El programa de estudios (syllabus)

    Español I


    High School of American Studies

     2011 - 2012




    Instructor: Sebastian Silva                 

    Phone: (718) 329-2144

    Contact: By appointment (in person, online or phone) – best to email to make initial contact 


    E-mail: SilvaHSAS@gmail.com


    Course Description: This course will expose students to the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.  Content includes an introduction into the rudiments of Spanish language and how that manifests in the history and present-day lives of its speakers.  Drama is not always bad. A dramatic impression of situations will help you situate yourself emotionally in the essence of the language. This course will strive to communicate the foundation of Spanish language principles in context, as well as through traditional text book reinforcement.


    Required Texts/ Materials: It is imperative that you bring three books to class daily:

    1.      ¡Exprésate! Spanish 1 Hard Cover Textbook

    NOTE: Do not write in this book under any circumstances

    2.      ¡Exprésate! Spanish 1 Paperback Workbook: Cuaderno de vocabulario y gramática.

    NOTE: Do not write in this book, unless you have purchased a copy. I will tell you how I expect you to do the homework without writing in the book.


    3.      Notebook (you choose, standard composition book, or loose leaf in a binder, although I find that a composition book holds together better)

    a.       You should take notes, write down anything that I write on the board or associative information that makes sense to you and  may help you remember something we are learning.


    Also, it is imperative that you bring in pens or pencils to write with.


    As a supplementary resource, I have created a website that will be useful to access grades, course documents such as this syllabus; I will try to update this with due dates, although it is your job to find out what you missed if you are out. You can access the site here (or copy and paste the URL into your browser:


    Essential Questions:

    1.                  How do we use language to portray culture and identity?

    2.                  Why is language important?

    3.                  How does language influence our thoughts?

    4.                  Why learn Spanish?

        "The limits of my language means the limits of my world." 

                            - Ludwig Wittgenstein 


    Course Goals and Objectives:

    The outcomes listed below are derived in great measure from a consideration of two sources. First, the course is designed to the meet the expectations of our school, The High School of American Studies.


    Second, it is my hope that you will not only acquire knowledge and pleasure from the course, but that it will be relevant to your life and beneficial for your future.


    Knowledge Outcomes:

    1.      Students  understand the rudiments of the Spanish language, especially a solid foundation of the conjugation and usage of the present tense.

    2.      Students understand  the influences of language on an individual and society.

    3.      Students are familiar with the Spanish speaking world and can appreciate the differences within a collective body.

    Performance Outcomes/Skills:

    1.      Students can speak, write, and read at an introductory Spanish level and demonstrate a solid foundation of the present tense conjugations and usage

    2.       Students can demonstrate their knowledge of the Spanish speaking world by identifying cultural norms.

    3.      Students can defend themselves in a simple conversation.


    Course Requirements:


    You are required to complete a number of course tasks, all of which are worth points that go into your final grade, as described below.


    Overview of Course Elements

     La fecha = the date

    La meta = the aim

    Hagan ahora = Do now



    La fecha: Lunes, el trece de septiembre

    La meta: Me llamo … ¿Cómo te llamas? ¿Cómo se llama?

    Hagan ahora:  Saca la tarea (take out your homework)


    These three elements will help us start each class. Please copy the at least the date and the aim as soon as you arrive so that you can have it in your notes to study later. This will also serve as a heading to organize your notes.


    La preparación y participación component refers to specific expectations I have regarding your interaction with me and other members of this course community.  Essentially, these actions fall under the category of professionalism and performance. It is imperative that you are prepared to participate productively. Your respectful and insightful contributions to the class discussions are necessary and will be noted. You are encouraged to take notes. Your conduct and behavior as a student will also be reflected in this portion of the grade. 

     “Los exámenes y las pruebas” are what you guessed:tests. Our test days our Monday or Tuesday. Every class needs a test. This is not to intimidate you or make the class a drag. This is for me to gauge your competence on a written level and on an individual basis. There will be no surprises on the quizzes. The content is created by me specifically to cover the material covered in class and in the homework. If you do your homework, take notes in class, and actively participate you will  do well.  

     “La tarea” is homework. You will be assigned homework regularly, maybe every day, maybe once a week, depending on the work load and activities for the week. The homework whenever specified as páginas (pages) in the book always refer to the paperback book entitled Cuaderno de vocabulario y gramática.(Note: again, as stated before, please do not write in this book unless you have purchased a copy). I will model how I want each homework assignment to be done in order to avoid writing in the book. 


    Grading Scale for Course Grade

    Final course grades will be determined according to the following percentage scale.  In order to receive a particular grade you must earn the minimum number of points for that grade; I will not automatically round up a fraction to the next whole number.

    A note on grades: Grading is both an objective and subjective process. Objectively, you earn points that correspond to percentages. Subjectively, as your teacher I need to be convinced that you are acting appropriately and genuinely engaged in the class (I encourage you to think beyond yourself; think about how you are perceived by others, your peers and your teacher).


    A         100 - 90 points

    B         89 – 80 points

    C         79 – 70 points

    D         69 – 65 points

    F          64 – 0 points


    Students with Disabilities:

    If any of the requirements for this course could be modified to make the material more relevant and/or accessible to you, please do not hesitate to talk to me. Sooner is better than later.



    All emails should be sent to SilvaHSAS@gmail.com with your name in the subject line. (For example, Subject: Ilana Weinstein. Question regarding grade on quiz 1)


    Policy on Late Work

    La preparación y participación: There is no late credit or make-up credit for this element of the class. It is imperative that you are present and productive in class. Only doctor´s approved absences will be considered for credit. It is your responsibility to find out from a peer the new information you may have missed in class and any assigned homework for that day.  


    Los exámenes y las pruebas:  If absolutely necessary, it is your responsibility to find the teacher and schedule a make-up day within one week of the original test/quiz date. Tutoring is a good time to schedule this.


    La tarea: There is no late or make up credit for homework.



    Academic Integrity

    Students in this course are expected to submit work that is their own and, when referencing the ideas and quoting the words of others, to cite sources appropriately as described in class.  Fabrication (falsification or invention of information), misrepresentation (knowingly misrepresenting your ideas or work), plagiarism (deliberate copying of words or passing off of others’ ideas as your own) or presenting recycled work from a previously submitted assignment, other student, or internet site will be dealt with severely – resulting in failure of the assignment without the option to redo.  Please note that any part of an assignment (no matter how small) that demonstrates evidence of misconduct may cause you to fail the assignment and warrant a referral to Mr. Weiss, and may lead to failing the course.  If you have any questions or doubts about whether you are citing material appropriately or presenting ideas with integrity, please ask me.


    This goes for copying homework as well. It is one thing to seek help from a peer, but at no time should you simply copy answers from another student.




    Course Calendar

    On the site you will find a tentative course calendar.  Please note that this is tentative. Any changes will be announced in class.  


    Hopefully, we will have one day of tutoring after school. This is the best time to make up tests or quizzes, as well as seek additional help.



    Dear Parents/Guardians,


                Please accept this note as a formal and official greeting to my class. It is my pleasure to be teaching Spanish 1  to your child this year.  In an effort to “go green,” I have created a website for our class, where you can access the syllabus and expectations for this course. Hopefully, the site will reduce the amount of paper wasted and keep your child from hoarding unwanted clutter; however, I fully understand the preference and need for a hard copy of everything. Please notify me if you would prefer a printed copy, and I will send it home with the student. 

    By signing this contract, both student and parent(s)/guardian(s) acknowledge that they have read and understood expectations for the course Español 1. The full syllabus is available on our website under the link Programa de estudios (syllabus) :


    Best regards,



    Sebastian  Silva






    Student Name                                              Student Signature                                                        Date




    Parent/Guardian Name                            Parent/Guardian Signature                                        Date