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Study information

Advanced Spanish Language Skills

Module titleAdvanced Spanish Language Skills
Module codeMLS3111
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Ms Isabel Moros (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The module is designed for students who followed the Year 2 module MLS 2001 the previous year or equivalent. It will provide you with the opportunity to enhance your language skills through translation from and into Spanish as well as through working with different genres and styles of writing. There will be an introduction to different journalistic forms such as interviews and leading articles, as well as the chance to write speeches. The oral classes will continue expanding the knowledge of contemporary Spanish and Latino American culture, develop further their intercultural competence and enable them discuss relevant topics to advance future career developments. The aim will be to expand the range and accuracy of expression in written and oral form, in order to attain proficiency in the use of the language.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to:

  • enhance and develop further skills in the translation of the variety of texts from and into Spanish.
  • improve writing skills abilities in Spanish through a series of much focused styles of writing, including journalistic texts such as leading comments, feature articles, essays, and speeches.
  • revise grammatical structures and to expand the range of expression including idiomatic usage. The oral section of the module is designed to develop oral and aural skills to an advanced level. The values of grammatical accuracy are strongly emphasized, without prejudice to individual expression.

On completion of the course, you should have achieved levels C1/C2 (Proficient User) within the Common European Framework of References for Languages.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply knowledge of a broad range of grammatical features of Spanish (including some complex and advanced structures) to a range of linguistic exercises
  • 2. Tackle complex translation passages into and out of Spanish, based on a wide range of topics and written in a variety of styles
  • 3. Argue a case in written Spanish in answer to challenging questions on a broad range of abstract and contemporary issues
  • 4. Develop the necessary skills to write short stories in Spanish including the development of plot and characters
  • 5. Understand the main differences between journalistic styles and be able to compose leading articles and interviews
  • 6. Discuss complex topical and abstract issues in an appropriate register of oral Spanish, using a broad range of vocabulary and idiom
  • 7. Give a structured oral presentation in Spanish on an independently researched topic of your choice addressed to a small group of listeners, and engage in debate on the issues raised by the presentation

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Use bilingual and standard monolingual dictionaries to research conventions of usage, find synonyms and antonyms, and explore nuances of meaning
  • 9. Understand and use in class discussion a broad range of linguistic terminology, using this terminology to a certain extent to conceptualise your mistakes in Spanish and to identify strategies for improving your linguistic accuracy
  • 10. Engage critically with the Spanish language media (printed and electronic, including television and radio), using it as a resource for independent research

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 11. Communicate information and arguments of some complexity in Spanish
  • 12. Advance your linguistic competence independently, with limited guidance (with potential for learning new languages independently in the future)

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover the following:

  • Eleven weeks of translation skills from Spanish into English and eleven weeks of translation skills from English into Spanish.
  • Twenty two weeks of exploring and developing different styles of writing in Spanish covering essay writing, leading comments and other journalistic forms, and speeches
  • Weekly small group discussions, according to topics suggested by staff or presented by students related to current affairs in Spain, Latino America or of general interest as well as the further development of intercultural competence
  • Revision of specific grammatical points regarding the use of prepositions, subordinate clauses and complex structures.
  • Comprehensive study of the importance of the use of connectors in the written and oral expression in order to give more coherence to the discourse.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching11Translation from Spanish into English. Guidance in translation using a variety of texts. Discussion of the possibilities of translation and correction of the work done.
Scheduled learning and teaching11 Translation from English into Spanish Guidance in translation using a variety of texts and genres. Discussion of the difficulties that can emerge from translating into the target language.
Scheduled learning and teaching22 Writing skills Exploration of different genres and style of writing through individual, pair and group work.
Scheduled learning and teaching22 Oral classes. Specific tasks and topics for discussion based on stimuli from the Spanish and Latino American printed and audio visual media.
Guided independent study442 hours work outside class each week (5 translations, 4 individual pieces of writing skills and two group pieces)
Guided independent study190Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Up to 11 pieces of formative assessment including translations, writing skills pieces and oral practice. Attention to tasks that develop employability skills, intercultural competence and citizenship 3 hours work outside class each week1-12Written and oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written examination (Translation and Commentary (Winter)25Exam1, 2, 3, 8- 10, 12Generic written feedback
Written examination (Translation and Commentary (Summer)25Exam1- 5, 9-12Generic written feedback
Writing skills exam (Summer)25Exam1-5, 9-12Generic written feedback
Oral examination2515 minutes1, 6- 8, 10-12Generic written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written examination (Translation and Commentary) (Winter)Written examination 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 12Referral/Deferral period
Written examination (Translation and Commentary (Summer)Written examination 1-5,9-12Referral/Deferral period
Writing skills (Summer)Written examination 1-5, 9-12
Oral examinationOral examination1, 6- 8, 10-12Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

You will only be required to retake any failed assessments. Marks for any passed assessment will be carried forward. If you have failed any assessments but managed to pass the module overall, you will not be allowed to retake the failed assessments.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • L  Haywood, Michael Thompson, Sándor Hervey, Thinking Spanish Translation (Routledge, 2013).
  • J Butt, C Benjamin and Antonia Moreira Rodríguez, A New Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish Sixth Edition, Routledge (2019)
  • Javier Muñoz-Basols, Marianne David and Olga Núñez Piñeiro, Speed up your Spanish. Strategies to avoid common errors. Routledge (2010)
  • Javier Muñoz-Basols, Yolanda Pérez Sinusía and Marianne David, Developing Writing Skills in Spanish
  • Routledge (2012)

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE:  - Follow links to MLS 3101 and it is possible to access “enlaces de utilidad” (useful links) with access to online dictionaries, newspapers, magazines, television channels including the Cervantes television channel, and radio programmes,
  • Also in addition, there will be a series of coursework booklets for translation and for the writing skills sections of the course. They will be used in conjunction with the other materials listed above as exercise practices in preparation for the exam at the end of the year. They are posted at the beginning of the academic year in ELE.
  • In addition to these, there will be materials posted regularly in ELE regarding the oral classes and the oral tutors will advice on the nature and content of those during the academic year.
  • - through which it is possible to access a very useful link called “El atril del traductor” with relevant information and examples of translations both into the target language and into English.
  • A very useful umbrella website:


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Regular showings of Spanish and Latino American films during the year and a very comprehensive audiovisual section in the library. Very good set of resources also for developing language skills at the Foreign Language Centre.

Key words search

Spanish, written, oral

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

MLS2001 or equivalent

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date