UNSW Institute of Languages

Courses

Spanish

Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis
Spanish 1A

"The course has allowed me to correct bad habits from my previous experiences learning the Spanish language. Until now, I did not have a good understanding of sentence structure when speaking and writing."

Spanish is a global language and the second most widely spoken native language in the world. At UNSW Institute of Languages we will introduce you to the colour and vibrancy of the Spanish language that beautifully reflects the flamboyance of Spanish culture. You will become part of the 400 million people across Spain, Latin America and beyond who speak Spanish for business and pleasure.

UNSW Institute of Languages offers Spanish classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Most language courses require you to buy a textbook – click on the Course Content tab for more information.

Type Duration Average class size Levels Fee
Part time courses 2017 10 weeks 12 students 1A - Adv AUD$380

Key Benefits

  • Learn to speak, read and write Spanish as you progress through the course levels.
  • Communicate more confidently when travelling to Spanish speaking countries.
  • Understand and communicate better with Spanish speaking friends or family.
  • Improve your current or future employment opportunities with the addition of a foreign language skill.
  • Small class sizes allow for high levels of interaction between students and the teacher.
  • Highly qualified and experienced teachers and advanced classroom technology create an ideal learning environment.
Level Prior Study
Beginners 1A
This course (10 weeks) is for learners who have very little or no previous knowledge of the language.
0-20 hours of prior study
Beginners 1B
This course (10 weeks) is for learners who have some basic knowledge of the language.
20-30 hours of prior study
Elementary 2A
This course (10 weeks) is for learners who may have studied the language some years ago and are familiar with its basic language functions.
40-60 hours of prior study
Elementary 2B
This course (10 weeks) is for learners who have studied the language before, for instance at high school, and have some knowledge of the main present and past tenses.
60-80 hours of prior study
Lower-intermediate 3
This level (20 weeks) is for learners who have a good basic knowledge of the language or those who have studied the language some years ago. It covers two separate modules (3A and 3B) which are taught over two separate terms.
80-120 hours of prior study
Intermediate 4
This level (20 weeks) is for learners who have a good command of the language and its main grammatical structures. It covers two separate modules (4A and 4B) which are taught over two separate terms.
120-180 hours of prior study
Upper-intermediate 5
This level (20 weeks) is for speakers who are able to use the language with a high degree of fluency and accuracy. It covers two separate modules (5A and 5B) which are taught over two separate terms.
180-240 hours of prior study
Advanced 6
This open-ended level is for speakers who are able to use the language fluently and accurately.
240+ hours of prior study

Most levels require you to buy a textbook, which can be bought from UNSW Bookshop on UNSW main campus or Abbey’s Bookshop (131 York St, Sydney). Click here for the textbook prices available at UNSW Bookshop (all prices have been reduced 10% RRP).

The tabs below provide course outlines for each level.

Please note: This course outline is a guide only. Content may be adjusted by the teacher to meet the needs of the students in the class.

Level 1A

Level 1A

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - Ele Actual A1
Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 1-5

This level covers the following topics:

  • The alphabet and spelling names
  • Numbers 0 to 100
  • Greetings and farewells
  • Introducing people
  • Jobs, personal information
  • Asking simple questions
  • Addressing people (formal and informal)
  • Family
  • Physical and personality description
  • Spanish and South American culture

Language/grammar points include:

  • Gender and number
  • Definite and indefinite articles: el, la... - un, una...
  • Present tense, regular and irregular verbs
  • Reflexive verbs (llamarse, apellidarse)
  • Personal Pronouns : yo, tú, él, ella…
  • Possessive Pronouns : mi(s), tu(s), su(s)
  • Interrogatives : ¿qué ?, ¿cómo ?, ¿cuál ?, ¿dónde?, ¿cómo?, ¿quién?...
  • Preposition a + definite article (al, a la, a los, a las)
  • Quantifying adverbs : muy, bastante, poco


Level 1B

Level 1B

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - Ele Actual A1
Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 6-10

This level covers the following topics:

  • Numbers beyond 100
  • Everyday objects
  • Basic shopping interactions
  • Geographical information, describing places
  • The house and furniture
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Public places. Directions and instructions
  • The time and timetables
  • The weather
  • Spanish and South American culture

