ISSI Core Courses

"I was able to build warm relationships  with people from California and other western states, and also the instructors of the core course. A friendly and inclusive atmosphere enveloped the entire campus." - Recent ISSI program participant

 

Courses Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:15p.m.
You will be in more than one classroom as you move through your day. The cultural breakout sessions are part of your day and you do not need to be registered for them separately. You DO need to be registered for any numbered course; e.g., SPA 156C. Please view the Typical Day at ISSI page for more details.  

PLEASE USE THESE DETAILED CORE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS BELOW TO ASSIST YOU IN SELF-PLACEMENT.

Unless listed otherwise, all materials are provided for all ISSI courses. Materials used for Institute courses are available in alternate format upon request. If you need special accommodations for a certifiable disability that may affect class performance, please notify us as soon as possible so that we may meet those accommodations. Optional materials include a Spanish-English/English-Spanish dictionary and the 501 Spanish Verbs book.

 

Detailed Course Descriptions

Transfers to CSU

For students with no prior Spanish knowledge. Emphasis is on basic communication skills. Topics include: present tense verb conjugation, basic sentence structure, introduction of the verbs "ser," "estar," "ir," "querer," "llamar," "gustar," "tener + que + infinitive verb," "ir + a + infinitive verb," agreement of nouns and adjectives, definite and indefinite articles, interrogative (question) words, "tú" vs. "usted," numbers, use of "hay," greetings, expressions of courtesy, and other useful vocabulary.

 

Day 1:  Introduction and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions and "Una busqueda" (A Search); Active Vocabulary, Conversations; Forms of Address and Conversations; Subject Pronouns; Introduction To Regular Verb Conjugations; More Active Vocabulary; Review Vocabulary, Subject Pronouns, and Verbs; Crossword and Word Scramble


Day 2:  Review Regular -ar Verb Conjugations; Asking Questions; Submarino Game; Review Regular -er and -ir Verb Conjugations; Interrogative Words and Entrevista (Interview); Active Vocabulary; Practice; Irregular Verbs: ESTAR; Practice


Day 3: Review Irregular Verb: ESTAR; Practice; Student Self-introductions in Spanish; Agreement of Nouns in Spanish; Definite and Indefinite Articles; Review Agreement of Nouns and Articles; Practice; Irregular Verb: SER; Practice


Day 4:  Agreement of Adjectives in Spanish; Active Vocabulary; Practice; Ser and Estar; Practice; The Verb Gustar, Active Vocabulary; Irregular Verbs; Practice


Day 5: Stem-changing Verb: Tener; Practice; "Tener + que + infinitive verb;" Practice; Stem-changing verb: Querer; Review of Low-Beginning Grammar and Vocabulary


 

Pedro Rodriguez, from the Don Quijote Language School, and instructor Nancy Zarenda)

Transfers to CSU

For students with a brief introduction to Spanish. Topics include: review of "tú" vs. "usted," conjugation of regular verbs and "estar," introduction of conjunctions, basic prepositions, pronunciation differences between English and Spanish, questioning skills and interrogatives, Spanish slang and sayings, bargaining tips, loaning an object, cognates and false cognates, conjunctions and simple prepositions, cultural concept of time, and more useful vocabulary. Optional: Pronounce It Perfectly in Spanish (book and tape available in college bookstore upon arrival)


Day 1Introduction and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions and "Una busqueda" (A Search); Active Vocabulary; Tú y Usted / Conversations; Subject Pronouns and Conversations; Review of Regular Verb Conjugations; Practice; Active Vocabulary; Practice


Day 2: Asking Questions; Practice; Active Vocabulary; Practice; Spanish Slang and Culture: Bargaining; Review of Estar and Practice
Day 3: Practice with Estar and Vocabulary; Loan of an Object and Practice; Alphabet, Consonants; Hangman Game; Vowels and Practice; Diphthongs, Linking; Practice
Day 4: Review Alphabet and Practice; Accents and Practice; Cognates and Practice; False Cognates and Practice; Conjunctions and Practice; Simple Prepositions; Practice

Day 5: Culture: Time; Mini-dialog Practice; Pronunciation Differences; Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Argentina; Pictionary Game in Spanish

