Intro to Immersion 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 Ann Tawadros
Extra Help: Mondays in Room 237 from 3-4 p.m. or by appointment.

Course Overview

Course Description:

Students will focus on building their familiarity and comfort with Spanish in an immersion environment. The class will focus on building up students' vocabularies. As students learn more words, they will begin to work on asking questions, forming basic sentences, and conversing through a variety of in-class and at-home activities.

Course Schedule:

A Block
Room 237

Mondays 8-9:25
Tuesdays 11:05-12:25
Thursdays 1:40-3:00

C Block

Room 242

Mondays 11:05-12:25

Wednesdays 9:40-11:00
Fridays 8-9:25

E Block

Room 237

Tuesdays 8-9:25

Thursdays 9:40-11:00

Fridays 11:05-12:25


In the classroom, we will be able to:

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

  • Speak Spanish

  • Become comfortable in 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

  • 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 Novice Mid speakers who have some background in Spanish.

According to ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) standards, the Novice  speaker will be able to “communicate minimally with formulaic and rote utterances, lists, and phrases”. Since you have successfully reached the middle sublevel, you are able to respond to direct questions by saying “only two or three words at a time..”

It is hoped for you to share your skills and use them to begin to grow into the Novice High level by the end of this semester. However, 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!)

“Novice High” means that you will be able to “manage successfully a number of …. communicative tasks in straightforward social situations. Conversation is restricted to a few of the predictable topics necessary for survival in the target language culture, such as basic personal information, basic objects, and a limited number of activities, preferences, and immediate needs. Novice High speakers respond to simple, direct questions or requests for information. They are also able to ask a few formulaic questions.

Novice High speakers are able to express personal meaning by relying heavily on learned phrases or recombinations of these and what they hear from their interlocutor. Their language consists primarily of short and sometimes incomplete sentences in the present, and may be hesitant or inaccurate. On the other hand, since their language often consists of expansions of learned material and stock phrases, they may sometimes sound surprisingly fluent and accurate.”


  • 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