to accompany Puntos de partida — volume 2 (10th edition)
• You also need access to a good Spanish-English dictionary. Several are available for sale in the bookstore and there are others in our library. From Logan Library I recommend the Gran diccionario español-inglés — English-Spanish dictionary published by Larousse [463.21 G753d 1994]. For an on-line dictionary I highly recommend www.wordreference.com. Although it is too difficult for this class, when you are ready for a good Spanish to Spanish dictionary the Real Academia Española is a definitive source: www.rae.es.

Course Objectives

To developing speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in Spanish, to acquire vocabulary and grammatical structures for effective and accurate communication, and to develop an awareness of Spanish-speaking peoples and their cultures.

Make all the mistakes you can!

Making mistakes is a natural and important part of the language learning process. It is OK to make mistakes; everyone in the class will do so. Daily attendance and active participation are very important because they allow you to make mistakes and learn from them before the tests. Don't wait for the test to make your mistakes… make them in class, on your homework and quizzes and in your workbook so that you can learn from them before the tests.

Be Here Now!

Learning to speak, read, write, and understand Spanish, just like learning any other skill, requires a lot of practice. If you're not in class, you won't be able to practice and you won't learn very much, so attendance, as well as preparation and in-class participation, is very important and is required.


Short quizzes —usually lasting less than five minutes— will be given almost every day. The purpose of these quizzes is to help you discover what skills and content you have good control over and what skills and content require additional work. On all quizzes and written homework, please write the your name, class section, CM box number, and date. Please write as clearly as you can.

A quiz may take the form of simply collecting that day’s written homework assignment. When I grade a quiz that consists of collecting your written homework, I don’t take off points for wrong answers… as long as you have completed the assignment and it shows evidence of effort (as opposed to just scribbling down an answer in order to have something to turn in) you will get all of the possible points, regardless of how many of your answers are wrong. Incomplete homework will not be given full credit and cannot be made up or completed later.

Your four lowest quiz grades will be dropped in calculating your final grade for the class. But no quizzes are excused for any reason. If you are absent from class on a day a quiz is given, then you get a zero, regardless of the reason for the absence. If the quiz consists of turning in your homework, you must turn it in when I collect it; you may not sit there in class doing your homework late and then turn it in at the end of the period. If you forgot your homework at home, well, that’s unfortunate, and you will get a zero, but remember that you do get to drop your four lowest quiz grades. If due to circumstances beyond your control you have more than four absences on days when quizzes are given and you feel that your grade has been unfairly lowered as a result, you should speak to me about that as soon as possible. When doing so you should be prepared to document the absences in some fashion if at all possible.

Generally, I give immediate feedback on the quizzes, going over the right answers as soon as the quizzes are turned in. Before I collect the quizzes I will ask people who need more time to raise their hands. If you need more time, make sure to raise your hand; you can’t turn your quiz in after I have collected everyone else’s and started going over the answers.


Daily homework is listed on the weekly pages you can access from the menu on this website. Those pages explain how to understand what the assignment is. Changes to the homework may be announced in class or by e-mail. Some assignments ask you to be ready to do something in class; for other assignments you will need to write something out. Not every written assignment will be collected; some of them will be discussed or used in class rather than collected.

On some in-class activities and homework assignments, you may be asked to express personal information, such as what your address is, what your parents are like, what time you get up every day, etc. The point of these exercises is to practice the linguistic skills required to express such information; it’s really none of my business where you live or what time you wake up. If you feel uncomfortable giving this information, you should feel free to substitute any plausible answer. But remember that your answer, if not truthful, still needs to be plausible and consistent. For example, if I ask you to say your phone number in Spanish, and you give a number of only 3 digits, your answer will be regarded as incorrect. If one day you tell me your mother is a lawyer and the next day you say she is a doctor, I may think that you don't understand the question.


You should work on the workbook at your own pace while we’re studying each chapter and check your answers in the back of the workbook. In general, all the exercises from each workbook chapter are assigned and should be completed. If any are to be omitted I will indicate that on the homework page. The only workbook exercises I will collect and grade are those for which no answers are given in the back of the workbook. In general these exercises are at the end of each workbook chapter, in the section called puntos personales In order to encourage you to do the other assigned exercises, aproximately 10% of each exam will come directly from those workbook exercises which are assigned but not collected.

