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Spanish Language & Culture Syllabus

High Tech High
Fall 2014

Time: Periods 2 & 3
Location: PR1
Instructor: Francisco Hernandez
***Please do not wait until the evening before an assignment is due to contact me; I will likely not respond to questions or
concerns until the next day.
Reminders: Please text (617) 440 – 7215 with “@hthspanish” to receive all text reminders for this class.
I. Course Overview
Welcome to Spanish Language and Culture at High Tech High! This course will be conducted mostly in Spanish and is
intended to be an immersive high school course in Spanish writing, reading, grammar, and conversation. High school
students who complete the course will use the language for active communication and will be able to:
 comprehend formal and informal spoken Spanish;
 acquire vocabulary and structures to allow the easy, accurate reading of newspaper and magazine articles,
expository texts, as well as some Spanish and Latin-American literature;
 compose simple expository passages; and
 express ideas orally and in writing with accuracy and fluency.
This course will develop students’ ability to comprehend and communicate in speech and written language. Students will
be encouraged to read pertinent articles, to use new and advanced vocabulary, and to employ correct grammar, spelling
and punctuation. Students will also begin to develop the ability to analyze, synthesize, make inferences, and organize
arguments and ideas logically through a series of different cultural topics in the classroom. In addition, students will enhance
their Spanish communication skills through a linguistic and cultural approach to language learning. Cross-cultural
understanding is promoted by comparing and contrasting Latin America and the United States, and real-life applications are
emphasized throughout the course.
The class will be differentiated and targeted to different ranges of Spanish language speakers, native and non-native.
There will be varying levels of knowledge throughout the classroom, and every student will be supported in a way that
pushes them to reach their full potential as language learners. There will be varying degrees of assignments and
assessments to meet the needs of every student. In order to be successful in this class, however, a confident and strong
amount of effort, participation, and attention to detail will be required.
II. Course Materials
If obtaining any of these materials is a financial challenge for you and your family, please get in touch with me
during the first week of class and I will supply them for you.
 English-Spanish Dictionary
 One Composition Notebook (college-ruled)
 One Small Binder (with 5 tab dividers)
o Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua (provided by me for every student)
o Enrique’s Journey/La Travesia de Enrique by Sonia Nazario (provided by me for every
Cuaderno Interactivo de Español - CIDE
The CIDE (your composition notebook) is your one and only notebook for Spanish. Hug it, cherish it, and
tell it how much you love it. Most importantly, do not lose it. All materials such as class notes, reading notes, and
homework assignments for this class will be written into your CIDE. No materials from another class should be
placed in the CIDE nor should you put any materials for this Spanish class into any of your other notebooks. The
CIDE is required in class every day, no excuses.

III. Class Policies
To effectively familiarize yourself with the material and apply it to your own lives (and to have a positive class
experience), you need only do the following:

1. Come prepared
a. Arrive to every class on time and ready to engage in discussions and activities.
b. Read the materials before we talk about them in class
i. It’s difficult to participate in class discussions, complete assignments, or learn without reading the
relevant literature beforehand.
2. Participate
a. Leave your fear of uncertainty in speaking another language at the door before you walk into class. The
quality of this course depends in large part upon your level of engagement. Your participation enhances the
class experience not only for yourself, but for your fellow classmates as well (and for me, as I am genuinely
interested in what you have to say!).
3. Complete each assignment and turn it in on time
a. The course includes various assignments intended to facilitate your exploration and application of Spanish
language and culture. You will turn in assignments by bringing them to class and handing them in by the
due date.
4. Ask questions and/or for assistance!
a. This is important. Teaching is my passion, and it is extremely important to me to make concepts clear and
accessible. Please do not wait nor hesitate to ask questions or ask for help. Whenever you ask questions,
you give me a rich opportunity to do my job.

IV. Student Activities and Assessments

1. Content Assessments (30%):
 Assessments will look a variety of different ways, from playing out skits that require you to use Spanish
language to creating your own cooking channel. These will provide you with an opportunity to engage in the
language in a variety of fun and creative ways.
 Assessment make-up policy: If you are absent on the day of an assessment, you will be required to take
it/submit it the next class meeting. If there are special circumstances (i.e. death in the family, severe personal
injury, etc.) please contact me as soon as possible and other arrangements can be made.
Oral Assessment
 There will be two informal oral examinations that will consist of a two to five minute conversation following a
specific prompt. A grading rubric will be given a week prior to the assessment.

