Thursday, June 5, 2014

Important Update

This course used to be teacher-led and was originally intended for college level Spanish students. As of the spring of 2014, the course has been transformed into a free self-paced course. The course reviews important aspects of the curriculum of the first two years of Spanish while giving students a head start on third year courses. Every week deals with a new cultural topic and provides students with opportunities to engage in a variety of speaking, writing, reading and listening activities. Answer keys will be uploaded for most of the activities but students may ask a tutor or their teachers to give them feedback on the open-ended assignments such as essay or speaking activities. Teachers are also welcome to use the activities as assignments or repurpose them for in-class use. You're welcome to communicate with us about the course by leaving comments in this blog.

Thank you!

Edwige Simon and Courtney Fell

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

To the Current Refresher Students:

This post is intended to assist the current students of the ALTEC Spanish Refresher.  Go to "About" if you would like to read more about this site and the ALTEC Language Refreshers from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dearest refresher students,
Here is some general information about our Spanish Refresher Course.

I, Courtney Fell, am a Spanish lecturer at CU, and have done much work with technology and online language instruction. I am very excited about this refresher course and I hope that it is fun and dynamic for each of you and that it caters to a variety of learning styles.

Course design and Tips for Online Classes:
This course is a three-week long, non-credit, exclusively online, asynchronous, Spanish course. I am assuming that for most of you, this is you first time in a non-credit course and also the first time that many of you will be in an online course. Please be self-starters! And please complete all of the work! The material will not make as much sense to you if you skip steps or speed through the vocabulary or the grammar explanations without processing the material completely. Also, because the course is asynchronous, we will have no concrete meeting times, but as I explain below, you will have deadlines.

The blog and the course are divided up into three weeks and then further broken down into three days per week. Each week is further subdivided into days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) with assignments and activities for each day. 

We will begin at Semana 1- lunes. The tasks for each day are listed on the blog and include activities such as watching music videos, studying grammar tutorials, practicing vocabulary, posting on the Facebook group page, etc. Be sure that you do the tasks in order of appearance! Start at the top of the day and work your way down through the materials. I have included red text after each activity that will remind you what you need to have done to complete that step.

For each day (Monday, Wednesday, or Friday), I expect ALL of the work to be completed by 10pm on that day. So, the tasks listed under "Semana 1- lunes" should be completed by 10pm on the first Monday of the course. There are numerous tasks for each due date, so be sure to start early! I HIGHLY recommend that you stay ahead by reading through the tasks and beginning the work the day or weekend before.

We will be using Facebook as our discussion forum for the class. If you have concerns about using Facebook, remember that none of your personal privacy settings will change by joining our group. If you would like to adjust the privacy setting within your Facebook account, visit here for more information:

I am well aware that by using Facebook for a class, we are introducing a traditionally social tool into the academic environment. This is being done in MANY classrooms and for MANY courses. Please remember to be respectful and professional when leaving posts and comments on Facebook. You should pay attention to the tone of your post and when in doubt, be more formal/professional than less. Classroom etiquette applies to online courses as well. If at any time you are unsure if you are being clear in a post or question, clarify yourself with more text, en español, ¡claro!

As was explained in the initial information that you received before you enrolled, you will need a dependable and fast internet connection for this course. Most of the activities do require that you watch and listen to video. Sometimes this video is in flash formatting. For this reason, you may be able to complete many assignments from your smartphone, if you have one, but not everything. There are also a few times, for example day 1, where you will be recording audio/video for me in the form of short spoken assignments (for my ears only). Please scroll through each day's tasks ahead of time and be sure that your computers have all of the needed capabilities

If you have any questions or problems at any time, email or Facebook me. I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible. Also, keep in mind that other students may have the same problem as you, so if you would like, feel free to post questions or problems to the Facebook group as well.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

¡Bienvenidos a la clase de Refresher!

Welcome to ALTEC’s Spanish refresher course!

The refresher courses are ALTEC’s signature offerings. The refreshers are non-credit online language courses (Spanish and French) that run for three week sessions every summer.

These teacher-led courses review the curriculum of the first two years while preparing students to take third year courses. Every week deals with a new cultural topic and provides students with opportunities to engage in a variety of speaking, writing, reading and listening activities.

While fully online, these courses are teacher-led and are NOT self-paced. There are assignments due every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Students will need daily access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection and a pair of headphones with a microphone.

ALTEC (Anderson Language & Technology Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder) is planning on offering two sessions for the summer of 2013 (June 3-21 and July 8-26).

Classes are capped at 12 students and tuition is $75 for CU students and $95 for non-CU students. 

The course material is always open to allow the public to take advantage of the educational resources provided.

Week I     Immigration
Grammar: Relative Pronouns
Vocabulary: Immigration and Human Rights
Multimedia: Manu Chao, Univisión, CÑN en español

Week II     The Film Industry

Grammar: The Perfect Tenses
Vocabulary: Film, Movie Stars, Gossip
Multimedia: Telemundo, ¡Hola!, Biutiful, VoiceThread
Week III     Our Impact
Grammar: Verbs Like Gustar, Subjunctive
Vocabulary: Social Responsibility, Global Affairs
Multimedia: Una presentación suya