Transfers to CSU

For students familiar with the present tense. Topics include: review of present tense verb conjugation, verbs "ser," "estar," "gustar," "ir," "ir + a + infinitive verb," "tener," "tener + que + infinitive verb," "tú " vs. "usted," greetings, farewells, conversation, and questioning skills, introduction of gender of nouns, definite and indefinite articles, subject pronouns, contractions, descriptive and limiting adjectives, stem-changing verb "venir," irregular verbs "hacer," "poner," and "salir," present progressive tense ("estar + gerund"), telling time, and more useful vocabulary.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Greetings; Conversations; Agreement of Nouns in Spanish; the Definite Article; Practice; the Indefinite Article and Practice; Subject Pronouns; Regular Verb Conjugations; Active Vocabulary; Review Vocabulary, Subject Pronouns, and Verbs; Submarino Game

Day 2:  Asking Questions; Conversations and Interview; Practice and Active Vocabulary; Review Regular Verb Conjugations; Practice; Irregular Verb: ESTAR; Practice and Interview; ¿Quién?; Irregular Verbs; Practice


Day 3: Review Agreement of Adjectives; Practice; Submarino Game; Ser and Estar; Practice; Irregular Verb: IR; Practice; Review Ser, Estar, and Ir; Active Vocabulary; Irregular Verbs: Tener and Venir


Day 4: Review Tener and Venir; Practice; Verb Practice; Contractions al and del, Practice; Active Vocabulary Practice; "Tener + age + Me presento," Irregular Verbs: HACER, PONER; and SALIR; Practice; Irregular Verbs: Stem-changing Verbs; Active Vocabulary


Day 5: Review Irregular and Stem-changing Verbs; Practice; Telling Time; Practice; Review Irregular Verbs and Time; Gustar and Practice; Present Progressive Tense; Asking For Directions; Review: High-Beginning Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students with working knowledge of the present tense. Emphasis is on vocabulary development, communication strategies and oral proficiency. Topics include: review of the present tense including stem-changing verbs, greetings, farewells, conversations, "tú" vs. "usted," interrogative (question) words, "tener + que + infinitive verb" to show obligation, "ir + a + infinitive verb" to express the future, and the present progressive tense ("estar + present participle"), introduction of reflexive verbs and pronouns, "conocer" and "saber," brief introduction of the imperfect and preterit tenses, and more useful vocabulary.


 

Day 1:  Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Greetings and Conversation; Conjugation of Regular Verbs; Practice; Submarino Game; Interrogative Words and Conversation; Interview and Practice; Irregular Verb: ESTAR; Practice and ¿Quién?, Irregular Verb: SER; Practice


Day 2: Ser and Estar; Practice; Me presento; Irregular Verbs; Practice; Irregular verbs: TENER and VENIR; Practice


Day 3:  Present Progressive Tense, Interview and Practice; Irregular Verbs; HACER, PONER, and SALIR; Practice; Irregular Verbs: QUERER, PENSAR, and PREFERIR; Practice; Conocer and Saber; Irregular Verbs: DORMIR, PODER, and VOLVER; Practice


Day 4: Review Irregular Verbs; Irregular Verbs: SEGUIR, PEDIR, and DECIR; Crossword Puzzle; Active Vocabulary and Interview; Conversation; Active Vocabulary; Word Scramble; Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns; Active Vocabulary


Day 5: Review Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns; Practice; the Imperfect Tense; Practice; Submarino Game; the Preterite Tense; Review: Low-Intermediate Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students with one year of college Spanish or the equivalent. Topics include: review of regular verb conjugation, irregular verb "ser," present progressive tense ("estar + present participle"), the imperfect tense, reflexive verbs and pronouns, introduction to the preterite tense and irregular verbs in the preterite tense, verbs that change meaning when used in the preterite, comparison of preterite and imperfect tenses, vocabulary of time, cultural information on daily life and housing, use of "mucho" and "poco" as adjectives and adverbs, borrowed words from Spanish and English, weather and the verb "hacer," adjectives and cognates suffix patterns, more false cognates, demonstrative adjectives, new vocabulary development, emphasis on communication strategies, and more Spanish slang and sayings.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Review Regular and Irregular Verbs; Interview; Review Shopping Vocabulary and Practice; Review Present Progressive and Practice; Preterite Tense: Regular Verbs; Practice


