Spanish Language (MLS3101)

StaffMs Isabel Moros - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesMLS 2001 or equivalent
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To enhance and develop further skills in the translation of a variety of texts from and into the target language. To improve writing skills abilities in the target language through a series of much focused styles of writing, including journalistic texts such as editorials and reports, essays, speeches and short stories. To revise grammatical structures and to expand the range of expression including idiomatic usage. The oral section is designed to develop oral and aural skills to an advanced level. The values of grammatical accuracy are strongly emphasized, without prejudice to individual expression. On completion of the course, the students should have achieved levels C1/ C2 of the Common European Framework of reference for languages.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Apply knowledge of a broad range of grammatical features of the target language (including some complex and advanced structures) to a range of linguistic exercises.
  • 2. Tackle complex translation passages into and out of the target language, based on a wide range of topics and written in a variety of styles.
  • 3. Argue a case in written Spanish in answer to challenging questions on a broad range of abstract and contemporary issues.
  • 4. Develop the necessary skills to write short stories in the target language including the development of plot and characters.
  • 5. Understand the main differences between journalistic styles and be able to compose leading articles and interviews.
  • 6. Discuss complex topical and abstract issues in an appropriate register of oral Spanish, using a broad range of vocabulary and idiom.
  • 7. Give a structured oral presentation in the target language on an independently researched topic of his/her choice addressed to a small group of listeners, and engage in debate on the issues raised by the presentation.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 8. Use bilingual and standard monolingual dictionaries to research conventions of usage, find synonyms and antonyms, and explore nuances of meaning.
  • 9. Understand and use in class discussion a broad range of linguistic terminology, using this terminology to a certain extent to conceptualize his/her mistakes in the target language and to identify strategies for improving his/her linguistic accuracy.
  • 10. Engage critically with the Spanish language media (printed and electronic, including television and radio), using it as a resource for independent research.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 11. Communicate information and arguments of some complexity in the target language.
  • 12. Advance his/her linguistic competence independently, with limited guidance (with potential for learning new languages independently in the future).

Syllabus plan

* Eleven weeks of translation skills from Spanish into English and eleven weeks of translation skills from English into Spanish.

* Twenty two weeks of exploring and developing different styles of writing in Spanish covering essay writing, leading comments and other journalistic forms, speeches and creative writing.

* Weekly small group discussions, according to topics suggested by staff or presented by students related to current affairs in Spain, Latino America or of general interest.

* Revision of specific grammatical points regarding the use of prepositions, subordinate clauses and complex structures.

* Comprehensive study of the importance of the use of connectors in the written and oral expression in order to give more coherence to the discourse.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities11Translation from Spanish into English (Term 1). Guidance in translation using a variety of texts. Discussion of the possibilities of translation and correction of the work done.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities11Translation from English into Spanish (Term 2). Guidance in translation using a variety of texts and genres. Discussion of the difficulties that can emerge from translating into the target language.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Writing skills. Exploration of different genres and style of writing through individual, pair and group work.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Oral classes. Specific tasks and topics for discussion based on stimuli from the Spanish and Latino American printed and audiovisual media.
Guided independent study234Independent study and preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Translation class test1 hour1, 2, 9, 12Written and oral feedback
Prose Class Test1 hour1, 2, 9, 12Written and oral feedback
Regular assignments in translation, prose and writing skills2 hours work outside class each week (5 translations, 4 individual pieces of writing skills and two group pieces)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12Marked work and reviewed in class
Oral presentations and discussionsn/a1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12Oral and written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written examination (Summer)502 hours1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8Generic written feedback
Oral examination2515 minutes1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12Individual written feedback
Written Examination (winter)251 Hour1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8Generic written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written examinationWritten examination1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 12August referral/deferral period
Oral examinationOral examination1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12August referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

It follows the same format as with the January or May exam both for the written and the oral component.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Ejercicios de léxico (Nivel superior). Pablo Martínez Menéndez. Editorial Anaya 2001
  • Gramática y léxico del español. Josefa Martín García. Editorial Anaya 2001
  • Construcción e interpretación de discursos y enunciados: Los marcadores. Manuel Martí.Editorial Edinumen 2003
  • Construcción e interpretación de oraciones: Los conectores oracionales. Manuel Martí andMaría Jesús Torrens. Editorial Edinumen 2001
  • S Hervey, I Higgins, and L M Haywood Thinking Spanish Translation (Routledge, 1995).
  • J Butt and C Benjamin, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish Hodder Education 2004
  • Javier Muñoz-Basols, Marianne David and Olga Núñez Piñeiro, Speed up your Spanish. Strategies to avoid common errors. Routledge 2010

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an ELE page

Follow links to MLS 3101 and it is possible to access “enlaces de utilidad” (useful links) with access to online dictionaries, newspapers, magazines, television channels including the Cervantes television channel, and radio programmes, as well as access to the web page of the Cervantes institute: through which it is possible to access a very useful link called “El atril del traductor” with relevant information and examples of translations both into the target language and into English.

Also in addition, there will be a series of coursework booklets for translation and for the writing skills sections of the course. They will be used in conjunction with the other materials listed above as exercise practices in preparation for the exam at the end of the year. They are posted at the beginning of the academic year in ELE.

In addition to these, there will be materials posted regularly in ELE regarding the oral classes and the oral tutors will advice on the nature and content of those during the academic year.

Web based and electronic resources:

A very useful umbrella website:

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Regular showings of Spanish and Latino American films during the year and a very comprehensive audiovisual section in the library. Very good set of resources also for developing language skills at the Foreign Language Centre.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Spanish, written, oral