Language/grammar points include:

  • Uses: Ser / Estar
  • Prepositions for location purposes (encima, debajo, dentro, en, detrás…)
  • Object Indirect pronouns (me, te, le, nos, os, le)
  • The imperative
  • Irregular verbs (llover, querer, venir, ir, poder saber)
  • Interrogative pronouns


Level 2A

Level 2A

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - Ele Actual A1 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 11-15

This level covers the following topics:

  • Daily routine
  • The weekend and your hobbies
  • Talking about the past
  • Obligation and necessity
  • Plans and intentions
  • Expressing certainty and possibility
  • Talking about recent past activities
  • Talking about personal experiences
  • Studying Spanish
  • Expressing needs, plans and intentions
  • Expressing certainty and possibility

Language/grammar points include:

  • Reflexive verbs   (levantarse, ducharse, despertarse)
  • Adverbs to express frequency (a menudo, siempre, nunca, a veces..)
  • Ir a + infinitive verb
  • Tener que + infinitive /Necesitar + infinitive / Hay que  + infinitive
  • Quiero/me gustaría + infinitive
  • Estar seguro/a de que…
  • Es probable/posible/puede ser/quizá(s)
  • Verb+ adverb: bien/mal/regular/así así
  • Past tense (Preterito indefinido)
  • Past tense (Preterito perfecto)
  • Irregular Verbs : hacer, venir, ir, ser, estar
  • Verb stem change : e-ie / e-i
  • Prepositions : de… a , desde…hasta, en, a, por
  • Quantifying adverbs : muy, bastante, poco


Level 2B

Level 2B

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - Ele Actual A2  Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 1-5

This level covers the following topics:

  • Obligation and necessity
  • Plans and intentions
  • Expressing certainty and possibility
  • Talking about health and how you feel
  • Parts of the body
  • Offering things / making suggestions
  • Asking for something in a grocery store
  • Ordering in a restaurant
  • Talking about recent past activities
  • Excuses and apologies
  • Talking about personal experiences
  • Expressing opinion
  • Expressing agreement and disagreement

Language/grammar points include:

  • Ir a + infinitive verb
  • Tener que/hay que/necesitar + infinitive verb
  • Es probable, es posible, puede ser,quizás
  • Verbs doler, querer, sentirse
  • Exclamation phrases
  • Past tense (Pretérito perfecto)
  • Verb haber + past participle
  • Verb stem change: e-ie
  • Countable and uncountable nouns
  • Use of muy, mucho, bastante, poco
  • Use of ya, aun, todavía no
  • Con + personal pronouns (conmigo, contigo, etc.)


Level 3

Level 3

Please note that this level consists of 20 weeks which are divided into two 10-week modules (A and B). Modules A & B may be taken in any order and are offered on alternating terms. Both modules should be completed before progression to the next level.

Module A

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - ELE Actual A2 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 6-10

This level covers the following topics:

  • Talking about clothing
  • Shopping interaction
  • Describing actions in progress
  • Birthday wishes
  • Offering food and drinks
  • Ordering in a restaurant
  • Recounting a holiday or a trip
  • Talking about someone’s life
  • Biographies
  • Expressing certainty and evidence
  • Asking for a favour
  • Ask for and give permision

Language/grammar points include:

  • Comparatives
  • Direct object pronouns: lo, la, los, las
  • Present progressive tense: Estar + gerund
  • Exclamation phrases: ¡Qué…!
  • Past tense (Pretérito indefinido)
  • Prepositions: en, de
  • Irregular verbs in preterito indefinido ir, ser, estar, venir, hacer
  • May I… (Puedo + infinitive)
  • Afirmative imperative + direct object pronouns

Module B

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - ELE Actual A2 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 11-15

This level covers the following topics:

  • Telephone conversations
  • Inviting people
  • Accepting and refusing invitations
  • Making appointments
  • Asking and giving information about transport
  • Public places
  • Making comparisons and expressing preferences
  • Asking for and giving directions
  • Talking about our last weekend
  • Describing objects and materials
  • Expressing possession
  • Giving and receiving gifts
  • Describing routine in the past: Imperfect tense
  • Talking about our childhood

Language/grammar points include:

  • Querer + infinitive
  • Poder + infinitive
  • Verb preferir
  • Acabar de + infinitive
  • Superlatives
  • Indirect object pronouns: le, les
  • Possesive pronouns : mío, tuyo, nuestro, etc
  • Direct object pronouns + indirect object pronouns: me lo, te la, se los, etc
  • Regular verbs in imperfect tense
  • Irregular verbs in imperfect tense: ir, ser, ver


Level 4

Level 4

Please note that this level consists of 20 weeks which are divided into two 10-week modules (A and B). Modules A & B may be taken in any order and are offered on alternating terms. Both modules should be completed before progression to the next level.