Day 2: Preterite Tense: Irregular Verbs; Practice; Words of Doubt; Preterite Tense: Change of Meaning; Active Vocabulary; Practice; Spanish Slang / Street Spanish; Vocabulary Practice


Day 3: Review Imperfect and Practice; Active Vocabulary and Practice; Culture: Daily Life; Review Reflexive Verbs / Pronouns; Active Vocabulary: Daily Life and Practice; More Active Vocabulary: La Casa; Practice


Day 4: Compare Preterite and Imperfects Tenses; Practice; Adverbs: Mucho and Poco and Practice; Borrowed Words and Cognates; Weather: El Tiempo and Practice; More Active Vocabulary: Weather; Practice


Day 5: Suffix Patterns: Adjectives and Cognates; Practice; False Cognates; Adjectives: Mucho and Poco: Adjectives: Demonstrative; Practice; Pictionary; Review: Intermediate Grammar and Vocabulary

This course, a continuation of SPA 122B, ISSI Intermediate, is designed to continue building grammatical structures that focus on speaking, reading, writing, and understanding. Topics include a review of the present tense and a comparison of the present and present progressive tenses. Students will review the preterite and imperfect tenses, compare and contrast the preterite and imperfect tenses, and be introduced to additional uses in more complex sentences, review and continue use of reflexive verbs, and 8 uses of "se." New Vocabulary and grammatical structures will be presented and developed in conversational and written contexts.

Transfers to CSU

For students with at least 2-3 years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Students should have a command of the present tense and a working knowledge of the past tense and expressing the future with "ir + a + infinitive verb." Vocabulary development and communication strategies will be emphasized. Topics include: review of regular and irregular verbs in the present tense, differences between "conocer" and "saber," reflexive verbs and pronouns, "ser" and "estar," the imperfect and preterite tenses and their uses, and vocabulary for time, introduction of the present subjunctive mood, formal and informal commands, and more useful vocabulary.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Conjugation of Regular and Irregular Verbs; Practice; Words of Doubt; Reflexive verbs and "¿Qué hacen?"; Ser and Estar, Me presento and Practice


Day 2: Personal questions and the Imperfect Tense; Practice and Interview; Lecture: "El hombre que tenía dos esposas"; Submarino Game; Preterite Tense and Practice


Day 3: Irregular Verbs in the Preterite; Practice; Words of Doubt; Verbs That Change Meaning in the Preterite; Practice; Submarino Game; Present Subjunctive Mood; Practice


Day 4: Review Present Subjunctive Mood; Explanation of Present Subjunctive; Practice; Active Vocabulary and Practice; Review of Present Subjunctive; Formal Commands and Practice; Familiar commands and Practice


Day 5: Practice and Words of Doubt; Active Vocabulary and "A Lost Tourist;" Review of Present Subjunctive; Familiar Commands and Practice; Practice and Conversation; Review: High-Intermediate Grammar and Vocabulary

This course, a continuation of SPA 122D, ISSI High Intermediate, is for students with one to two years of Spanish at the college level, or the equivalent. This course will provide a review and in-depth comparison of preterite and imperfect tenses, review preterite of irregular and stem-changing verbs, will further develop the subjunctive mood, and will expand preposition usage and past tense time expressions, and idiomatic expressions. New vocabulary will be presented and developed in conversational and academic contexts. Complex structures will be introduced and difficult grammatical items will be reviewed and new items introduced. This course is conducted almost entirely in Spanish.  

