Spanish & Portuguese Courses

Please see our Language Courses Waiting List and Special Permission Policy if a language course is closed.

**Please note that the syllabi provided below are not updated every semester** For the most current version, please contact the department**

Spanish Courses

0101 Elementary Spanish 1- 3 cr.

This course is designed to develop communicative proficiency through an integrated approach to the teaching of all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Grammatical structures, vocabulary, and readings are presented as tools for developing good communication skills. The course also aims to foster cultural awareness of the Spanish-speaking world.

Syllabus

0102 Elementary Spanish 2- 5 cr.

A continuation of Spanish 0101, the course builds on the skills acquired in the first course as students continue to develop their communicative language skills in Spanish.

Syllabus

0103 Intermediate Spanish 3 - 3 cr.

This course builds on the skills acquired during the elementary sequence (either Spanish 0001 and 0002 or Spanish 0015). It includes a functional review of the basic language structures and introduces even more complex structures.  The course has a strong cultural component.

Syllabus

0104 Intermediate Spanish 4 - 3 cr.

A continuation of Spanish 0103. Students continue to refine their language abilities and enhance their vocabulary. The course has a strong cultural component.

Syllabus

0115 Intensive Elementary Spanish - 5 cr.

This is a condensed version of the first two courses of the Spanish language program (Spanish 0101 and 0102) and it has been designed for students who have taken at least two years of high school Spanish or its equivalent.  Spanish 0115 follows a communicative approach:  from the first day of class you will interact in Spanish in a meaningful context with your instructor and classmates.  By the end of this course you will have a general knowledge of the grammar of the Spanish language and you will be able to communicate effectively in Spanish according to this level.

Syllabus

0120 Conversation - 3 cr.

The goal of this fifth-semester course is to enhance fluency and the development of oral proficiency in Spanish. Although the emphasis is on speaking and listening skills, reading and writing assignments are an important part of the syllabus. Certain grammar points are reviewed (ser/estar, preterite/imperfect, etc.), but communicative competence is not measured by grammatical competence alone. This course helps students to improve their fluency, pronunciation, and strategic competence such as paraphrasing skills, and increases their vocabulary through readings, films, digital recordings and other authentic materials.

Syllabus

0125 Grammar And Composition - 3 cr.

This course reviews Spanish grammar, and in addition, is designed to aid the students in vocabulary building, improving their knowledge of idiomatic usage, and their ability to translate from English to Spanish.

Syllabus

1250 Hispanic Civilization - 3 cr.

This course introduces students to the cultural history of the Hispanic World. Starting with the study of Pre-Colombian civilizations and the controversial politics of the Spanish Conquest we will discuss the conflicts involved in the transformation of Latin America. Through a broad variety of texts; chronicles, documentaries, films, fiction and novels, students will learn about the Spanish-speaking world and also explore the complex interactions implied in the process of Colonization, in the foundation of National identities, and in the creation of Cultural traditions. We will stress the importance that these social and political tensions have in order to understand the past but also we will analyze its impact in the present.

Syllabus

1055 Intro Hispanic Literature 1 (W) - 3 cr.

What is literature? What does the literary do? This course, conducted in Spanish, is designed to introduce students to the study of Hispanic literature, while the same time dealing with concepts which can be applied to all literature. We will analyze Hispanic literature understood in its broadest sense, touching upon significant works, genres, movements, and authors from Spain and Latin America. In addition, we will read several examples of literary theory, or writing about literature, in order to investigate the role or function of the literary within the Hispanic world. This course fulfills the Writing-Intensive requirement. What is literature? What does the literary do? This course, conducted in Spanish, is designed to introduce students to the study of Hispanic literature, while the same time dealing with concepts which can be applied to all literature. We will analyze Hispanic literature understood in its broadest sense, touching upon significant works, genres, movements, and authors from Spain and Latin America. In addition, we will read several examples of literary theory, or writing about literature, in order to investigate the role or function of the literary within the Hispanic world. This course fulfills the Writing-Intensive requirement.

Syllabus

0082 Latin America Today (IFN REG) - 3 cr.

This course is an introductory overview to contemporary Latin American cultures and social issues. In the course, students will analyze socio-cultural and political realities throughout this region through critical reading of texts, literature, film, videos, photography and media. Students will be exposed to issues regarding gender, race, poverty, dictatorships, and so on, and expected to engage in critical discussions. This class is taught in English.

1260 Overview Of Spanish Literature - 3 cr.

This course is designed to introduce students to the cultural history of the Spanish-Speaking Americas chronologically, from the Spanish conquest and colonization to the neoliberal period. Students will examine issues related to colonialism, identity, transculturation, violence, poverty, dictatorships, and race and gender, through the interdisciplinary analysis of literary texts, films, photography, paintings or songs. Students are expected to engage in critical discussions. This class is taught in Spanish.

Syllabus

1280 Overview of Latin American Literature - 3 cr.

This course provides a panoramic view of Latin American Literature from the colonial period to the present.  It is designed to (1) introduce Spanish majors to Latin American literary traditions in a variety of literary genres, and (2) develop students' reading, analytical and critical writing skills through a series of assignments. Organized as both a chronological and thematic survey, the class emphasizes cultural, social and political aspects of literary production. It will begin with the Cronistas de Indias and will read excerpts from the Baroque, Modernism, Realism, Naturalism, Vanguardism, The Boom and Post Boom authors.

