Intro to Intermediate 

Conversational Spanish

"El exceso de cuidado destruye el alma y el corazón, 
porque vivir es un acto de coraje. 
Y un acto de coraje es siempre un acto de amor."
- Paulo Coelho

Teacher: Carrie Tawadros
Extra Help: Mondays in Room 237 from 3-4 p.m. or by appointment.

Course Description:

You (the student) will learn how to navigate your way through a classroom without using English, including using gestures and body-language to fill in the gaps. You will be able to be active in class and to communicate with a variety of peers. The class will use a mixture of active games, songs, and conversational starters to get students talking with each other in Spanish and learning about their classmates' lives and interests. Projects may include student-created games, ongoing video diaries, and reading and writing journals.

Course Schedule:

C Block


Tuesdays 9:40-11:00

Thursdays 11:05-12:25

Fridays 1:40-3:00


In the classroom, we will be able to:

  • Explore and engage ourselves in OWL (Organic World Language) techniques.

  • Speak Spanish

  • Thrive and adapt to an L2 (Second Language) immersion environment

  • Take risks and make mistakes (That's how you will make progress!)

  • Work on problem-solving (Ask questions! Also infer & circumlocute meanings of words without a dictionary)

  • Build community by working with and learning about a variety of peers

  • Allow yourself to become self-directed (by 100% participation and effort)

  • Learn to communicate effectively

  • Community Membership (Respect others by respecting yourself)

Where You're at Now & Where to Aim Towards (ACTFL):

This class is aimed to begin with Intermediate Low Spanish speakers who have not yet had extensive experience an a 100% immersion classroom.

According to ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards, the Intermediate speaker will be able to “Create with language, initiate, maintain, and bring to a close simple conversations by asking and responding to simple questions”. Since you are just breaking through the Novice High sublevel and have reached Intermediate Low, you are able to communicate by “creating with the language in straightforward social situations..”

It is hoped for you to share your skills and use them to begin to grow with ease in the Intermediate level by the end of this semester.

Please remember to honor the fact that language acquisition is a process and will require a lot of patience, respect, and heart from its student (you!)

Intermediate means that you will be able to conversate about “basic personal information; for example, self and family, some daily activities and personal preferences, and some immediate needs, such as ordering food and making simple purchases... They are also able to ask a few appropriate questions....

Intermediate Low speakers express personal meaning by combining and recombining what they know and what they hear from their interlocutors into short statements and discrete sentences.”


  • Presentation (35%): Journal maintenance, Edmodo, poster presentations

  • Conversation (35%): Class participation, digital portfolio, video diaries, oral interviews

  • Work habits (20%): Homework

  • Interpretation (10%): Writing prompts


First, please let me reassure you that this journey is not about your grades – it's about your personal growth and connection to language learning! However, I know it is important to you to get a visual on how you are doing in class. Therefore, I ask that you please allow two weeks from submission date of any assignments to be graded and put into X2. Also, please see student handbook regarding late assignment submissions.

Recurring Assessments:

  • Digital Portfolio

Through Google voice, you will be recording yourself for a certain amount of time by either answering a question or discussing a topic. As you consistently taking part in this activity, you will see your linguistic progress throughout the semester.

  • Video Diaries

You will have the opportunity to create video diaries. This is the perfect way to be able to talk about given themes in a creative way. You can create a commercial, interview a friend, give a news broadcast, etc. based on a theme given 5 minutes before “go time”. This is to spontaneously challenge your abilities and see how you've grown with the language from video to video.

  • Edmodo

You will also be asked to contribute to Edmodo, an educational social networking environment.

  • Oral Interview

Once a month, we will undergo a two minute spontaneous interview with the professor in order to express ourselves and our thoughts with vocabulary and linguistic grammatical structures.

  • Journaling and Poster Presentations

At the end of each session, journals will be a type of way to record vocab words learned in the classroom and unfold writing activities and take notes as well as a place to write and maintain homework assignments. Your journal will be a tangible way for you to see your personal growth in the language. You will also be creating occasional posters in groups based off of journal or other class information.


Honors students in Spanish must take on additional responsibilities in class and take on some additional outside work as well.

Responsibilities include:

Leadership: lead small-group discussion activities, committing to keeping students speaking in Spanish and constantly pushing the level of conversation higher.

Leadership in Edmodo: Honors students are also expected to be leaders in the Edmodo. Honors students need to regularly read and respond to their peers’ blog entries as well as writing their own. Honors students will also have to write twice as many blogs as usual.

Plan a Classroom: Honors students will have to plan and lead one entire class period.


1 Oral Proficiency Interview Familiarization Manual 2012, p. 6

2 Oral Proficiency Interview Familiarization Manual 2012, p. 13

3 Oral Proficiency Interview Familiarization Manual 2012, p. 13