Conducted entirely in Spanish, this conversation course has three principal aims: improve students’ fluency and comprehension in the target language, foster student-led discussion of current Spanish language topics (podcasts, blogs, film, news, sports, and entertainment, etc.) from around the world, and significantly reduce students’ second language accent through a series of short but highly targeted “pronunciation clinics”.
In-class discussions and oral presentations will provide students with the opportunity to practice intermediate-level conversational Spanish. The subject matter covered in the course will relate to Spanish culture, current events, and our ports of call. There will also be a limited focus on writing skills in Spanish through the development of a voyage-long journal.
To maximize the integration of the Semester at Sea experience into this Spanish conversation course, we will have a task-oriented class every time the class meets after the ship has left a port of call. On such occasions, the entire class period will be dedicated to students’ experience in the last destination. Students will be asked to document their on-land experiences with a series of photos and video clips, which they will then contextualize verbally in class to fellow students. At the end of the semester, students will demonstrate oral communication skills at the intermediate level (according to ACTFL proficiency levels).
The course is taught in Spanish. Students minoring or majoring in Spanish are highly encouraged to take this course.
Field WorkCountry: Spain
Date: October 1, 2019
Cádiz is an ancient port city in the Andalucia region of southwestern Spain. The home of the Spanish Navy, the port boomed in the 16th-century as a base for exploration and trade. It has more than 100 watchtowers, including the iconic Torre Tavira, which was traditionally used for spotting ships. On the waterfront is the domed, 18th-century Cádiz Cathedral, featuring baroque and neoclassical elements.
We will visit the old center with our guide to see highlights such as Cádiz Cathedral and La Viña, the fishing district and home of Cádiz’s carnival. Along the way, we will stop to visit the 18th-cent. Tavira Tower where a camera projects live panoramas of the city.
After lunch, we will take a bus to go to palm-filled Jerez, 30 min. away, to visit one of its historical sherry bodegas. There, we will meet our winemaker host and tour the grounds. We will learn how to make sherry wine. We will see wooden casks in the cellars and taste a delectable selection of sweet and dry varieties. Next, we will visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, the spiritual home of doma vaquera and classical dressage. We will watch a 1 hour show where the purebred horses and costumed riders perform a precision equestrian ballet.
Students will write a field class paper with a reflection of their experience in Cádiz and Jerez. They also will prepare a short oral report in Spanish featuring photos from the two sites. All activities will be held in Spanish.
1. Practice the Spanish learned up to this point.
2. Ask and answer questions in the target language.
3. Learn new vocabulary related to flora and fauna.
4. Practice language skills: listening, speaking and reading.
5. Follow directions from the ranger in Spanish.
6. Immersion within the language and the culture.
7. Explore a new place in a playful manner and only in the target language.