Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Students are placed into one of several language levels depending on the results of a placement test. Each level has three required classes.
Required Beginning Spanish Courses (0-1 semesters of Spanish)
Beginning Spanish Grammar and Syntax
In this course, students acquire the basic concepts of grammar, structure, and syntax to build a strong and broad foundation for further linguistic development. Students apply these skills to enhance comprehension of a variety of simple texts in Spanish. Courses are taught by experienced dynamic and energetic native instructors, and the teaching methodology draws from modern communicative approaches. Contact hours: 60.
Beginning Oral Communication in Spanish
This course emphasizes what students can do with the language, rather than what they know about the language. Specifically, students develop oral proficiency and listening comprehension skills through a variety of interactive and communicative approaches. Vocabulary development and pronunciation practice are important components of the course. Contact hours: 45.
Beginning Written Expression in Spanish
In this course, students acquire the basic concepts of written expression to build a strong and broad foundation for further linguistic development. Students apply this skill to reading and writing a variety of simple texts in Spanish. Contact hours: 45.
Required Intermediate Courses (2-3 semesters of Spanish)
Intermediate Spanish Grammar and Syntax
This language course covers the main grammatical aspects to give students the skills they need to activate the knowledge they have acquired in beginning language courses. The purpose of the course is to review the Spanish grammar and structures so that students are prepared for more advanced courses. Cultural fieldwork and practice with the homestay family are also integral components of the course and complement language learning. Some interactive activities and simulations take place in the local community. Contact hours: 60.
Intermediate Oral Communication in Spanish
This course is designed to help students achieve proficiency in listening comprehension and oral communication. Students become capable of communicating in a variety of registers appropriate for different social settings and understand the cultural rules of conversation in Spain. The goals of this course also include correcting the phonological and intonation errors frequently committed by English speakers who are learning Spanish. Contact hours: 45 hours.
Intermediate Spanish Language: Reading and Writing Through Spanish Gastronomy
This reading and writing course presents an overview of the characteristics of the Mediterranean diet and its importance in Spanish lifestyle. Through a diverse set of readings students will learn about Spanish geography and topography and its effects on the Mediterranean gastronomy and the wine industry in Spain. Through written assignments and article productions students will also analyze important cultural aspects such as Spanish traditions, and festivities and their relation to specific Spanish foods and dishes. Contact hours: 45
Required Pre-Advanced Courses (3-4 semesters of Spanish)
Pre-Advanced Spanish Grammar
This is a course designed to move students beyond the intermediate level toward a more advanced command of the language with a focus on appropriate communication for carrying out academic and professional interactions. With those goals in mind, the course activities focus on helping students solidify and deepen interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills. Contact hours: 45.
Pre-Advanced Conversational Spanish
This course provides students with intensive practice in structured and spontaneous conversation in Spanish. Emphasis is placed on helping the student become more fluent in responding to spoken Spanish and in initiating conversations with Spanish speakers. Students also learn how to handle vocabulary deficits. Vocabulary targets student needs. Contact hours: 60.
Pre-Advanced Spanish Language: Reading and Writing through Spanish Cinema
In this reading and writing course students are asked to watch, analyze, and read critiques about some of contemporary Spanish cinema’s most emblematic films. Through reading assignments students acquire knowledge of the changes that Spanish society has recently experienced, contrasting them with classic stereotypes of the culture, and comparing to those portrayed in other U.S. films. Topics such as machismo, eroticism, gender roles, religion, terrorism, and violence are discussed while students learn about new movements in contemporary Spanish cinema. The aim of this course is to not only teach students how to analyze a film, but to also have them produce written assignments where they explore and examine the intercultural and socio-historical background behind Spanish movies. Contact hours: 45.
Required Advanced Courses (5 or more semesters of Spanish)
Advanced Spanish Grammar
This course is designed to meet the needs of students who, having reached the advanced level of Spanish and need to further their skills in all four competences: listening comprehension, oral production, reading comprehension, and writing production. The course makes use of a variety of contemporary registers, from the very colloquial to the more stylish ones. Special attention is given to the more complex structures used in everyday life in real Spanish. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the necessary tools to produce statements in any of the varieties of language that a native speaker uses in particular social contexts. Contact hours: 45.
Advanced Conversational Spanish
This course is specifically designed to help advanced students develop broader oral communicative competence. Students focus on the different language registers in order to understand and produce statements in any of the varieties of language that a speaker uses in particular social contexts. Contact hours: 60.
Advanced Spanish Language: Reading and Writing Through Spanish Popular Culture
This reading and writing course is designed to gain a better knowledge of Spain through a deep analysis of its popular culture, very well known by its native people, but sometimes difficult to understand by foreign students. The course explores present Spain by studying different aspects of the popular culture such as music, cinema, literature, comics, television, commercials, press, and entertainment. A triple approach is followed: descriptive, analytic, and comparative with the U.S. All topics are illustrated with appropriate reading and audiovisual materials. Students in this class are required to produce a set of written articles based on their analysis and their participation in local excursions to social and cultural emblematic locations in Alicante. Contact hours: 45.