Spanish CultureCourse Required
Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo - Santander
Area of Study
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3 - 3
Hours & Credits
This course is designed to introduce some of the elements that make up the "Spanish culture". This has produced a list of themes including political, geographical, historical, social, and folklore of contemporary Spain. This overview of Spain today, although also relating to globalization, is complemented with a reflection on what the general culture and Spanish culture in particular are, and on the need to achieve intercultural competence when relating to a different culture.
Through this course of Spanish culture the learner is provided with the necessary base to be able to do the following:
- Reflect on the meaning of the word culture in general and the meaning of the Spanish culture in particular
- Analyze the causes and consequences of cultural misunderstandings
- Discuss how cultural generalizations can be useful and dangerous
- Investigate the relationship between language and culture
- Develop an anthropological view of the complex reality of Spanish cultura
- Understand the structure and organization of Spanish politics
- Become familiar with the recent history of Spain
- Understand the current issues that are most important to the Spanish
- Know and understand some of the Spanish traditions and customs
- Delve into a specific aspect of Spanish culture
The subject, in addition to being organized around the exhibition of a series of socio-cultural content, also aims to develop the student's language skills in Spanish. As a result, various techniques are used for teaching and learning as oral presentations (by the teacher and student), readings and reading comprehension activities, debates and classroom discussions.
- What is the "Spanish culture?". Cultural habits. Stereotypes. Everyday life. Cultural misunderstandings. Body language.
- Spain, a country of contrasts. The geographical environment. The Spain of Autonomous. Notion of "capital". Concept of "provincial towns". Artistic attractions. The languages of Spain.
- Yesterday and today in Spain. The recent history. The Civil War and the Franco regime. The democratic transition. A democratic country.
- Political and administrative features. The Spanish Constitution. The head of state and the symbols. The separation of powers. Political parties. Unions. The territorial organization.
- Education. Organization of the school system. The "bachillerato." College. The study-related labor market.
- Profile of Spanish society. Young. The family. The man and the woman. Ecological awareness. Social values. Current problems. Religion and superstition. The Camino de Santiago.
- Popular traditions. Fiestas in Spain. Music and flamenco. Bullfights.
- Spanish cuisine. A gastronomic tour of Spain. Value of nutrition and a balanced diet. Dining habits.
Criteria of evaluation:
Active participation in class: 15%
Project and oral presentation: 25%
Written work: 25%
Final exam: 20%
Attendance and participation:
Class attendance is important and mandatory. Absences are justified with a written document. Students with more than three unexcused absences will receive a grade of 0.0 in the course. Student participation in discussions, debates, and group work is highly valued. Class attendance does not guarantee a good participation grade.
Bajo Álvarez, F. y J. Gil Pecharromán (2003) Historia de España, Madrid: SGEL
Bellón Alonso, V. y Roncero Doña, E. (2005) España ayer y hoy: apuntes de lengua y civilización españolas, Madrid: Edinumen
López Moreno, C. (2005) España contemporánea, Madrid: SGEL
Mora, C. (2001) España: ayer y hoy, Madrid: SGEL
Ruiz Jiménez, J. J. (2000) Aproximación a España, Granada: Editorial Comares
Quesada, Sebastián (2006). Esp@ña. Curso de Civilización, Madrid: Edelsa
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations