If you have already had some high school or college Spanish, or know some Spanish because of family or travel experiences, you probably do not need to start from "scratch." The following table shows the material that is introduced in each of the six Spanish courses taught at PCC-Cascade and my expectations of students at each level.
Speaking, listening, reading and writing are taught at every level. It is common for learners to have greater skill in some areas than in others. Use your weakest area as a guide to placement.
|If you can...||then you probably belong in...|
|greet people, state your name, describe people's physical appearance and personality, name basic articles of clothing and colors, identify basic classroom objects, use tu and usted appropriately, count to 5000, identify family members, state people's age, marital status, nationality, address and phone number, name important countries and languages, say the alphabet, name the days of the week, the seasons and the months, state dates, identify about 50 common everyday activities ("to read," to "cook," etc.), make simple statements about what people like to do, want to do, prefer to do and are going to do in the future, and formulate simple questions – writing simple sentences about all these things, reading paragraph-length texts about them, understanding simple short dialogues on them and sustaining 5-minute-long conversations about them...||SPA 102|
|do all of the above and make simple statements about things people do in the present, describe where things are located (in front of, behind, etc.), identify common places in a city, name and locate the Spanish-speaking countries and their capitals, make simple statements about what people are doing right now, describe people's everyday routines ("she gets up, gets dressed, eats breakfast and goes to work," etc.), name major holidays and describe what people do to celebrate them, identify major professions and workplaces and describe what people in these professions do on the job, identify the rooms and common objects in and around a house, identify household chores, and make simple statements about what people would like to do, feel like doing, must or should do, and have to do – writing about all these things in paragraph-length compositions, reading about them in page-length texts, understanding simple dialogues on them, and sustaining 10-15-minute-long conversations on them...||SPA 103|
|do all of the above and identify many common foods, make simple passive statements using the "impersonal se" ("Se vende," etc.), make simple statements about things people did in the past (using the preterite) and about what life was like "back then" (using the imperfect), writing about these things in paragraph-length compositions, reading about them in page-length texts, understanding simple dialogues on them, and sustaining 10-15-minute-long conversations on them...||SPA 201|
|do all of the above but need to deepen your understanding of the distinction between the imperfect and the preterite and strengthen your usage of them, writing about these things in page-length compositions, reading about any of the above topics in essays of several pages, understanding somewhat sophisticated dialogue on them, and sustaining 20-minute conversations on them...||SPA 202|
|do all of the above, and describe things people have done using the perfect tense ("He ido a Argentina," etc.), identify geographical features, natural disasters, modes of transportation, and environmental crises, writing about any of the above topics in one-two-page compositions, reading about them in essays of several pages, understanding somewhat sophisticated dialogue on them, and sustaining 20-25 minute conversations on them...||SPA 203|
|do all of the above, issue formal and informal commands, use the subjunctive in some circumstances, identify major illnesses, symptoms and medical treatments, discuss basic political problems and solutions, identify a very wide range of common everyday objects, correctly use ser and estar, por and para much of the time, write a solid two-page composition, understand nearly all of what you encounter in the classroom setting and much of what you encounter in "real life," read material aimed at educated native speakers, sustain conversation for a half-hour or more on a wide array of topics without major communication breakdowns and you desire to read and write Spanish at the college level...||consider
or SPA 219