Here you will find the class syllabus. Please pay special attention to how your grade is distributed and what is required of you for successful completion of the course. Also, please note that the grading scale for the Modern Languages Department is different from that of other departments at the college.

Spanish 101

MWF 1:00-1:50, T 1:30-2:20 (Kauke 035)

Instructor: Katie DiDomenico

E-mail: kdidomenico@wooster.edu

Office: Kauke 209

Office Hours: MWF 11-1 (or by appointment)



1. ¡Claro que sí! eSAM Access Card, 7th edition (required) – this will give you access to the online textbook and workbook. If you wish to have a paper copy of the textbook, it is available at the Bookstore or online.

Learning Objective: To gain proficiency in reading, speaking, writing, and listening with an emphasis on grammar, vocabulary, and everyday communication.

Description: Beginning Spanish 101 takes a hands-on approach to language acquisition. In class, students participate in activities structured around comprehension (reading and listening) and communication (speaking and writing). As an immersion-based language course, students try to speak mostly Spanish during the entire class period and prepare for the day’s activities by carefully studying the pages assigned from the book and by completing the vocabulary, grammar, and listening exercises given as homework. Class time is devoted primarily to active practice. In order for this to be a rewarding experience for you, it is important to remain caught up and to devote ample time to study and review outside of class. The formula for success in this class does not include cramming. Languages take time to acquire.

Attendance: Regular attendance and participation are essential for success in this and any course taken at The College of Wooster. Therefore, daily class attendance is required. Absences due only to circumstances deemed acceptable by the College will be excused, and only with appropriate documentation. Moreover, any circumstances or conditions causing prolonged or habitual absences must be reported to the office of the Dean of Students before they will be excused

***If you let me know ahead of time that you will be missing class, I will excuse the absence provided it is for an acceptable reason. In such cases, the absence will not affect your participation grade. Additionally, I will allow you to turn in the homework the following class period and make up any missed quizzes.

***If the absence is unexcused and/or no notice is given, points will be deducted from your class participation grade and assignments will only be accepted for half-credit. Each student is allowed 6 total absences – excused or unexcused – (equivalent to 1.5 weeks worth of classes). After that, each additional absence will result in the reduction of 1% point from the student’s final grade. Furthermore, once you have accumulated 12 unexcused absences, you will receive an automatic F in the course. If absent, it is your responsibility to contact one of your classmates or myself in order to ascertain whether the assignment was altered in any way and what was discussed in class. Finally, please consult with me at the beginning of the semester if you know that your involvement in an official co-curricular activity will lead you to miss any class sessions during the semester. I reserve the right to not excuse an absence or series of absences for failure to confer with me well in advance.



Class Participation……………………………….…………………  20%

eSAM & Homework ….…………………………..……….………   20%

3 Chapter Tests (pruebas)……………………………………….. 30%

Vocab & Verb Quizzes ……….……..……………..….…………   10%

2 Charlas…….………………………………………….…………….   10%

Final Exam……………………………………..………………….      10%

Extra Credit Option …………………………………………….    +3%

Grading Scale:      

A = 100-96            A- = 95-93            B+ = 92-89

B = 88-85            B- = 84-83             C+ = 82-80

C = 79-73            C- = 72-70             D = 69-65

F = 64 and below


Participation: Participation includes your contribution—in Spanish—in individual and small group activities. You are expected to study all of the assigned grammar and vocabulary prior to the class meeting in which they will be implemented. Furthermore, you are expected to remain in the classroom and actively engaged with the material and the language for the entire fifty minutes. Lack of preparation, unsatisfactory participation, and/or speaking English persistently during activities will result in a severe reduction of points on your class participation evaluation.

***A participation grade from 0-10 will be assigned on a daily basis. Unexcused absences result in a 0 participation grade for that day.


Homework & eSAM: Homework will be assigned, collected and graded on a daily basis. All assignments should be done neatly and thoroughly. Any assignment turned in that is illegible or sloppy will not be considered for credit.

