Course Syllabus

Back to School Night 2020

¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español 3ACP/3H!

Bloque anaranjado  y Bloque amarillo  - Aula 343

Sra. Kristina Nowak

Zoom Office hours: Thursdays 3:00-4:00 pm (or anytime by appointment! (See Canvas for a link)



Canvas Student "How to" guide

CML technology "How to" guide




Course Objectives:

In this course we will be engaging with the Spanish language in authentic ways in order to improve our proficiency.  

Proficiency is the degree to which you can communicate in Spanish should you suddenly find yourself in a real world situation that requires you to speak or understand Spanish without having prepared.


On the pathway to proficiency, the target for this course is an EMERGING INTERMEDIATE MID for ACP students and a STRONG INTERMEDIATE MID for honors students.  Here's what our rubric will look like:

Descriptors of INTERMEDIATE MID success criteria

I can easily be understood by someone used to a language learner. 

Vocabulary I can use a variety of words, expressions and personalized vocabulary and begin to use expanded vocabulary. I can give details.
Text type

I use strings of sentences to describe or explain. I combine simple sentences using connector words to create original sentences. I pose questions to direct or advance a presentation or written work.

Cultural competency  I convey my knowledge of differences in familiar (learned or experienced) cultural products and practices. I use culturally appropriate vocabulary and expressions.
Language control My errors with targeted structures and/or word order do not interfere with communication.
*Specific Can-do's related to the unit* These language functions will vary depending on the task

ACTFL Performance Guidelines/Can-do Bench Marks:




two people communicating


Speakingpresentational speaking-1.png


Writingimage of paper and pencil

Interpretive Listeningsymbol representing  listening

Interpretive Reading 

symbol representing reading



I can express myself and participate in conversations on familiar topics. I can handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking and answering a variety of questions. 

I can communicate information and express my own thoughts about familiar topics using sentences and series of sentences.

I can write about most familiar topics  and present information using a series of simple sentences.

I can understand the main idea in short, simple messages and presentations on familiar topics.  I can understand the main idea of simple conversations that I overhear.

I can understand main ideas and some supporting details on familiar topics from a variety of texts. 


Along the way, we will investigate the topics of Homes, Healthy lifestyles, Environmental Issues, and Art.  As we examine each topic, we will interact with authentic resources (blogs, videos, articles, songs, websites, infographics, etc) that have been created for native Spanish speakers.  Our goal is to acquire essential vocabulary and to observe and practice grammatical structures in context in order to be better communicators.  We will improve our skills in the modes of interpretive reading and listening, and interpersonal and presentational writing and speaking


Course materials:  

For this course you will need...

  • Your computer
  • Headphones or earbuds with a microphone (for audio recordings)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Marker(s)
  • Blank paper
  • Notebook or folder to organize any print materials


Course expectations: 


  • Respect

    • Respect all members of the class (including the teacher) and be a part of creating a classroom environment that welcomes and celebrates everyone.  Offensive/Negative comments will not be tolerated
    • Be kind and help each other.  We are better together!
    • Respect everyone’s time by arriving on-time to class (synchronous or in-person)


  • Effort

    • Use Spanish as much as possible.  Immersing yourself in the language (listening, speaking, reading, writing) Spanish is the best way to learn, so you are expected to do so both during class activities and during informal conversations.  Your consistent use of the target language will be reflected in your term grade
    • Be an active and engaged member of our class (both remotely and in person).  This involves asking/answering questions, participating in small groups or break out rooms, and completing assigned tasks.
    • Be willing to try new things, take risks, and make mistakes.  Be patient with yourself.  This is all part of the learning process.  


  • Communication

    • Please read and reflect on all feedback given to you.  Feedback is an important part of learning another language, and specific feedback helps you take the next step to learn and grow.

    • If you have questions or feel like you are struggling please communicate with me.  I am here to support you, give extra help, and to help brainstorm solutions.

    • Please feel free to give me feedback along the way if there are ways that this course could be improved! 


  • Electronic devices and Academic Integrity

    • Devices should be put away at all times during class unless we are using them for class activities
    • You MAY use to look up vocabulary words you wish to incorporate into your working vocabulary.  If you look up a word to use in an assignment to be turned in, please indicate this by underlining or highlighting. 
    • Online translators MAY NOT be used at any time to complete assignments.  All work that you turn in should represent your own work, and credit will not be given for work including phrases/sentences from translators.
    • You may collaborate and work with peers when specifically instructed to do so, and in all other cases your work should be your own.


Assessments, Assignments, and Grading:

    • All assignments and course materials will be available through Canvas
    • In-class assignments, homework, and formative assessments will not be graded, however these tasks are of the utmost importance.  The purpose of all class activities is to prepare you with the skills and vocabulary you will need to be successful on performance assessments.  You should use the targeted feedback you will receive on these preparatory tasks to focus your efforts to improve your skills. 
    • Performance assessments will be announced in advance, are based on real world tasks, and are a demonstration of your ability to use the language to communicate.  No re-takes will be given on performance assessments, as the understanding is that many opportunities for practice, feedback, more practice, and extra help (if necessary) will happen beforehand.  
    • Your final grade in this course will be based on the skills and knowledge you are able to demonstrate and will be according to the policy adopted by the entire CML department.  There will be more details about this forthcoming.


Health and safety (in the hybrid classroom)

    • Adhere to all health and safety expectations (distancing, masks, hand-washing, etc)
    • Restroom breaks and opportunities to wash/sanitize hands will be provided as needed
    • Please let me know immediately if you feel unwell or need to see the nurse for any reason
    • Please do communicate with me if you or someone in your family is experiencing a health (physical or mental) health issue that is affecting your ability to participate in our class.  I will work with you to support you and make any necessary accommodations.

What you can expect from me as your teacher:

Respect:  I will do my best to...

  •  Respect and support ALL students and foster a classroom environment that welcomes and celebrates ALL students, of all races, religions, cultures, sexual orientations, and abilities.  I recognize that I will not do this perfectly and ask for your help to keep me accountable.
  • Respect your time by giving you manageable tasks that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
  • Consider your input and interests and offer choices when possible as I am designing instruction and assessments.

Support:  I will do my best to...

  •  Support you and help you to grow as a learner.  I believe in you!!  I know you can do it!  II will be available for extra help anytime by appointment - just send me an email!
  • Care for your well-being as a person as well as celebrate your academic success and support you when you need help.

Communication:  I will do my best to...

  • Communicate my expectations and instructions clearly
  • Regularly ask for your input and feedback to help make this class experience better
  • Communicate with your parents and other professionals at WHS in order to collaborate and support your success and well-being.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due