Spanish As A Second Language

OVERVIEW | COURSE OFFERING | PLACEMENT | RESOURCES AND MATERIALS
EVENTS
| CONTACT INFORMATION

Overview

Group picture in the LAC

The Spanish as a Second Language learners are those students with no previous background or formal education in Spanish. As part of the core curriculum UH requires 6 credits in a foreign language which can be fulfilled in the Spanish Program.

The MAIN GOAL of this Program is to develop communicative skills through materials and activities specifically designed for Spanish as a Second Language learners. Classroom activities focus on developing oral, listening, reading and writing abilities in a variety of formal and informal contexts. In addition, each course incorporates specific materials and projects to develop greater familiarity with Hispanic cultures around the world and with the community I Houston.

The Program classes implement current research in Second-Language Acquisition, and Language Learning methodologies based on the general Communicative Approach framework promoted by ACTFL and partner institutions. The courses offered in the Program include Elementary and Intermediated Spanish. Students who successfully complete the Intermediated Level in this program fulfill the foreign language requirement and are encouraged to enroll in more advanced classes. The Hispanic Department offers a variety of undergraduate-level classes that includes linguistics, literature and cultural topics. For more information on Spanish Minor and Major visit the Spanish Undergraduate Program.

In order to enroll in any of the classes offered students must take the Spanish Placement Test for non- native speakers

Director of the Spanish as a Second Language Program
Alejandra Balestra, Ph.D.
Office: 449 AH
Phone: 743 713-9914
Email: abalestr@central.uh.edu

Course Offering

The following courses are taught on Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. (Before registration please check the semester course listing). Enrollment is subject to Placement

Level Course Description
Elementary 1501

It is a basic language class designed for students who enter with no previous knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (present tenses, verbs ser, estar, tener, haber, present progressive, subject and direct object pronouns, nominal agreement) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities. 
Prerequisites: Placement Exam

1502

It is a basic language class designed for students who enter with some knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (past tenses, gustar, commands, direct and indirect pronouns, comparatives, por-para and introduction to subjunctive) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities.
Prerequisites: 1501 or Placement Exam

1505

It is an intensive language class designed for students with some formal background in Spanish, mostly in High School. This is a fast paced course not suitable for all students. Emphasis on basic grammar structures (simple and progressive present and past tenses, verbs ser, estar, tener, haber, gustar, adjectives and nouns agreement,  commands, direct  and indirect object pronouns, comparatives, por-para, future tense, present subjunctive) and core vocabulary. Conversation on familiar topics, reading and writing activities. 
Prerequisites: Two or more years of High School Spanish AND  Placement Exam

     
Intermediate 2301

It is the first intermediate language class designed for students who enter with good basic knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic-to-intermediate  grammar structures (uses of present,  past, and compound tenses, verbs similar to gustar, commands, direct  and indirect pronouns usage, reflexive verbs,  present subjunctive, impersonal se). Expansion of core vocabulary; conversation on general topics, reading and writing activities. 
Prerequisites: 1502, 1505 or Placement Exam

2302

It is the second intermediate language class designed for students who enter with good basic knowledge of Spanish. Emphasis on basic-to-intermediate grammar structures (future and conditional tenses,  present and past subjunctive, relative and other pronouns). Expansion of core vocabulary. Conversation on general topics, reading and writing activities. 

Prerequisites: 2301 or Placement Exam

Placement - Spanish Placement Test for Non Heritage Students (Non-Credit)

Important Note: Students cannot enroll in any Spanish Language Program (Second Language or Heritage Language) if they have not taken the Placement Exam required in each track. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in being dropped from the class.

Test-takers information

  • Students must present I.D. at test time
  • Register online at https://testing.las.uh.edu/
  • A $10.00 payment is required for administering test.

Place and dates:

  • Monday through Saturday, 8:30am to 3:30pm. (No reservation required; walk-ins are welcome)
  • Duration: One hour
  • Location: University Testing Services Center. Student Services Building, Second Floor.

Results:

  • Results are available immediately
  • Students receive a placement form for their records.
  • Exam results will expire after thirteen months from the day that the exam was taken.
  • The exam can only be re-taken after 6 months from the day that the exam was taken for the first time.

Resources and Materials (updated Spring 2014)

Course textbooks

COURSE

TEXTBOOK

PUBLISHER

 

SPAN 1501 & 1502 

Puntos de Partida, 9th Ed. McGraw-Hill Puntos de Partida

SPAN 1505

Puentes, 6th Ed.

Cengage

Puentes Book Cover

 

 

 

SPAN 2301 & 2302

Más. Español Intermedio, 2nd Ed.

 

 

McGraw-Hill

Mas 2nd Ed

Scholarships

General Resources

Events

The Spanish Language Program hosts a series of events through the year; events focus on cultural topics and promote understanding and appreciation of the Hispanic Cultures around the world. 

In addition, each course section participates in different events organized by instructors; these events include museums visits, dining at a Hispanic restaurant, food fairs and dance lessons.

Discovery language - picture 1

Discovery language - picture 1

Discovery Languages at UH.

February is Discovery Languages Month, and the Spanish Program co-host this event with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages seeking to showcase Language Programs at UH and promote Foreign Language learning.

Día de los Muertos.

Dia de los muertos

Following the traditional celebration of Day of the Death, the Spanish Program works with students and instructors to design, build and showcase several altars honoring departed ones. Each altar includes offerings from all participants which makes the altars a community work as well as a relevant cultural practice.

Hispanic Studies Program Awards Ceremony.

Three students during the awards ceremony

Each year, the Spanish Program recognizes Excellence in Teaching and presents three different awards to Spanish instructors who have exceled in their teaching labor: the “Emma Lopez Teaching Excellence Award for Lecturers”, the “Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Fellows” and the “Teaching Excellence Award for Teaching Assistants”.

Contact information

Director of the Spanish as a Second Language Program
Alejandra Balestra, Ph.D.
Office: 449 AH
Phone: 743 713-9914
Email: abalestr@central.uh.edu

Debra Frazier
Hispanic Studies Academic Advisor
416 Agnes Arnold Hall
Phone: (713) 743-3059
Fax: (713) 743-0935
E-mail: dfrazier@uh.edu