Kathleen Bulger-Barnett, Ph.D.


Professor: Col. K. Bulger-Barnett
Office hours: By appointment. Email me and we will schedule a time.
Email: Bulger-Barnettkd@vmi.edu 
Office: 428 Scott Shipp Hall
Telephone: 464-7457


Course description: SP 315: INTRODUCTION TO HISPANIC TEXTS  3—0—3
A course designed to build on the reading skills acquired in intermediate Spanish by presenting texts drawn from many fields of interest: politics, business, literature, history, and culture. Conducted in Spanish. Emphasis will be placed on strengthening reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: SP 202 or SP 204.

Course goals and methods: The goal of Spanish 315 is to bridge the lower-level language skills of reading, writing, speaking and understanding to a post-intermediate language level. Students will reach  post intermediate levels of vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, composition and  readings. The student incorporates the skills through spoken and written Spanish in the classroom, and assignments are geared toward reading, writing, and pronouncing well. This is primarily a readings course and articles read will be from various fields including current events, politics, business, literature, and history. The daily structure of the class will be reading and discussing written articles in order to improve reading comprehension. Students will then restate articles in their own words in both written and spoken form so that they strengthen vocabulary,  grammar, and overall use of the Spanish language. 

Homework and reading assignments are  not "certified" since they are not for a formal grade, per se. However, if you have worked with another student, a tutor, or any other individual, it should be noted in writing. You may use dictionaries and other tools to help you and I ask that you specify what they are. Cadets who are unprepared or without a copy of the day’s article may be asked to leave the class.  


Text:  A good Spanish-English dictionary (Recommended Larousse). Many are available for check out from Preston Library.  

Grading Scale: The grading scale will be as follows: 


Grade distribution: 
Vocabulary journals: 20%
Quizzes: 20% 
2 one-hour examinations:  30%
Final Examination: 30% 

Vocabulary journal…20%  

Students will keep a vocabulary journal in EXCEL throughout the semester. You will enter into a spreadsheet all new words learned from each written article. You will include the Spanish word and article in one column, the English word in another, a Spanish synonym in a third column (use a thesaurus for help), and a sentence in which you use the new word in a fourth.  By the end of the semester this will be an extensive list. Please save it to the M drive so that it is not lost accidentally. Vocabulary journals will be submitted on a weekly basis, due on Fridays, and each week’s words should include any words from the articles read that week.  In cases where a student’s vocabulary is extensive and no new words are learned from the articles, I will work with that student individually to reinforce vocabulary use. 

Quizzes................. (20%)  

Quizzes will test reading comprehension, vocabulary growth, grammar, pronunciation and listening ability, and composition.  Some quiz grades will be from compositions. Others will be of an oral/aural nature.  In case of absence, a quiz may be taken in advance or via email the same day as the class is taking it. You may not take quizzes after the class has already done so.  

Make up / late policy:  

There will not be any make-ups given. If a cadet knows in advance that he/she will be absent the day of an incoming grade, he/she is expected to complete the assignment early. In cases of guard, most of the time you are able to come to class for an exam or a quiz. Otherwise, tell me in advance and I will make arrangements for you to take it. 

One-hour tests.......................................30%  

There will be two one-hour exams. 

Final Examination.....................................30%  

The final exam will be comprehensive. 

Accommodations:  VMI abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which mandate reasonable accommodations be provided for cadets with documented disabilities. If you have a registered disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination accommodations, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate provision of the accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Office of Disabilities Services, the designated office on campus to provide services for cadets with disabilities. The office is located in Room 215-A of Carroll hall; you may call 540-464-7765 or stop by the office for more information. 

Help received clarification:  

Unless the assigned work is certified and specifically for a formal 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. Computer drills are not certified and you have permission to work with others. Since computer drills are of a tutorial nature only and for supplemental practice purposes only and not for a numerical grade per exercise, students may help one another, get tutorial help, or even access the answers. However, note in writing or an email that you have done this. 

All Institute's policies in the Academic Regulations and the booklet   Easy Access: The Reference Handbook for Writers are applicable to all work in this course. 

Click here for VMI Work for Grade Policy
Click here for Modern Language and Cultures Work for Grade Policy  


Calendar  Spring, 2011 

All/any readings provided online and on a specific date below are to be prepared for that day’s class. In other words, they are due for that day’s class and should be read prior to class. Cadets are responsible for printing the articles, reading them prior to class, and bringing them to class.  


OJO! Please check this site regularly, as  it is incomplete at this time.  I would like to keep current event articles current. As a result, I cannot add all of them in advance. Please bookmark this calendar so that you can refer to it as needed.  



T/11 Registration 

W/12 Classes begin: Introduction  


F/14  Current event: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2010/12/101222_chile_mineros_recuento_fama_lh.shtml?s 

M/17 culture: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2010/12/101229_buenos_aires_ruido_aw.shtml 


W/19  Last day to add a course. Economy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2010/12/101208_economia_mundo_2010_mj.shtml 


F/21  weekly vocabulary journal due. Quiz 

M/24  Literature: http://www.americaeconomia.com/politica-sociedad/cultura-y-espectaculos/peruano-mario-vargas-llosa-recibe-premio-nobel-de-literatur 


W/26  http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2011/01/110105_calvicie_causa_celulas_men.shtml 


F/28  Culture: http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/cine/toro_es.asp  

weekly vocabulary journal due 


M/31 Quiz 

T/1 February 

W/2 http://www.literatura.us/cortazar/isla.html   La isla a mediodia, Julio Cortazar



F/4 weekly vocabulary journal due  and http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2011/01/110119_obama_regalos_america_latina_sao.shtml 




M/7 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/cortazar/axolotl.htm 


W/9  http://www.literatura.us/cortazar/arriba.htmlEnd first grading period  


F/11 weekly vocabulary journal due 


M/14 Quiz


W/16 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/milagro.htm 


F/18 weekly vocabulary journal due Quiz  and El milagro secreto


M/21  EXAM I 




F/25 weekly vocabulary journal due 


M/28 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/milagro.htm 

T/1 March 

W/2 End-2nd grading period  http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/milagro.htm 


F/4 weekly vocabulary journal due http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/ruinas.htm 



M/7 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/ruinas.htm 


W/9 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/borges/ruinas.htm 


F/11 weekly vocabulary journal due http://www.literatura.us/borges/index.html 

[12 March-21 March Spring Furlough] 


W/23  Conference


F/25   Conference weekly vocabulary journal due 

M/28 Borges wrap up


W/30 http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/cuentos/esp/quiroga/darien.htm 


F/1 April weekly vocabulary journal due 




M/4 No classes FTX 

T/5 No classes FTX 

W/6 Monday classes meet today. End 3rd grading period.  



Last Day to Withdraw with automatic W 

R/7 Tuesday classes meet today 

F/8 weekly vocabulary journal due 


M/11  Quiz 


W/13  Exam II 


F/15 weekly vocabulary journal due 






F/22 weekly vocabulary journal due. Quiz 


M/25  No classes. Easter Break 




F/29 Monday classes meet today; weekly vocabulary journal due 



M/2 Last day of classes 

T/3 Reading day 

W/4-11 May Final exams 

M/16 Commencement, Class of 2011