Module A

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - ELE Actual B1 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 1-4

This level covers the following topics:

  • Varieties of Spanish
  • Talking about habits in the past
  • Talking about future
  • Expressing conditions and consequences
  • Cultural information about Latin America
  • Talking about friendship
  • Describing the circumstances of how something happened
  • Recount past events
  • Expressing happiness, satisfaction, sadness, surprise
  • Recount events of our lives

Language/grammar points include:

  • Various time clauses
  • Imperfect tense
  • Simple future
  • Conditional sentences: Si + present tense + simple future
  • Question words: que - cuál/cuáles
  • Relative pronoun: que, preposition + quien
  • Causal sentences: porque/como + causa
  • Making comparisons: Highlighting one thing among the others
  • Imperfect tense vs. simple past tense (Pretérito imperfecto-indefinido)
  • Pluscuamperfect tense (Pluscuamperfecto)
  • Verbal expressions using preposition: alegrarse, acordarse, enamorarse + de + Infinitive
  • Indefinite pronouns: alguien, nadie, algo, nada, algun, ninguno, etc

Module B

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - ELE Actual B1 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 5-8

This level covers the following topics:

  • Express wishes, hopes and plans
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Talking about personal character, describing personality
  • Talking about personal relationships
  • Expressing a variety of feelings and moods
  • Health and leading a healthy lifestyle
  • Asking for and giving advice
  • Sports and leisure activies
  • Computer and office terminology
  • Asking for objects, advice, permission
  • The telephone; leaving and conveying messages

Language/grammar points include:

  • Present subjunctive
  • Ojalá + que + present subjunctive
  • Time expressions used with the subjunctive: Cuando/en cuanto+ present subjunctive
  • Simple Future + hasta/después de + que + present subjunctive
  • Llevarse bien/mal/regular con alguien
  • Caer bien/mal/regular (a alguien); Parecerse a alguien en
  • Me da miedo/preocupa/molesta/pone nervioso/…+ noun/infinitive/que + subjuntive
  • Aconsejar/recomendar + que+ subjunctive
  • Afirmative and negative imperative
  • simple conditional
  • ¿Puedes/podrías/te importa/te importaría+ darme/dejarme/prestarme/pasarme/traerme?
  • Dile/dígale que…
  • Quiere que+ subjunctive


Level 5

Level 5

Please note that this level consists of 20 weeks which are divided into two 10-week modules (A and B). Modules A & B may be taken in any order and are offered on alternating terms. Both modules should be completed before progression to the next level.

Module A

Text Book: Curso de Español para Extranjeros - ELE Actual B1 Libro del Alumno (Virgilio Borobio) - Units 9-12

This level covers the following topics:

  • Living in the big city: pros and cons
  • Expressing opinions, agreement and disagreement
  • Urban life in Latin America
  • Speaking about the past, re-tell stories, anecdotes and jokes
  • Talking about your ideal city
  • Life in the future
  • Expressing possibility
  • Expressing certainty/uncertainty
  • Intercultural communication
  • Using gestures to solve communication problems in a conversation
  • Talking about social norms
  • Expressing surprise

Language/grammar points include:

  • Impersonal pronouns: la gente, se, uno/una, tu, ellos
  • creo/pienso/opino/… que+ indicative
  • Es necesario que + subjunctive /Para que + subjunctive
  • Estar a favor de/en contra de+infinitive / que+ subjunctive
  • Pretérito indefinido / Pretérito imperfecto
  • Al + infinitive
  • Simple future
  • Present subjunctive
  • Present indicative / subjunctive
  • Es lógico/natural/me parece gracioso + que + subjunctive
  • Ser/Estar: es de mala educación/no está bien visto + infinitive
  • Me gusta/me encanta que + subjunctive
  • Me sorprende/llama la atención que + subjunctive

Module B

Authentic materials chosen by teachers and students will be used at this level.