There are 3 possible locations for homework assignments:

Texto Actividades: This homework can be found in the textbook and will be collected the following day.

Hojas/Composiciones: Hojas are worksheets that you can find on the assignments list (“Programa de clases”) on the class website. Any compositions assigned will be discussed in class and will generally be one paragraph to one page in length. These worksheets and compositions will be collected on the day they are due.  Compositions must be typed and DOUBLE-SPACED with correct use of accent marks and Spanish characters. (A guide for producing Spanish accents and characters can be found on the class website). A first draft will be turned in on the day it is due. I will make corrections/suggestions and hand it back to you. You will then make any necessary changes and turn in a final polished version. Compositions must be turned in hard-copy; no email submissions will be accepted.

electronic Student Activities Manual (eSAM): This is the online workbook found atilrn.heinle.com. There are two sections to the eSAM. The first section is the Workbook (WB) which contains written grammar and vocabulary exercises. The second section is the Lab Manual (LM) which contains the listening exercises.

***Please note that all homework should be completed before the beginning of the class on the day it is due. Any late assignments will be counted for half credit unless the student has  provided a documented excuse beforehand.


Chapter Tests (Pruebas): You will take a series of announced tests that focus on review topics, vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information. Activities on the tests and exam will reflect those assigned for homework or completed in class. Tests will be given at the end of each chapter and will cover material studied in that chapter and in previous chapters. The goal of the tests and exam is to evaluate the students’ comprehension of class topics and ability to apply them to real-life contexts. The tests and exam will include both written and oral activities.


Vocabulary and Verb Quizzes: Routine review and careful study of all new vocabulary are critical to the sustained assimilation of a new language. The objective in giving vocabulary and verb quizzes is to measure how well you are preparing the assigned readings before coming to class as well as how effectively you are reviewing past materials. Vocabulary and verb quizzes will be given at the very beginning of class and will last a maximum of five minutes. Students who arrive late will not be given extra time or a make-up unless they advise me ahead of time that they will be absent or late that day.


Charlas: A Charla is an informal conversation covering topics discussed in class. All Charlas will be held in private in my office. For the first Charla, students will be paired with one another at random and carry out a conversation as if they are meeting one another for the first time. For the second Charla, students will be given a selection of possible scenarios and will devise a conversation or skit based on that scenario. The third Charla is a one-on-one private conversation between the student and instructor. Evaluation of the student’s performance during the Charlas is based on his/her ease of communication, pronunciation, correct usage of grammar, inclusion of appropriate vocabulary, and cohesiveness. During the Charlas, students should not be reading from a script. The Charla may be practiced beforehand or improvised.


Final Exam: The final exam is cumulative and may include an ample selection of material from the entire semester. Students are encouraged to make good use of old exams/quizzes, on-line activities, notes and classroom exercises to prepare. Every student must take the final exam on the scheduled date and time. Any student who needs to take the exam on a different date or time must petition the Dean of the Faculty for an exception.


Extra Credit Options: Students who would like to earn extra credit may select from three semester-long activities:

  1. Blog. Students may keep a blog on the class website and write in it on a weekly basis over the course of the semester. All entries should demonstrate a strong command of the grammar and vocabulary studied in the course. Each entry should be 5-10 sentences. A new entry will be due by the start of class on Monday of each week. You are free to choose your own topics but try to incorporate the vocabulary and grammar we are studying at that moment.
  2. Diario cultural. Students may keep a cultural journal about a Spanish-speaking country of their choice. Each week, students should write at least a 2 paragraph entry in their journal (this may be done in English or Spanish) and include at minimum one visual aid/photo. Journal entries must be submitted the Monday of each week. Topics for journal entries can include, but is not limited to, the food of the country, music, art, politics, social issues, educational system, geography, historical events, famous people, indigenous cultures/languages, tourism, etc. At the end of the semester, the student will have the opportunity to present what they have learned to the class. Your cultural journal must be turned in hard-copy; no email submissions will be accepted.
  3. Las noticias. Students may collect articles from the Spanish-speaking world and write a brief summary/response to each article. The articles chosen must be relevant to Hispanic society, art, culture, history, politics, etc. Please include a link the article and a typed 1-2 paragraph summary and personal response (in Spanish or English) to the article. The article and summary/response will be submitted the Monday of each week. Your summary/response must be turned in hard-copy; no email submissions will be accepted.