If you need additional time to complete the workbook assignment, ask for an extension at least a day in advance. If the workbook assignment you turn in is incomplete and therefore receives a low grade you may not do the missing sections and turn them in later for credit. If you do not follow the directions for doing the workbook I may either give you a low grade, or ask you to re-do the workbook or parts of it, as I see fit. If you are absent from class on the day a workbook is due it will be accepted with no penalty upon your return to class.

The exercises you turn in should be written clearly, so that I can easily tell what the letters of each word are. You can either tear the pages out of your workbook, clearly scan or copy the pages from your workbook, or turn in the entire workbook. Bear in mind that if you turn in the entire workbook, it may be several days before you get it back and are able to start on the next chapter. Put your name, CM box, and the hour or section of your class on your workbook assignment when turning it in. If you are turning in multiple loose pages please do not fold the corners over to join them; either use a staple, paper clip or simply make sure that each page has your name on it.

Collected workbook assignments will be graded simply as “acceptable / not acceptable.” Only assignments which are complete and show evidence of effort will receive full credit, indicated by the notation “+” or “10/10”. Unacceptable work is indicated by the notation “-” or “x/10” where x is a number between 0 and 9. If you have any questions or doubts about exercises that are not collected, please ask.

Audio files needed for doing some of the workbook exercises are available as streaming on-line media from http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0073534498/student_view0/index.html.


Exams are given on the dates shown online or announced in class. They will focus on skills and content learned since the last test, but will assume that you have good control of skills and content learned previously, and may have a review section about those skills and content. About 10% of each exam will come directly from the workbook exercises which are assigned but which are not collected. This does not mean that you need to bring your workbook with you to take the test; I will copy a portion of the workbook directly into the test and you will need to do that exercise as part of the test itself.

If you miss an exam for any reason, we can schedule a make-up. In exceptional circumstances (usually if you miss a lot of school because of an extended and documentable illness or family emergency) we may agree to excuse the exam. If you know beforehand that you will be unable to attend on the day an exam is scheduled, please let me know.

This year there are two sections of SP113. If you are in section 1, which meets 2nd hour, you must stay in the testing room until the end of the class hour on the day when a test is given. If you finish your test before the end of the hour you may turn it in and use the remaining time to study with any books or materials you like except your Spanish book. However, you cannot use any computers, phones, iPads or other devices capable of connecting with the internet.

Show and Tell

Everyone will get to do a show and tell in class, on a day you sign up for in advance. I will give a demonstration the first day, and also talk about things to do and not to do. In general, remember that your audience is the rest of the class. You need to make the presentation understandable to them. If you don’t know a word, they probably don’t know it either. So try to use words that we already know, that are cognates, or that we can figure out based on context. Gestures can also be an important part of communication. You should strive to use an oral style of discourse in speaking to the class, even if you elect to read what it is you’re saying from notes. The show and tell is graded pass / fail, but to pass you have to not only give a show and tell in class, but also schedule a time to meet with me no later than a week after your show and tell for about five to ten minutes to discuss what you did well and what you could do better.

¡Gran Festival de Títeres!

Everyone gets to do an original puppet play, either alone or in groups of up to three students. I have a versatile selection of puppets you can use. More details can be found here / on the class website.

¿Cómo va a ser el festival de títeres? ¡Va a ser muy divertido! :) You will do your puppet plays in groups of three students at most. Your play should be about five minutes long. It should certainly not be shorter than three minutes, nor longer than ten. At the beginning of the play you should state the title and introduce the performers to the audience in some fashion.

After all the puppet plays have been performed, class members will vote, via secret ballot (i.e. homework) on who should receive the awards in the following categories: mejor comedia; mejor drama; mejor uso de un títere; mejor actor; mejor actriz. You are not allowed to vote for your own play or anyone in your group.

Your play may be videotaped and the video may potentially be shown on the TV outside the HSS office on special occasions. If you do not wish for your presentation to be shown you must notify me.

Puppet plays are graded in the following areas: Script and concept; Pronunciation; Grammar and vocabulary; Overall performance. Since these aspects are all weighted equally high production values alone will never merit a top grade if the communicative aspects are lacking. In fact, sometimes the simpler, the better, as with the late 90s MTV sock puppet show Sifl and Ollie where sets often consisted of a plain backdrop, a microphone and two socks with button eyes (along with great writing and expressive voices.) Do not over-obsess with set design, props, etc. Work instead on a good story, well-told. Strive for communication and fun, not utter slick broadway-show perfection. A grading rubric will be provided later in the term.