Level 6

Level 6

Authentic materials chosen by teachers and students will be used at this level.

Course fee: AUD $380 per 10-week term.

UNSW staff and students are eligible for a discount of 25% off the full course fee.

We offer a re-enrolling discount of 10% off the full course fee for continuing students.

Part-time Evening

Note that evening classes are offered one evening per week. Check the Timetable tab for the evening each course is offered.

Session Start Date Finish Date
Term 1 30 Jan - 2 Feb 2017 3 Apr - 6 Apr 2017
Term 2 * 24 Apr - 27 Apr 2017 26 Jun - 4 July 2017 (Tues)
Term 3 17 Jul - 20 Jul 2017 18 Sep - 21 Sep 2017
Term 4 9 Oct - 12 Oct 2017 11 Dec - 14 Dec 2017

* Tuesday classes start in week 2

Part-time Saturday Morning

Session Start Date Finish Date
Term 1 4 February 2017 8 April 2017
Term 2 29 April 2017 1 July 2017
Term 3 22 July 2017 23 September 2017
Term 4 7 October 2017 9 December 2017

Levels 1A, 1B and 3B available for Saturday classes.

Term 2 Evening (24 April – 4 July)

One evening per week
6:30 - 8:30pm

Click on the link below to see which evening your class is offered.


Term 2

Term 2

Levels Evening
Level 1AWednesday
Level 1BMonday
Level 2ATuesday (week 2 start)
Level 2BThursday
Level 3BTuesday (week 2 start)
Level 4BThursday
Level 5BWednesday

Part-time Saturday Morning (29 April – 1 July)

Saturdays mornings
9:30 - 11:30am

Level 1A, 1B and 3B available for Saturday classes.

Please note that evening classes are located in Building L5 (223 Anzac Parade), and Saturday morning classes are located in the Blockhouse (G6) UNSW Main Campus.

Course Level Learning Outcomes
Beginners 1A

By the end of the course (10 weeks), participants will:

  • have an understanding of the basics of the language
  • be able to communicate in a limited way on some practical everyday matters.
Beginners 1B

By the end of the course (10 weeks), participants will:

be able to communicate in a simple way with an increasing range of vocabulary and language functions.
Elementary 2A

By the end of the course (10 weeks), participants will:

  • have awareness of some grammatical structures
  • be able to use and understand them in simplified contexts.
Elementary 2B

By the end of the course (10 weeks), participants will:

be able to communicate in and understand the language on many practical everyday matters.
Lower-intermediate 3

By the end of this level (20 weeks), participants will:

  • be able to converse reasonably fluently with native speakers
  • discuss some personal, social and current issues using appropriate structures.
Cultural awareness will be further developed. Language learning skills and how to approach authentic material will be developed.
Intermediate 4

By the end of this level (20 weeks), participants will:

  • be able to converse with native speakers
  • follow debates and discuss current issues using more complex and linguistically accurate structures.
Cultural awareness will be further developed within a global context. Language learning skills and how to approach authentic material will be further enhanced.
Upper-intermediate 5

By the end of this level (20 weeks), participants will:

  • be able to use most forms of the language in a social or professional environment.
Cultural awareness will be further developed within a global context. Language learning skills and how to approach authentic material will be further enhanced.
Advanced 6
This open-ended course will help students achieve a proficient (or native-like) use of the language. The main emphasis will be on conversation and group discussions with the extensive use of authentic materials.

Languages - FAQs

1. What is the length of the courses?

1. What is the length of the courses?

A course is one term of tuition. Each term is 10 weeks in duration.

2. What levels are offered?

2. What levels are offered?

There are 6 Levels. These are: Beginners (level 1), Elementary (level 2), Lower Intermediate (level 3), Intermediate (level 4), Upper Intermediate (level 5), and Advanced (level 6). Each level consists of 20 weeks of study, or 2 x 10 week terms.

3. Are all levels offered for all languages?

3. Are all levels offered for all languages?

Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, French and Italian are offered in a variety of levels from Beginners through to Advanced levels. Other languages are offered from Beginners to Intermediate levels. The availability of levels each term depends on student numbers.

4. How are the levels organised?

4. How are the levels organised?

Levels 1 and 2 are divided into 10 weeks courses (1A, 1B, 2A and 2B). Courses at these levels must to be taken in sequence because they offer beginners or elementary level instruction which will give the student a basic foundation in the language. Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 are all 20 weeks covering two separate modules over two separate terms.

5. Can I study for just one 10 week term?

5. Can I study for just one 10 week term?

Yes, you can. Some students may only want to enrol in one 10 week term. However, in order to progress to the next level it is usual for students to study for 20 weeks at the one level.

6. What course books are used?

6. What course books are used?

Course books are chosen by language teachers. See the Course Content section of the website for more information.

7. What materials are supplied by the teachers?

7. What materials are supplied by the teachers?

Teachers follow the course books but often also provide additional materials for students.

8. Does the course fee include the course book?

8. Does the course fee include the course book?

No. Students are encouraged to purchase their own course books. Course books can be bought in week 1 in the Blockhouse – UNSW Main Campus, or from UNSW bookshop, or online.

9. Are the teachers native speakers?

9. Are the teachers native speakers?

We have a policy of employing teachers who are native speakers. All teachers will either be native speakers or have spent considerable time in a country in which the language is spoken.

10. What experience/qualifications do the teachers have?

10. What experience/qualifications do the teachers have?

All UNSWIL teachers have teaching qualifications and teaching experience.

11. What is the average class size?

11. What is the average class size?

Classes have an average of 10-12 students, with 18 being the maximum number.

12. What is the minimum/maximum age for students?

12. What is the minimum/maximum age for students?

The minimum age for students is 18. There is no maximum age.

13. Do the courses have assessments/exams?

13. Do the courses have assessments/exams?

UNSWIL language courses do not have formal exams or tests, but revision is conducted through a range of other methods depending on the class and the teacher.

14. How do I work out what level I am when enrolling in a course?

14. How do I work out what level I am when enrolling in a course?

Students should self-assess their language level before enrolling in a course by considering the number of hours they have spent studying the language prior to the course and their experience of the language (see website Level Guide for further details). For further assistance, please contact Student Enquiries.

15. When/How will I be notified of class confirmation?

15. When/How will I be notified of class confirmation?

Once payment has been made you will receive a payment acknowledgement email and payment receipt. This will be your class confirmation. No further confirmation will be sent. If we have to cancel a class due to insufficient enrolments you will be sent a class cancellation email 1 to 2 days before the class was due to begin. 

16. Does the course include writing/speaking/listening/grammar/reading?

16. Does the course include writing/speaking/listening/grammar/reading?

Most courses focus on speaking and listening and the essential grammar and vocabulary required to improved verbal and aural fluency. Courses focus less on writing and reading.

17.What kind of certificate do I receive when I complete a course?

17. What kind of certificate do I receive when I complete a course?

Students will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of each level, provided they have attended at least 60% of the term. For students in levels 3,4,5 and 6, certificates will be issued at the completion of the 20-week level.   

18. Can I pay for a course in cash?

18. Can I pay for a course in cash?

No. Payments can be made online using a credit card.  EFTPOS is also accepted.

19. Is parking available?

19. Is parking available?

There is street parking on Day Avenue and streets just west of Anzac Parade. Restricted campus parking is also available in the UNSW car park on the corner of Day Ave and Anzac Parade.

20. How are the Summer courses in January different from other terms?

20. How are the Summer courses in January different from other terms?

The Summer short courses run in January and offer languages at Introduction level (1A and sometimes 1B). 20 hours of tuition are offered over 8 evenings (Mon-Thurs) so that a student can complete a whole level in less than 2 weeks.

Welcome to our Apply Online page:

  1. Please read our How to Apply section.
  2. Please study our Application Checklist and have all documents ready.
  3. Click here for the promotion code to claim your Re-enrolling student discount. Click here for the promotion code to claim your UNSW Staff/Student discount.
  4. Please note our Conditions of Enrolment for Modern Languages programs.

New Application Form

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