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Introduction to Spanish studies (beginners)

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Learn to speak and understand Spanish in a variety of practical situations, and explore life in Spanish-speaking countries. This introductory OU level 1 module is designed to develop the skills needed to speak and understand simple Spanish in everyday contexts like work, family life, sports, travel, as well as exploring the geography and history of Spanish-speaking cultures through topics relevant to adult learners. Study resources include printed books and a dedicated website with a variety of online activities which support independent learning. Together with your tutor and fellow learners, the resources will give you language skills and a real feel for Spanish-speaking countries and communities.

What you will study

Throughout this module, you will learn about concepts, skills and strategies required to learn Spanish successfully. After an introduction to learning Spanish, six thematic units will present new language in spoken and written form, invite you to collaborate and communicate in Spanish, and revise and consolidate what you have learned.

In each unit, you will learn new language content covering levels A1 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The six units include:

  • Unit 1: How to meet and greet someone in Spanish, how to talk about yourself, your job, your house and your friends and family members.
  • Unit 2: Describe your daily activities, including work, travelling and holidays.
  • Unit 3: How to speak about events in the past, and celebrations like Christmas traditions at various places of the Spanish-speaking world. You will also learn how to speak about health-related issues and accidents in Spanish.
  • Unit 4: Learning all about shopping and food in Spanish - who wouldn’t like to try a few tapas or have a nice paella?
  • Unit 5: The geography of the Spanish-speaking world. We will take you virtually to the picturesque mountains and valleys of Chile to discover new topics, including the weather and climate, landmarks and famous tourist destinations.
  • Unit 6: Learning to talk about famous people and events in the past.

In addition to language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking in Spanish), you will broaden your cultural knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world, you will develop intercultural communication competence, translation skills through various text types. You will also develop your academic skills, critical thinking and digital literacy all of which enhance your employability skills. Up-to-date technology, such as machine translation and online communication tools, is also discussed and critically evaluated.

We appreciate the diversity of learners and acknowledge that not every topic might be of interest to you. From the beginning, you will be encouraged to select appropriate elements of the course and focus on areas you need to develop, including a wide range of skills for communicating in a second language environment.

Entry requirements

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.

No prior knowledge of Spanish is required to study this module.

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

Preparatory work

As part of the module, there will be induction sessions to help you familiarise yourself with the OU materials, websites and terminology.

What's included

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

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • access to forums where you can communicate with your fellow students.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

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. 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.

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.

Tutor-marked assessments test your writing and speaking skills. Your listening and reading skills, as well as knowledge of language structures, will be tested by computer-marked assignments on the module website.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L106 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

Introduction to Spanish studies (beginners) (L106) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2032.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)