Each member of the group should participate more or less equally in the preparation and performance. Most of the preparation for your puppet play should be outside of class, but there will be time available to meet as groups with the professor to discuss issues related to vocabulary, grammar and script concept, and to work on pronunciation. Various assignments related to the puppet plays (turning in a list of who is in your group, turning in a statement of what your play will be about, etc.) will be due before the play itself is performed.

The play may be on any topic you wish. If stumped for ideas, consider the following suggestions: paraphrase a well-known play or historical anecdote; retell a fairy tale; change a fairy tale; take a character and put them in an awkward situation and then let the audience see how they get out of it. The best stories often have conflicts or difficulties which one or several characters must deal with in some fashion.

Other ideas include:

In writing your play, remember that your audience is the rest of the class; if you have to look a word up in the dictionary, the rest of the class probably does not know it either. You must make your message understandable to the audience. Use words the class knows. A few new words can be effectively used if they are clearly tied to some object or action during the puppet play (and thus defined.)

I have a collection of puppets which you can use. You are also free to use your own puppets. My puppets can plausibly be any character you wish. The bird puppets do not have to be birds. If one bird puppet says to the other "Hola, papá" and the second replies "Hola, mi hija" the audience will accept them as father and daughter. (My collection includes a boy, a girl, a cow (head only), two birds (heads only), an sea turtle, a dinosaur (T-Rex, head and tiny front arms only) and a big chameleon). Although there are a maximum of three people in each group there can be more than three characters in each play. Characters can enter and leave, or someone can put a puppet on each hand.

For tips on giving a good presentation, see "how to present" on the class website. When the puppet talks, its mouth should move (this sounds simple, but it's easy to neglect!) This becomes even more important when you have a different puppet on each hand; if neither of them move their mouth, we’ll have no way of knowing which one is talking. If you are manipulating two puppets, it is also helpful to change your voice for each of them. Pay attention to which way your puppet is facing: generally, but not always, it should look at the puppet it is talking or listening to.


If I return your work with the notation “see me” it means you should come see me and bring the work with you. You need to do so within one school week (one week when school is in session) of getting the work back. If you are gone the day an assignment is returned then you should come in within one school week of the day you return to class. Until you come see me the grade for that work in the gradebook will be a two percent. If you come see me in a week then the grade will be changed from zero to whatever grade it earned. If you never come see me the grade will remain two percent. If you wait more than a week you may be given a reduced grade for the work.

To make sure you get full credit for the work you turn in, your name, class or section number, and CM box should be written on everything you turn in, and written in such a way that each letter can be easily understood by anyone who knows the alphabet and numbers.


All grades are posted in the Moodle gradebook. The gradebook is the only thing I use Moodle for. Please check your detailed grade in Moodle periodically, and especially before midterm and the end of the term, and let me know of any discrepancies. You should retain all graded work until your final grade has been turned in so that we can easily resolve any discrepancy.

Academic dishonesty

Do not cheat. Cheating can consist of copying from another student during a quiz or test, turning in someone else’s work as your own, changing answers after a quiz, test or other work has been returned and then claiming they were incorrectly marked as wrong, using a book, cheatsheet or internet device during a quiz or test, and many other things. I prefer to make cheating hard in order to deter cheaters, but some people find a way to cheat anyway. If I catch you cheating your penalty will depend on the circumstances, but it will be much more than simply an F on the assignment you cheated on; the amount your grade is lowered will probably make you want to drop the course. Some of the things I do to deter cheating (like seating students a comfortable distance apart during tests) will be obvious; others may not be apparent to you. I don't discuss all the measures I take to make cheating hard, because if I did it would make no difference to the honest students, and would only help the cheaters find a better way to cheat. So, to put it simply: don’t cheat.

Grade category weighting
Examen 1 20%
Examen 2 20%
Examen 3 20%
Pruebas y tarea recogida 21%
Manual (workbook) 13%
Show and Tell 1%
¡Gran Festival de Títeres! 5%

Grading scale
A 90 - 100%
B+ 87 - 89.99%
B 80 - 86.99%
C+ 77 - 79.99%
C 70 - 76.99%
D+ 67 - 69.99%
D 60 - 66.99%
F 0 - 59.99%