Syllabus

1305 Spanish Applied Linguistics - 3 cr.

This course is for students who have already taken Spanish 0025 or the equivalent and wish to deepen their understanding of Spanish grammar. While the emphasis is on practical usage, theoretical aspects of the finer points of syntax will also be considered, including preterite/imperfect, ser/estar, indicative/subjunctive, etc. It is the intention of the instructor to run the class in a workshop type format rather than in a formal lecture style. In other words, students should complete their assignments before coming to class so that class time can be spent not only reviewing homework but also analyzing the concepts and applying them to translations, short writing tasks and other assignments. Because the text is written in Spanish, it may take a short period of adjustment to get used to understanding and using linguistic terms in Spanish. Students are expected to be able to conjugate verbs accurately in all tenses. The course will be taught entirely in Spanish.

1315 Spanish for Professional Communication - 3 cr.

This course will present a variety of topics related to business and careers throughout the Hispanic world and help students begin to develop their professional profile in Spanish. The main objective is to introduce students to the Hispanic professional environment through business and work-related terminology and usage, cultural practices at a formal environment, and professional communication. This class will be conducted in a seminar format, with a strong focus on conversation and writing. Students will also learn about the geographical, political, demographic and economic realities of Hispanic countries as they relate to business and professions. In order to develop intercultural competence, students will be invited to make connections and comparisons between the US and the Hispanic world. Moreover, students will engage with invited speakers and job interviewers from Latin America either through Skype or in person, and also with the local Hispanic and business communities in Pittsburgh through a service-learning project. At the end of the semester, students will design a promotional video (advertisement) about a product or professional service they want to target to the Hispanic world.

1323 Medical Spanish  - 3 cr.

This course is intended for translators in training who desire experience in translating the types of medical documents professional translators handle "on-the-job". Course emphasizes acquisition of practical translation skills, and introduces basic medical principles and terminology, as they are used in medical texts.

Syllabus

1403 Latin American Narrative - 3 cr.

14XX Upper-Level Content Course

To view the upper-level content courses please click here

1806 Seminar In Language & Culture - 3 cr.

 

Portuguese Courses

PORT 0101 Elementary Portuguese 1 - 3 cr.

Basic elements of Brazilian Portuguese emphasizing a development of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Grammatical structures, vocabulary and readings are presented as tools for developing good communication skills. Students will also be exposed to Brazilian culture. Audiovisual materials such as slides, music, and film, when possible, will be utilized in this course. Sometimes offered in the evening.

Syllabus

PORT 0102 Elementary Portuguese 2 - 3 cr.

The second half of this introductory course continues to develop skills in the speaking, listening, reading, and writing of Portuguese 0101, and pertinent aspects of Brazilian culture will also be presented. Audiovisual materials such as slides, music, and film, when possible, will also be utilized in this course.

PORT 0103 Intermediate Portuguese 3 - 3 cr.

A continuation of the development of conversational as well as reading and writing skills. There will be an emphasis on vocabulary expansion, correction of problematic structures, and introduction to some texts of Brazilian literature.

PORT 0104 Intermediate Portuguese 4 - 3 cr.

This course is a continuation of Portuguese 0103, a consolidation of speaking, reading and writing skills. There will be a review of troublesome or difficult structures and an emphasis on the reading of short stories and articles. Audio-visual materials such as slides, music and film, when possible, will also be utilized in this course. Students are required to write short compositions.

Syllabus

PORT 0120 Conversation - 3 cr.

A course designed to enhance fluency and the development of oral proficiency in Portuguese. Although the emphasis is on speaking and listening skills, reading and writing assignments are an important part of this class. Audiovisual materials such as newspaper articles, music, film, and other authentic materials will be utilized in this course in order to promote ample opportunities for conversation.

PORT 0125 Grammar and Composition - 3 cr.

(Graduate students should register for Port 1004 if they want to take this course.) This course is a continuation of Portuguese 0103, a consolidation of speaking, reading and writing skills. There will be a review of troublesome or difficult structures and an emphasis on the reading of short stories and articles. Audiovisual materials such as slides, music, and film, when possible, will also be utilized in this course. Students are required to write short compositions.

PORT 1010 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers - 3 cr.

Portuguese for Spanish Speakers is designed as an accelerated introductory course for native speakers of Spanish or English speakers with fluency in Spanish. It will be the equivalent of Port 0001/1001 and Port 0002/1002. This course concentrates on aspects of the Portuguese language that are most difficult for Spanish speakers, such as pronunciation, vocabulary, idioms, and grammatical structures particular to Portuguese.

PORT 1458 Cultures of the Portuguese Speaking World - 3 cr.

This course presents an overview of the contemporary cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world  It is especially designed for students with little to no previous knowledge of these geographical regions.  In the course, students will explore contemporary social realities throughout the Portuguese-speaking world (namely Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde) through the close and critical reading of texts, literature, film, short videos, podcast episodes, TV programs, among other mediums.  Students will be exposed to issues regarding gender, race, nation, sexuality, class, status, among other issues within a contemporary context.  Students are expected to engage in critical discussions with the materials and the varying perspectives of their peers.  The purpose of this course is not to merely passively digest content but to also think and express oneself critically in reaction to cultural representations both from the perspective of the respective nation and also from US perspectives.  It is also necessary to keep in mind that rather than attempting an exhaustive survey of the Portuguese-speaking world in its entirety, the course provides merely a glimpse into the cultural offerings of these diverse and vast geographical regions;  it is also an attempt to promote global and cultural understanding.  Hopefully, through this exposure, it is also a starting point for further exploration and research in studies of the Portuguese-speaking world and beyond.