****Please note: Creativity and effort do count for these extra credit options. Maximum credit: +3% (added to final grade). If you plan on doing any of the extra credit options, please let me know by Friday of the second week of classes. Other opportunities for extra credit may be presented at various times throughout the semester.


Policy Regarding Conflicts with Academic Responsibilities:The College of Wooster is an academic institution and its fundamental purpose is to stimulate its students to reach the highest standard of intellectual achievement. As an academic institution with this purpose, the College expects students to give the highest priority to their academic responsibilities. When conflicts arise between academic commitments and complementary programs (including athletic, cultural, educational, and volunteer activities), students, faculty, staff, and administrators all share the responsibility of minimizing and resolving them.

As a student you have the responsibility to inform the faculty member of potential conflicts as soon as you are aware of them, and to discuss and work with the faculty member to identify alternative ways to fulfill your academic commitments without sacrificing the academic integrity and rigor of the course.

Academic Integrity at The College of Wooster: Members of The College of Wooster community are committed to the high standards of academic integrity and to this end have accepted a Code of Academic Integrity, which can be found online athttp://www.wooster.edu/policies/coai.pdf

As a student at The College of Wooster you are a part of this tradition and are expected to be familiar with the Code, to understand what constitutes academically dishonest behavior, and to avoid such behavior. Established violations of the code will result in appropriate punishment and is recognized as grounds for failure in the course.

You should cite your sources to avoid plagiarizing ideas and text.  Particular attention should be directed to the appropriate use of materials available on-line through the Internet. It is important that you read and understand the ethical use of information. Whether intentional or not, improper use of materials can be considered a violation of academic honesty.

Cheating in any of your academic work is a serious breach of the Code of Academic Integrity and is grounds for an F for the entire course.  Such violations include turning in another person’s work as your own, copying or paraphrasing from any source without proper citation, not contributing equally in a group project, submitting an assignment produced for a course to a second course without the authorization of all the instructors, fabricating excuses and lying in connection with your academic work. You will be held responsible for your actions. If you are unsure as to what is permissible, always consult your course instructor.

A note regarding online translators: Please refrain from using online translators such as Google Translate. It is obvious when a student has submitted writing that does not reflect their abilities or style. If you copy and paste English text into Google Translate and submit that as your work, I will consider it plagiarism whether or not the original text was your own phrasing. If you need assistance with vocabulary, please refer to online dictionaries such as WordReference. Keep in mind that a major part of learning a language involves making mistakes and correcting them. I do not expect your work to be perfect and you cannot learn the language if you submit work that has been translated for you.

If you have any questions about the code and what it prohibits please contact me.


1)    The structure of the course and its governing policies are designed to accomplish the proposed objective and assure the fair and equal treatment of the students as responsible adults. Your presence in the class is an indication that you understand and agree to the requirements of the class as stipulated in the syllabus.

2)    Cell phones and any communication devices including laptop computers must be turned off and out of sight at all times. No exceptions. I reserve the right to deduct points from your class participation grade if I see or hear your cell phone, computer etc. at all during the semester.

3)    You are expected to know and abide by the rules of the institution as described in the Scot’s Key and The Handbook of Selected College Policies (www.wooster.edu/policies).

4)    Departmental tutors are available if the need arises.

5)    The Learning Center (ext. 2595) offers services designed to help students improve their overall academic performance. Sessions are structured to promote principles of effective learning and academic management. Any student on campus may schedule sessions at the Learning Center.

6)    If you are a student with a documented disability, please register with Pam Rose, Director of the Learning Center. The Learning Center is located in the Rubbermaid Student Services Building (ext. 2595) and is the office that will assist you in developing a plan to address your academic needs.

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