Spanish Through Film (SPA4222.01)

Jonathan Pitcher

Students with burgeoning linguistic skills will learn the language through an immersion in Latin American and Spanish film in the second half of this full-year introduction to the Spanish-speaking world. While there will be some discussion of more common tactics such as stylistic nuances, script-writing, acting, dubbing, and directors’ biographies, it is expected that we will continue to develop sufficient linguistic ability to focus on cinematographic and social movements, thus treating the films as ideologemes, representations of political import. The paraphernalia associated with mastering a foreign language – explicit grammar sessions, vocabulary, oral and aural practice, text – will be on offer, but it will generally be student-driven, servicing the content, corroborating the hope that in confronting our own preconceived notions of the Spanish-speaking world we will simultaneously debunk those regarding how a language is taught. Students will therefore learn to speak, listen, read and write in increasingly meaningful scenarios. Conducted predominantly in Spanish.


Learning Outcomes:
Novice Level Expectations:

Linguistic Goals:
develop familiarity with and partial control of the phonetic system
develop control of basic structures
develop vocabulary in discrete areas/limited topics
develop sentence-level discourse
develop abilities to listen, speak, read, write about limited topics
develop familiarity with limited complex structures
develop strategies for interpersonal discourse

Cognitive Goals:
recognize cultural products and practices
develop awareness of different registers
identify essential information from texts
use extra-linguistic clues to identify context
infer vocabulary, grammar and content through context
make linguistic and cultural observations
describe familiar and concrete situations
express preferences and feelings
collect data on familiar and concrete subjects

Research Skills:
ask questions
identify main ideas from films/texts (written and oral)
express main ideas with supporting examples
express opinions
make a claim



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: 1 term of Spanish at Bennington, or permission of the instructor. Proficiency level to be assessed by the instructor. Please contact Jonathan at jpitcher@bennington.edu by November 12.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/W/Th 8:30AM - 9:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency: Once a year

Categories: All courses , Spanish , Fully In-Person
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