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Spanish studies 1 (intermediate)

This module takes you to an intermediate level of linguistic competence in Spanish, which is equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. You will develop your confidence in listening, reading, writing, speaking and interacting in Spanish, as well as your knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking societies and cultures. In addition, the module is designed to expand your academic, digital and employability skills in Spanish contexts. You will have the option to study most activities in a book or as interactive online activities on the module website. The website uses authentic online resources in support of independent and collaborative learning.

What you will study

This module is based around six themes: Leisure and culture; Geography; Work, employment and unemployment; History; Celebrations, customs and traditions; and Society. Through each theme, you will gradually develop your Spanish knowledge and skills by:

  • familiarising yourself with core vocabulary and grammar
  • learning about and reflecting on language, culture and intercultural communication skills
  • studying with audio recordings and videos featuring speakers of Spanish and their lives and environments 
  • engaging in a wide variety of speaking and interactive activities
  • practising direct translation to support your language learning 
  • working independently and in collaboration with others
  • reviewing and monitoring your progress using checklists, and reflective questions.

The study materials are carefully structured and graded, and provide ample opportunities to practise the language in realistic contexts.

Professional recognition

This module will develop your proficiency in Spanish to a level equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages.

Entry requirements

This is an OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning.

You require a working knowledge of Spanish to study this module, equivalent to A2 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages. It is ideal if you have successfully completed Portales: beginners’ Spanish (L194) or who have reached a similar linguistic standard. You do not need a formal qualification in the language, but may have acquired your knowledge in adult education classes, time spent in Spanish-speaking countries, regular contact with Spanish-speaking people or other sources. You should be able to understand basic written and spoken materials and to hold a basic conversation in Spanish in everyday situations such as talking about yourself; your family and where you are from; booking a hotel; or asking for directions.

To help decide if you have sufficient Spanish to take this module with confidence, use our self-assessment quiz. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

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, watching and listening to the audio materials in Portales: beginners’ Spanish (L194); reading a Spanish newspaper; using online resources; or watching some films in Spanish. Anything you can do to keep practising your Spanish will be helpful.

What's included

You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a module guide
  • a week-by-week study planner
  • interactive reading, writing, listening and speaking activities, including audio and video content
  • assessment details and submission section
  • access to forums where you can interact with your tutor and fellow students
  • online tutorial access.

You'll also be provided with three printed module books, each covering two blocks of study. The audio and video files needed can be downloaded from the website.

You will need

We recommend that you purchase a good bilingual dictionary. We will provide you with details of the latest editions of those that we consider will be most suitable, prior to you starting this module.

You’ll be asked to watch one Spanish-language film that you’ll need to source yourself. Suggestions for films and more information will be provided when you begin the module.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you'll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They'll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that's for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module and will provide plenty of opportunities to speak and listen to Spanish. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.

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

Assessment

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 iCMAs test your reading and listening skills. The TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. The final TMA is an interactive speaking assignment which will be carried out online. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the module.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L116 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Spanish studies 1 (intermediate) (L116) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2020.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No examination
No residential school

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