Course Description

Course Name

Latin American Dialects

Session: VSJU1721

Hours & Credits

48 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level


  • Prior to enrolling in courses at this language level, students must have completed or tested out of a minimum of four semesters (or six quarters) at the college level.


Name of the course: Latin American Dialects
Course code: SPN 3520
Total number of hours: 48 hours of direct teaching.
Number of hours per week: 4 hours per week.
Requirement: Intermediate 1
The student is able to function naturally, with little effort in different cultural interactions, since he or she has enough linguistic resource that allows him or her to communicate fluently and spontaneously in situations with a certain degree of complexity or external interference. In addition, he or she also recognizes the denotative and connotative meaning of dialectal Spanish expressions. He or she can comment on criteria such as: religion, politics, art and history, as well as specific aspects of each culture of our Latin American countries.
This course answers the question: How to interact with Latin American natives in different cultural contexts, through the effective and efficient use of the dialectal variables of American Spanish?
To answer this question, the countries of Central America and South America will be studied as thematic axes. Historical aspects of the Conquest and its influence on dialectal diversity.
The following skills will be promoted throughout the course:
● Ability to carry conversations on varied topics in different sociocultural contexts
● Ability to prioritize elements from a text or article
● Ability to tell stories and legends.
● Ability to express dialectal aspects according to the countries of study.
● Ability to interact with natives who show dialectal varieties.
Some of the values and attitudes to be promoted among students are:
● Teamwork and leadership
● Systems thinking
● Logical and communicative intelligence
● Interest in solving problems
● How to negotiate knowing how to inspire trust and empathy
● Speak in different cultural contexts
Competences, criteria and evidence
Competences for Veritas University are thoughtful and comprehensive actions that respond to the professional profile and the context's problems, with suitability and ethical commitment, integrating knowing how to be, how to do, and how to learn, within an improvement perspective.
Disciplinary and general competences are presented below, linked to their criteria and performance evidence for this course.
Types of competences
Performance criteria
Performance evidences
Handles communicative competences with certain linguistic complexity in order to interact fluidly with a speaker and with a degree precision according to different dialectical contexts.
 Identifies communicative strategies with certain grammatical domain to use discursive elements according to the different dialectal forms
 Applies a wide repertoire of dialectal expressions with ease
 Makes
dimensions of semantic change through environmental analysis
Directed readings
Language and speech presentation
Concept map
Speaks in different contexts on controversial issues to contribute their criteria through daily and complex discursive elements.
 Highlights markers in the formal and informal register according to the context.
 Highlights markers in the use of proverbs, idioms, expressions of beliefs, attitudes and values according to the country.
Analysis and socio-cultural guidelines from films from different Latin American countries.
Interviews with Latin Americans
Uses a broad discourse to produce coherent fragments in communication through instruction, argumentation, demonstration and exegesis that allows for personal interpretation of a text and implies a more subjective vision.
 Orders sentences in natural sequence and coherent fragments according to specific speech acts. Maintaining intentionality particular to the new culture
 Builds brief statements of interaction with dialectal structures
 Modifies the spoken discourse or written text through dialectal discourse.
Analysis of a cartoon sequence, pragmatic perspective.
Analysis of speech acts in movies
Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn continuously throughout life considering effective development in the knowledge society.
Learning to Learn
Interview with Latin Americans
Develops the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn how to communicate orally and in writing in the different discipline areas that make up the curriculum.
Communicates disciplinary thoughts in oral, iconic and written form.
Dialectal analysis through guidelines with linguistic variables.
Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn teamwork and leadership techniques.
Teamwork and leadership
Integrates the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to learn interpersonal communication techniques.
Relating well with others
Manage and resolve conflicts.
How to negotiate knowing how to inspire trust and empathy
Speak responsibly
In depth listening
Interview with Latin Americans
1. Contents
Topic 1: Nominal morphology
- The article, the gender, the number, the adjective, the pronoun and the prepositions
Topic 2: Verbal morphology
- Verbal uses, the indicative mode and the subjunctive mode
Topic 3:
- Daily vocabulary according to geographical areas: Cuba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina and others.
Topic 4:
- Popular idiomatic expressions of these countries.
Topic 5:
- Vocabulary of cultural aspects (art, music, costumes, religion) modern vs. old.
Topic 6:
- The communicative process and its semantic functions in dialects.
Topic 7:
- Vocabulary relevant to Latin American countries with emphasis on the meaning and the signifier.
- The dimensions of meaning that underlie a theme. What is culture? (religion, music, ...)
Topic 8:
- Concepts of language and the system of linguistic signs.
Topic 9:
- Analysis of the semantic spiral of language
Topic 10:
- Expressions Formal and informal registration: use of usted, tú and vos
- Familial markers: señor, señora, don, doña,
- Interjective phrases: ¡Vamos! ¡Qué increíble!, ¡Qué horror!
- Positive and negative courtesy
Topic 11:
- Discursive competence: is the ability to order sentences to produce coherent fragments and of natural sequence according to a specific situation.
- Syntactic distribution, with values of meaning according to the speech acts of Austin and Searle.
Topic 12:
- Micro functions through brief statements of interaction with imperfect subjunctive (amara, comiera)
- Future subjunctive (amara, comiera)
- Imperative mode. Le das un abrazo de mi parte, ¿Vienes un ratito?, Ahora mismito te callas.
- Conditional period. Si tuviera dinero…. me compraba una casa.
- Non-personal forms Al yo abrir…
- The adverb Me entregó los documentos recién llegó.
Methodological orientation
The proposed approach is the one used by the European Common Framework (CEFR), which focuses on action insofar as it considers users and students who learn a language mainly as social agents, that is, they are members of a society that have to carry out tasks under certain circumstances, in a specific environment and within a specific field of action. (chap. 2, p.9).
This approach also takes into account cognitive, emotional and volitional resources, as well as the whole series of specific capacities that an individual applies as a social agent. (idem)
The use of language -which includes learning- includes the actions carried out by people who, as individuals and as social agents, develop a series of competences, both general and linguistic communicative competences, in particular. People use skills that are available to them in different contexts and under different conditions and restrictions, in order to carry out language activities that involve processes to produce and receive texts related to topics in specific areas, putting into play strategies that seem most appropriate to carry out the tasks they have to perform. The control that the participants have over these produces the reinforcement or modification of their competences. (CEFR, chap. 2, p. 9)
Learning strategies
The following learning strategies will be performed for the student:
● Interview with a Latin American
● Two essays:
(Research on a country and the investigation of cultural aspects of three Latin American countries)
● Three oral presentations:
a. Analysis of language and history concepts
b. Nominal morphology and verbal morphology
c. My country
● Analysis of three films with different cultural elements from the dialectal perspective.
● Analysis of three readings: history, dialects and linguistic variables.
Teaching resources
For the good development of the course and to ensure learning, there is a collection of updated bibliographical recommendations, multimedia equipment for the individual presentations, furniture and acrylic slates for the weekly sessions, and readings supplied by the professor that can be a complement for the proposed project activities, as well as the different didactic techniques mentioned that give students a greater possibility of appropriating knowledge. Most lessons will take place in the classroom.
During independent work hours students will be able to use the institution´s library, the study rooms or the computer laboratories, as well as any other areas in the university campus, since it has free access wireless Internet for all students, professors and staff.
Evaluation of learning
Competence assessment is the process by which evidence is gathered and a judgment or opinion about it is formed, taking into account preset criteria to give feedback in order to improve the suitability of the course or program. Evaluation of the course, must be consistent with the competences and the teaching methodology. For each category of evaluation there is a rubric, that, although it gives a score, is a quantitative and qualitative description of the student's performance. Rubrics include performance criteria for general and disciplinary competencies.
Oral presentations (3)
30 %
Essays (2)
30 %
Interview with a Latin American (1)
10 %
Analysis of films (3)
15 %
Analysis of readings (3)
15 %
100 %

*Course content subject to change