2. Projects (30%):
 Each unit will have its own project accompanied to it, some shorter than others.
 Some of the projects will be done individually; others will be done in groups.
 A complete handout of requirements for projects will be handed out when each is assigned.

3. Classwork/Homework (10%):
 The classwork/homework will be handed out to you every Monday. It is due the following Monday as you enter
the class. Homework packets will put into practice grammar, reading, and vocabulary skills.
 Assignment make-up policy: If you are absent it is your responsibility to make sure that you get the notes,
any in-class work, handouts, and homework assignment from a friend or from me via email. The work you
missed must be turned in the day you return to class in order to receive full credit. Any subsequent day late will
result in losing 10% of the assignment grade.
o Daily handouts will be posted on my DP under the calendar at the end of the school day.
o In cases of extreme emergency (i.e. death in the family, extreme illness, etc.) exceptions will be made,
but only on a case-by-case basis.

4. Vocabulary Quizzes (15%):
 Quizzes will take place at the beginning of the last class of the week, every week.
 Quizzes will ONLY test vocabulary. Extra credit questions may test cultural topics.
 Quiz make-up policy: Same as assessment make-up policy described above.

5. Participation (15%):
 Participation in this class means contributing to discussions, sharing your ideas or homework/in-class exercise
responses, completing your task during group work, completing the warm-up exercise at the beginning of class,
listening to the ideas/comments of others and responding in a respectful manner, maintaining your CIDE
organized, etc.
 There are many ways to participate, even if it sometimes means simply listening attentively to another student’s
 Every day you walk into class you have a new opportunity to interact and learn. I invite you all to make the most
of every learning opportunity by participating.

A Note on Plagiarism

Please refer to the HTH Plagiarism Policy.

A Note on Using Online Translators

Don’t do it – this counts as academic dishonesty. On an ethical level, there is a French proverb that states “There is no
pillow so soft as a clear conscience.” Not only is academic dishonesty not worth the loss of knowledge or the risk of getting
caught, it’s also not worth undermining your ethics and dealing with a guilty conscience. Remember that you are part of a
community of ethical, global leaders. Using a translator detracts from a major component of the learning process, which is to
develop your ability to engage in a critical, mindful thought process, and to creatively and intelligently generate ideas that
are your own. A translator will not think for you. From a purely pragmatic perspective, you are likely to get caught. Using a
translator is easier to spot than you might realize, and if you are caught, the consequences are very serious.

Additional comments:
Everyone in this class can be successful in Spanish. Being successful here, just as in most things in life, requires hard work.
Practice outside of class is essential. Extra help is always available. If you need any additional assistance, please do not
hesitate to ask. ¡¡¡SI SE PUEDE!!!

V. Semester Overview
Please note: content, assignments, and due dates are subject to change at the teacher’s discretion.
Week 1 (5) --> 8/25 - 8/29

Introduction to Spanish
Week 2 (4)  9/2 - 9/5
Labor Day 9/1
Identity – Loteria
Cultural Topic: Day of the Dead
Week 3 (5)  9/8 - 9/12
Open House, Th. 9/11
Identity – Loteria
Cultural Topic: Day of the Dead
Project #1 Due – Loteria Cards
Week 4 (5)  9/15 - 9/19 Identity – Chicano Narratives, Yo Soy Joaquín
Cultural Topic: Day of the Dead
Assessment #1 – Game Night
Week 5 (4)  9/23 - 9/26
Staff Day, Mon. 9/22
Identity – Chicano Narratives, Yo Soy Joaquín & Borderlands
Cultural Topic: Day of the Dead
Week 6 (5)  9/29 - 10/3 Identity – Chicano Narratives, Borderlands
Cultural Topic: Day of the Dead
Project #2 Due – Altares
Week 7 (2 + ½ & ½)  10/6 - 10/9
SLC Week, Min. Days Wed. & Th. 10/8 and 10/9
Fall Holiday, Fri. 10/10
Immigration – History of México
Oral Assessment #1
Week 8 (5)  10/13 - 10/17 Immigration – NAFTA
Assessment #2 – Ahh! Monsters!
Week 9 (4)  10/21 – 10/24
Staff Day, Mon. 10/22
Immigration – The Big Three Waves
Cultural Topic: Latin American Dishes
Week 10 (5) 10/27 - 10/31

