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Elementary Spanish

SPAN 121/122

Elementary Spanish

  • Course ID:SPAN 121/122
  • Semesters:2
  • Department:Spanish
  • Teachers:Michael Cheely

Description and Objectives

Spanish is the third most-spoken language in the world, with 500 million speakers worldwide, and the second most-spoken language in the United States. Knowledge of the language can open many doors to cultural understanding, new friendships and job opportunities, as well as provide insight and appreciation for the structure of your own native language and its origins. The aim of this course is to build a strong base in vocabulary and grammar while instilling confidence in the ability to initiate and maintain a basic conversation in Spanish.


  • Curso Primero: Workbook for a First Course in Spanish by Marvin Wasserman
  • La Gran Aventura de Alejandro by Abby Kanter

Course Requirements

This course is a beginners course intended for students who have not been exposed to the language or have a a very poor foundation.

Successful Students

  • Bring their notebook and Spanish-English Dictionary to every class
  • Constantly study the vocabulary lists
  • Work diligently on their homework by striving to understand every concept and working through all the exercises
  • Correct any mistakes in the homework in order to efficiently study for quizzes
  • Are frequently reviewing all past concepts and exercises
  • Pay attention and work hard during each class period to ensure they understand the material
  • Ask questions whenever clarification is needed on any topic
  • Are not afraid to make pronunciation mistakes as it is practiced in class
  • When absent, contact classmates to learn if anything important was missed
  • Email Mr. Cheely any time needed to get questions answered.

Additional Resources

Outline of Topics Covered

  • -AR, -ER and -IR verbs in the present tense
  • Forming negative and interrogative sentences
  • Irregular verbs in the present tense
  • Stem-changing verbs in the present tense
  • Nouns and Articles in the singular and plural
  • A and DE: contractions AL and DEL; using DE to express possession
  • Adjectives
  • SER and ESTAR; using TENER to express being and existence
  • Shortened forms of some adjectives
  • Demonstrative adjectives
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Numbers from 0 to 1999
  • Days, Months, Dates, Seasons
  • Clock time
  • -AR, -ER and -IR in the Preterit Tense
  • Irregular verbs in the Preterit Tense
  • Prepositional and Personal “a”
  • Direct object pronouns referring to things and persons
  • Indirect object pronouns
  • The object pronouns
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • Pronouns to go with prepositions
  • An introduction to the Future and Imperfect Tenses
  • Vocabulary Lists include:
    • Common colloquial phrases
    • School, house, family, friends, neighbors
    • Occupations, Greetings, Expressions of Courtesy
    • The city or Town
    • Parts of the Body; Clothing
    • Foods and Utensils
    • Amusements and Pastimes