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A buen puerto: advanced Spanish

This module follows on from Viento en popa: upper intermediate Spanish (L204). It continues to develop your knowledge and understanding of the society and culture of Spain and Latin America and to extend the practical skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The study resources include online authentic audio and video, comprising interviews and documentaries, and illustrated printed materials. You will also develop your critical, analytical and intercultural skills. The module is structured around six themes, which give a broad introduction to different aspects of society and culture in Spanish-speaking countries.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

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
3 10 6
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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What you will study

Most of the materials for this module are delivered online via the module website, and you will spend a considerable amount of time carrying out interactive online activities.

Each of the six module themes is studied over five weeks. There are online activities through the module website – including listening and speaking exercises – two printed module books and videos on DVD for each theme. A range of online activities on the website gives you the opportunity to access further authentic material and develop your ICT and communication skills.

The themes in detail are:

  • Culturas: Multicultural origin and identity; religion and society; immigration and exile; music and dance as an expression of identity
  • Arte: Arts and crafts; the social function of art; music as a means of protest; cinema and society
  • Lenguas: Language and politics in Spain; languages in Spanish America; Spanish in the USA; language and change
  • Ciencia: Sciences old and new; the scientific method; from inventions to products; science in the Hispanic world
  • Mercados: The world of work in the Hispanic context; trading; the global world: prosperity or poverty?; culture, identity and the global village
  • Medioambiente: National parks and their conservation; tourism and the environment; sustainable development. 

The module uses a wide range of mixed media that has been selected to increase your knowledge of the themes and develop your confidence in the four language skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking). You will also progressively develop your analytical skills leading up to a small scale project at the end of the module. The structure of the material allows you to evaluate your progress regularly and provide strategies to improve your language and general learning skills. The materials are interactive and encourage your participation.

This module is designed to enable you to achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level C1 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

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. 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. 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. The online tutorials give you practice in using the conferencing tool used for your end-of-module speaking test. How tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module in your area.

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 written part of the end-of module assessment (EMA) must also be submitted online. The EMA includes a speaking test which is also carried out online.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in October 2015. We then 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:

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

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


This is an OU level 3 module for students who have successfully completed Viento en popa: upper intermediate Spanish (L204) or who have an equivalent knowledge of Spanish. 

If you have not studied a language with The Open University before or you have any doubt about the standard of your Spanish, you are strongly advised to ask your regional or national centre about looking at reference copies of the modules. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the modules, 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 Viento en popa: upper intermediate Spanish (L204); watching and listening to the L204 audio and video materials; listening to Spanish radio broadcasts; accessing authentic resources online; borrowing Spanish books and films from the local library; or reading a Spanish newspaper. Anything you can do to keep practising your Spanish will be helpful. 


Start End England fee Register
03 Oct 2015 Jun 2016 £2700.00

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 2019.

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 28/07/2015.

What's included

Books, DVD and a dedicated module website which will be the focal point of your study, with access to a range of electronic tools including real-time conferencing and asynchronous tools such as forums.

You will need

A headset with a microphone and earphones to take part in online tutorials, complete the speaking activities on the module website, record spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and to take part in the online speaking test at the end of the module. 

To be able to play DVD-video.

Please also check the Computer 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

  • Butt, J. & Benjamin, C. A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish (5th edn) Routledge £25.99 - ISBN 9781444137699

Note: In addition to the above set book students also need access to a good bilingual dictionary, and also a monolingual dictionary such as either: Diccionario Esencial de la Lengua Española, ISBN 9788467023145, £39.95; or Diccionario Salamanca Español para Extranjeros, ISBN 9788493453749, £39.99.

If you have a disability

Please note that this module makes substantial use of audio and visual materials. Full transcripts of audio and video materials are provided. The written and spoken elements you will be asked to complete as part of your assessment may use audio and possibly visual stimuli. The printed study materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Comb-bound versions of the written study materials can be provided on request. You are advised to discuss your individual requirements with a regional adviser before you register.

You’ll need to make extensive use of a personal computer throughout the module as most of the study materials are delivered online. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in operating a computer or the internet and have any concerns about accessing this type of material, you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs. 

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.