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En rumbo: intermediate Spanish

En rumbo: intermediate Spanish follows on from Portales: beginners’ Spanish (L194). It builds on your existing Spanish knowledge and teaches more advanced language in the context of Spanish and Latin American society and culture. Study resources – including printed materials and online activities – are carefully designed to develop the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. They provide clear learning objectives, guidance and model answers. This key introductory OU level 1 module also teaches good study skills and language-learning strategies.

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OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module code
Study level
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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Student Reviews

The course layout is different to Portales and instead of audio CDs accompanying the books, there are a DVD and...
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I did this course as part of the Certificate in Spanish, having completed the more basic Portales course. I couldn't...
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We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the materials and the TMAs. It's true that it is hard to...
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What you will study

En rumbo: intermediate Spanish will develop your confidence in understanding, speaking, reading and writing Spanish, whether you want to improve your Spanish for personal or for vocational reasons. It offers insights into many aspects of everyday life in modern Spanish-speaking societies, so you’ll also gain a better understanding of issues that concern Spanish-speaking people.

The module consists of:

  • A website – that helps you to navigate through the module and pace your study as well as offering you the opportunity to interact with other students both in your own tutor group and across the module. It includes video and audio clips recorded in Spain (Madrid, Valladolid, Galicia) and Latin America (Mexico, Peru and Cuba) and a wide range of interactive language activities to develop your speaking and listening skills.
  • A study guide – that helps you to understand how the different elements of the module fit together. 
  • Three books – that contain a wide range of language-learning activities based on written texts to develop your understanding of grammar and linguistic structures and develop your reading and writing skills. 
  • A DVD – that allows you to watch the video clips away from a PC.  

The material covers themes such as talking about yourself, health and nature, history, traditions and personal histories. There are model answers (Claves) to all the tasks. 

En rumbo is ideal preparation for Viento en popa: upper intermediate Spanish (L204).

This module is designed to enable you to achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level B1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You will have developed your knowledge and understanding of the language as well as an awareness of cultural diversity in Spanish speaking countries which form a key part of the learning outcomes for studying at this level. By the end of the module you will have developed key OU level 1 undergraduate study skills such as learning to work independently and using strategies which enable you to solve problems and analyse data.

Professional recognition

The Chartered Institute of Marketing now recognises this module under their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written and spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You can also ask your tutor for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. This module usually includes a mix of face-to-face and online tutorials. Please note that depending on where you live, the mix will vary and in some places face-to-face tuition may be replaced by telephone conferencing. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day schools. Although you are not obliged to attend any of these, you are strongly encouraged to take part as they  will provide you with plenty of opportunities to speak and listen to Spanish. How and where tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module. 

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). 

The TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a compulsory speaking test which will be carried out online. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the module.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2015. We expect it to be available once a year.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to modules at OU level 2.

En rumbo requires a working knowledge of Spanish. It is ideal for students who have successfully completed Portales: beginners’ Spanish (L194), or who have reached a similar linguistic standard. Your knowledge need not be formal. It could come from adult education classes, time spent in Spanish-speaking countries, regular contact with Spanish-speaking people or other sources. You should be able to understand the gist of what native speakers say and to hold a basic conversation in Spanish in everyday situations such as talking about yourself, your family and where you’re from; booking a hotel; or asking for directions. Go to our Language diagnostics website to see some sample materials.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

If you have time before the module begins, we suggest that you continue to use your Spanish in any way you can. You could do this by: redoing some of the activities in Portales: beginners’ Spanish (L194) (books and audio CDs); using online resources; or watching some films in Spanish. Anything you can do to keep practising your Spanish will be helpful. L194 materials are either available to buy from The Open University Worldwide website or for viewing at your regional or national centre.


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Jun 2016 £1350.00

Registration closes 10/09/15 (places subject to availability)


You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2016.

Additional Costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time that is convenient to you.

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

This information was provided on 02/08/2015.

What's included

A DVD-video, books and as a registered language student you have access to an online forum on the module website where you can communicate with fellow students.

You will need

You will need a headset with a microphone and headphones to take part in online tutorials, record spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and complete speaking activities. You will also need a DVD player or DVD drive on your computer to play the DVD-video.

Your En rumbo study materials will refer to The Oxford Spanish Dictionary and ¡Exacto! A practical guide to Spanish grammar; however, you could use any other dictionaries or Spanish grammar.

Please also see the Computing requirements and Assessment sections.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.

We recommend either of the following:

  • Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
  • Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.

A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities on your mobile device.

We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9 and above
  • Apple Safari 7 and above
  • Google Chrome 31 and above
  • Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.

Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.

See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Ortega, A., et al. !Exacto! A Practical Guide to Spanish Grammar (2nd edn) Routledge £21.99 - ISBN 9780340984499
  • Oxford Spanish Dictionary (4th edn) Oxford University Press £35.00 - ISBN 9780199543403

If you have a disability

Please note that this module makes substantial use of audio and visual materials. Full transcripts of the audio and visual materials are provided except for those used for assessment purposes. The written and spoken elements you will be asked to complete as part of your assessment use audio and possibly visual stimuli. Comb-bound versions of the written study materials can also be provided on request. Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

You’ll need to make extensive use of a personal computer and will need to access the module website on a regular basis. You will also be offered tutorials via an online conferencing system. 

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.