Kathleen Bulger-Barnett, Ph.D.

SP316 - Topics in Spanish Cuba Libre!

Spring 2001
Instructor: Colonel Bulger-Barnett
Telephone: 464-7457
Office: 428 Scott Shipp Halll
Office hours: Please email for appointment
Email: Bulger-BarnettKD@vmi.edu 

Course description:

Spanish 316 is designed to introduce the post-intermediate student to issues of Cuban interest. Students gain an overview of Cuban culture, literature, history, politics, U.S.- Cuban relations,  and music, to name a few. This course emphasizes the refinement of previously acquired language skills such as speaking and writing and places additional emphasis on reading texts in Spanish for practicality. SP 316 is a student led discussion and readings course. As such, each student is dependent upon the other to come to class prepared and ready to share one's ideas about the works. This course is taught in Spanish with some readings in Spanish and some in English.

Links to Student Websites

Course goals

  1. Reach a level of sophisticated expression in written and oral Spanish. 
  2. Broaden vocabulary and grammar. 
  3. Improve pronunciation. 
  4. Improve listening skills through exposure to the language in and out of the classroom. 
  5. Utilize correct grammar, syntax and a choice of words in a style appropriate for composition. 
  6. Read, discuss, and write about Cuban works of importance. 
  7. Gain knowledge of the most important Cuban writers and figures of the 20th century. 
  8. Increase cultural awareness of Cuba. 
  9. Improve use of library resources and those of the world wide web. 
  10. Create a web portfolio.

Click here for core curriculum statement. 

Grading scale: The grading scale will be as follows:


Grade breakdown: 

Oral/written  reports/contributions.10%
Cristina Garcia paper....................15%
2-one hour exams.........................25%
Web portfolio...............................20%
Final exam....................................30%  

Oral/written  reports/contributions--10% 

Periodically you will be asked to provide brief oral/written reports to the class.  These will be delivered in Spanish and will not be allowed to take place until they have been cleared by me.  Prior to presenting the report to the class, each student  will present it to the instructor, at least two days in advance of when it is scheduled.   The student is expected to rework instructor's suggestions prior to delivering the presentation to the class.

Cristina Garcia paper--15% 

Each student will read Crisitina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban (Sonar en cubano)and will compose a paper in Spanish containing your reactions to the work.  You may read Garcia's  book either in Spanish or English.  The paper will be in Spanish, at least seven pages long,  double spaced (font no larger than 11) and you are NOT allowed any help other than your own resources.  DO NOT ask another to proof your work and do not use internet resources--at all..  The text, a good grammar book, and a dictionary are all that are allowed. List your specific references.

2-one hour exams--25%   

We will have two one hour examinations.

Web portfolio--20% 

Each student will compose a web journal on a specific topic of  Cuban interest.  This should not simply be a gateway page with links.  Rather, you are responsible for researching your topic, writing a journal on this topic, and updating your website regularly with pertinent links.  The journal will be in Spanish and I will help monitor it for grammatical accuracy.

Final exam--30% 


  1. Web-based materials
  2. Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro's Cuba  Tom Miller, Basic Books, New York, 1996 
  3. Cuba and The United StatesCuba: A chronological History. Jane Franklin, Ocean Press: Melbourne/New York 1997 
  4. Dreaming in Cuban  (Sonar en  cubano) Cristina Garcia, New York : Ballantine Books, 1993.

Additional recommended reading: [Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas, Dolores M. Koch (Translator)]

Any GOOD Spanish/English-English/Spanish dictionary. 

Work for Grade policies:

Bulger-Barnett Help Received Policy: 

Unless the assigned work is certified and specifically for a grade, cadets are
encouraged to work together. However, FOR YOUR PROTECTION, it should be noted in writing at the end of the assignment if help was received, and from whom. See also all links referring to work for grade. Since computer drills are of a tutorial nature only and for supplemental practice purposes only and not for a numerical grade, students may help one another, get tutorial help, or even access the answers online.

Cadet/Faculty Responsibility on Work for Grade 
Click here for Modern Language Dept. policies on work for Grade 

Modern Language Department policy stipulates that a cadet may leave the classroom during class ONLY in cases of emergency.  Students  who come to class unprepared and/or without the text used  for that day will be asked to leave resulting in a grade of zero for that day.

Some Cuban links:

Music links: