Beginning Grammar and Conversation (Level 1)
San José, Costa Rica
Area of Study
Linguistics, Modern Languages, Spanish, Spanish Culture
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits5
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units8
Hours & Credits
No previous knowledge of Spanish is required. The main goal of this level is to develop oral expression. Students should develop a basic ability to converse in simple, daily situations. Students at this level are exposed to a progressive format of basic vocabulary units in combination with the adquisition of appropriate grammatical structures.
1. Greetings and Farewells (formal and informal)
2. Personal Information: (origin/nationality, name, profession, and marital status)
3. Titles: Mr., Mrs., Ms., Sir, Madam
4. Basic verbs: to be, to live, to call oneself (ser, vivir, llamarse). How to use them.
5. Regular verbs of the first conjugation.
6. Regular verbs of the second and third conjugation.
7. The alphabet and spelling
9. Indefinite and definite articles
10. Gender and number of nouns and adjectives and agreement
11. General classroom vocabulary (including articles)
12. Interrogatives: How?, Where?, From where?, What?, Which?
13. Personal pronouns and demonstratives
A. Meetings and first contacts
B. In a hotel - giving personal facts
1. The family (members, use of the preposition "de", tener)
2. Estar ("to be"): (location/time/participle) - San José está en Costa Rica. (San Jose is in Costa Rica.)
- Mi casa está en las afueras de SJ. (My house is in the outskirts of SJ.) - Yo estoy enfermo/sentado. (I
3. Description and identification of a person
4. Verb "to have" (tener): To have + possession/disease/age/physical description.
-Tengo un hermano. (I have one brother).
- Tengo un carro. (I have a car.)
- Tengo sed/frio/miedo. (I am thirsty/cold/scared).
- Tengo quince años. (I am 15 years old.)
- Tengo pelo negro y lacio. (I have black, curly hair.)
5. The seasons of the year and the weather - hace frio (it's cold), está nublado (it's cloudy), llueve (it's
6. Days of the week, months of the year, and the date
7. Possessive adjectives
8. Prepositions of place: over, under, in front of, across from, on top of, next to, to the right, behind, near,
far from, etc.
9. Use of "hay". ¿Qué hay en San José? (What is there is San José?) plus names of stores and other
10. The time (What time is it?, "on the dot", a.m., p.m., morning, afternoon, evening, night).
11. Intensifying adverbs.
1. A) Grandma's birthday party. Talk about different ways to celebrate birthdays in different countries.
B) Marriage and the formation of a new family. en "El Cuartel", el matrimonio y la formacion de una
2. Daily routine of a professional vs. that of a homemaker.
1. Expression of likes and preferences: to like + infinitive.
2. Expressions of surprise/admiration/exclamation - How awful! How beautiful!
3. Basic prepositions: to, from, in, with.
4. Shopping - clothing, shoes and accessories
5. Materials: What material is this?
7. Irregular verbs in the first person: poner, hacer, saber, ver, venir, ir.
8. Use of "also" and "neither" (también and tampoco)
9. 9. Giving directions in a city: to turn, to cross, to continue? Simple commands with these verbs only.
10. Cardinal points.
11. Expressing distances (kilometers, meters, miles, blocks, etc)
12. Food - the parts of a meal, vocab. Fruits and vegetables, meat, drinks. - Expressing food
B) Sports and Recreation
C) City vs. the countryside/mountains
1. Requesting a service. - I need, want, etc.
2. Making special requests. -I want my meat cooked medium well./ I want a cold glass of wine./May I pay
with a credit card?
deseo una copa de vino blanco frio/ puedo pagar con tarjeta de credito.
3. Expressing problems or inconveniences.
- This meat is burnt./I don't like this wine./I don't like this table so close to the bathroom.
4. Making phone calls and taking messages. What is your phone number?/Would you like to leave a
message? I'm sorry. Wrong number.
5. Visiting the doctor. Remembering an appointment.
6. Body parts. - I feel bad/sick./My head hurts./My feet hurt.
7. Future plans. Going to? (IR A + Inf.)
8. Daily routine: Frequently used regular verbs, as well as to leave, to get up, to shower, to eat lunch, to
go to bed.
levantarse, ducharse, almorzar, acostarse.
A) In an elegant restaurant and/or in a café in San José.
B) In a house/office speaking on the phone.
C) At the doctor's office.
D) Plans for the weekend.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
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