Programs sponsored by the University of Seattle

Advanced Spanish Program:

Andean Culture and Experiential Learning

Summer Term

This advanced Spanish course seeks to improve the use of grammatical structures and vocabulary for both oral and written language skills while exposing students to Latin American and Ecuadorian literature. The Andean Culture component seeks to explain the worldview of the Andean peoples, having a social and human dimension through a two-week internship in a rural community, allowing students to develop bonds of friendship, understanding and appreciation for another culture while strengthening their Spanish language learning.

Duration: 8 Weeks
Contact Hours: 160 Hours
Spanish Level: Upper Intermediate and Advanced.
Instruction Language: Spanish
Semester Credits: 16 Credits

Objective: That students will develop an advanced level of proficiency and comprehension of the Spanish language, properly using grammatical structures learned, allowing for both an oral and written level of communication with good management of both Castilian language and speech.

Specific Objectives

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Speak with comfort and fluency in formal and casual interactions.
  • Write quality, content-rich essays
  • Write clearly, concisely and with grammatical correctness.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in listening comprehension.
  • Demonstrate an ability for creative participation and active communication.
  • Develop and improve comprehension and oral expression through conversation about Eucador in terms of its social, economic, political and cultural characteristics.
  • Articulate ideas and opinions through correct usage of the Spanish language.

Course Components

The course includes the following components:

Spanish Grammar

Oriented towards the development of management skills and correct use of language, this component works to increase student’s vocabulary and idiom use.

Journals: Each student will write an informal Spanish journal analyzing their experiences or, as an alternative, turn in a written composition on a topic of their choice. There will be three journals in total; a maximum of 3 pages each. These written works will be reviewed and corrected by the teacher, serving to reinforce learned basic grammatical structures.

Essays: In order to develop confidence for written and oral presentations, each student will write two comparative analysis essays integrating topics covered in class and the students’ experience in Ecuador.

Essays are academic works that should reflect the depth and a quality analysis of the proposed topic.

Essays are to be double-spaced, Garamond font size 12, and should not exceed five pages, excluding a the initial tital page and final works cited page. Essays must include: a cover page, unique title, an introduction that explains the importance of the topic, a thesis statement, supporting arguments and information, a conclusion and bibliography. References should be cited throughout the body of the paper. Revisions and rcommendations received during peer editing should be incorporated in the final product.

Each student will give an oral presentation on his or her research project, covering information covered in the essay. A total of 15 minutes will be allotted for each presenter, including 10 minutes for the presentation itself and 5 minutes for questions. An accompanying Powerpoint slide-show including images and main points is highly recommended. Oral presentations represent an important component of a comprehensive individual assessment of each student which will determine his or her final grade.

Oral presentations should have the following structure: An introduction, a thesis, an explanation of the paper’s objectives, background information about the topic presented, analytical reasoning and a conclusion.

Final grammar review: Students will have a final written examination consisting of: Grammar, vocabulary, reading and listening comprehension, and a written (short-essay) component.

Spanish in context

Cultural component

Sessions are designed to deepen the student’s understanding of the different elements of Ecuadorian culture, allowing students to examine different perspectives, as well as socio-economic, environmental, cultural and political issues in Ecuador. Classes are designed to address the language skills necessary in academic and casual settings. Class discussion topics can be found in the attached schedule. Integral to the Spanish in Context program is an emphasis on practicing communication skills necessary in overcoming cultural and language barriers in real-life situations. The course will also include an analysis and discussion of various cultural topics, and will require student participation in class as well as completion of regular homework assignments.

Field trips

There will be a one-day outing to Quito’s historic center, a 3 day trip to tour the northern Andes, and a two-week trip to visit an Andean community.


Internship represent an opportunity for cultural immersion whereby interns can participate in the day-to-day life and activities of an Andean community. Participants will apply cultural and linguistic knowledge acquired throughout their academic experience at Cimas. The final essay is a required component each internship and is to include a summary and reflection of the student’s personal and learning experiences throughout his or her active participation in the exchange program.