Immigration – The Labor Movement
Cultural Topic: Latin American Dishes
Week 11 (4)  11/3 - 11/6
College Day, Fri. 11/7
Immigration – The Student Movement, Enrique’s Journey
Cultural Topic: Latin American Dishes
Week 12 (4)  11/10 – 11/14
Veterans Day, Tue. 11/11

Immigration – Policy, Enrique’s Journey
Assessment #3 – The Cooking Channel
Week 13 (5)  11/17 – 11/21 Immigration – Policy, Enrique’s Journey
Project #3 Due – Immigration Solutions
Thanksgiving  11/24 - 11/28 Enjoy your week off! 
Week 14 (5)  12/1 – 12/5

Immigration – Looking Forward, Enrique’s Journey
Oral Assessment #2
Week 15 (5)  12/8 – 12/12 Prepare for Salon Night
Week 16 (5)  12/15 – 12/19
Salon Night, Tue. 12/17
School Exhibition, Th. 12/19
Prepare for Salon Night
Assessment #4 – Autobiography

August 25, 2014

Dear Students,

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to 10
grade Spanish! My name is Francisco Hernández and I am thrilled to have you in
my class this year. I am looking forward to get to know you throughout the semester and will do whatever possible to make
this a positive and enriching experience for all of us. My goal is simple: to help you recognize and reach your potential. But
in order for us to be successful, there are a few things we must cover:
1. Come to class everyday and be on time! Everyday we will learn new vocabulary and phrases. Each time you are
absent or come in late, you will be missing very valuable and important information.
2. Please bring the following materials to class everyday:
a. 1 college-ruled composition notebook (exclusively for this class)
b. 3-ring binder (minimum 1 inch) with 5 tab dividers – with all the pertinent class materials
c. Writing utensils
d. A Spanish-English dictionary (which you can leave in my classroom if you prefer)
***Note: If obtaining any of these materials presents a financial challenge for your family, please get in
touch with me during the first week of school and I will supply these materials to you.
3. Practice! Learning a new language takes time and effort. I will do my best to provide you with all the tools you need
to succeed in my class, but it is important that you continue to practice Spanish at home. Commit to watching the
news in Spanish or listening to Spanish music every day. Any amount of practice at home will help you immensely!
4. Ask questions! Ask questions! Ask questions! Successful students ask plenty of questions and seek help when
they are unsure. I am available for tutoring at lunch during my office hours and after school by appointment. Be sure
to check my Digital Portfolio and your grade/assignments on Powerschool often.

To parents and guardians: Research shows that the more involved parents are in their child’s education, the more
successful he/she will be. Today begins a partnership between you, your child, and me to work as a team for his/her
success. On my end, I will encourage and support your child every day. On your end, ask him/her to teach you what he/she
has learned in Spanish, and to show you new vocabulary words. This will help him/her very much! Please stay in constant
contact with me regarding your child’s progress in my class. We can be successful if we work together! 

Thank you very much, and please feel free to contact me through email:

Please read the syllabus and sign and return the contract below. Please keep this letter for your records, and turn in
the contract for my records. The syllabus should be kept in the student’s binder at all times. I look forward to a wonderful
and successful year!
Mr. Hernández

STUDENT-PARENT-TEACHER CONTRACT: (please complete, cut off, and return to by September 3, 2014)
I have read the entire syllabus and understand the expectations of this class. I understand that this class is a requirement
for graduating high school and a requirement for college entrance.

Student’s Name & Period: _____________________ Student’s Signature: _________________________ Date: ________

Parent/Guardian Name: _______________________ Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________ Date: ________

Parent/Guardian phone number(s): ______________ Parent/Guardian Email address: _____________________________

When is the best time to reach you?

Thank you!