Transfers to CSU

For students with a minimum of two to three years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Students should have a working knowledge and command of most tenses. Complex sentence patterns will expand vocabulary using idiomatic expressions, slang, and difficult grammatical principles. Topics include: review of commands, introduction to advanced uses of the preterite and imperfect tenses, differences between "pedir" and "preguntar," additional uses of the present subjunctive mood, the future tense, short essays and poetry, and more useful vocabulary.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; the Imperfect Tense; Practice, Interview and Words of Doubt; Story: "El hombre que tenía dos esposas"; Poem: "Anoche cuando dormía"; the Past Tense; Practice; Verbs in the Past and Imperfect Tenses; Exercises; Lecture: "Cuatro sobrevivientes en tragedia aérea"; Poem: "Triolet"; Refranes; Submarino Game


Day 2: The Present Subjunctive Mood; Practice; the Subjunctive with Impersonal Expressions; the Subjunctive with Wish or Desire; Practice; the Subjunctive with Verbs of Emotion; Exercises; Review of the Subjunctive; the Subjunctive In Order To Express Doubt, Incredibility and Negation; Exercises


Day 3: Review of the Subjunctive Mood; the Subjunctive In Order To Express the Undefined and Nonexistent; Lecture: "Oración de un padre"; Expressions Requiring the Subjunctive; Expressions Requiring the Subjunctive or the Indicative; Practice; Words for "Maybe;" Sayings; Expressing Purpose; General Review of the Subjunctive


Day 4: Review Present Subjunctive Mood; Lecture: "Carta a papá"; Commands and Sayings; Exercises; Informal Commands; Practice; Review of the Subjunctive and Commands; Lecture: Dios padre...


Day 5: The Future; Practice and Sayings; Lecture: "De lo que aconteció a un mancebo que se casó con una mujer muy fuerte y muy brava"; Review: Low-Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students with at least 2-3 years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Topics include: review of difficulties with the preterite and imperfect tenses, the present subjunctive mood, direct and indirect object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, and the future tense, introduction of more complex uses of the subjunctive mood, new vocabulary, and related expressions to expand communicative strategies, advanced use of vocabulary and intricate grammatical structures taught through literature, uses of "por" and "para," advanced uses of definite and indefinite articles, uses of the infinitive, comparatives, and popular sayings.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; the Imperfect Tense; Practice, Interview; Literature: "La Muerte de Artemio Cruz"; the Preterite Tense; Practice; Literature: "La Celestina"; the Preterite and the Imperfect Tenses Together and Practice


Day 2: Por and Practice; Expressions With Por and Para and Practice; Para and Expressions and Practice; Por and Para Together; Definite Articles and Practice; Indefinite Articles and Practice; Literature: "La Muerte de Artemio Cruz"; Tongue Twisters


Day 3: The Present Subjunctive; Explanation and the Subjunctive with Impersonal Expressions; the Subjunctive With Verbs of Wish and Desire; the Subjunctive With Verbs of Emotion; the Subjunctive In Order to Express Doubt, Incredibility, and Negation; Use of "Creer" and "Pensar" With the Subjunctive; the Subjunctive In Order To Express the Undefined or Nonexistent; Expressions That Require the Subjunctive; Expressions That Require the Subjunctive or the Indicative and Practice; Using Words That Express "Maybe" With the Subjunctive; Lecture: "Oración de un padre"


Day 4: General Review of the Subjunctive Mood; New Use of the Subjunctive and Practice; Active Vocabulary and Practice; the Infinitive and Practice; Comparatives and Practice; Direct Object Pronouns and Practice; Indirect Object Pronouns and Practice


Day 5: Reflexive Pronouns and Practice; Tongue Twisters and Popular Sayings; Literature: "Pedro Páramo"; Review of the Future Tense and Practice; Review: Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students with at least 3 years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Grammatical structures and vocabulary expansion will be highlighted through literature selections, business terminology, forms, letters, and street slang. Topics include: review of uses of the preterite and imperfect tenses, and the subjunctive mood, introduction of the conditional tense, the imperfect subjunctive mood, expressions of courtesy and getting one's attention, the present perfect tense, and the past perfect tense.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; the Imperfect Tense; Practice, Interview and Words of Doubt; Poem: Anoche cuando dormía; the Preterite Tense; Linguistic Note and Exercises; Verbs in the Preterite and Imperfect Tenses; Practice; Lecture: Cuatro sobrevivientes en tragedia aérea; Poem: "Triolet y Refranes"; Review of the Preterite and Imperfect Tenses; Poem: "Iba you por un camino"; the Present Subjunctive Mood; Explanation and the Subjunctive With Impersonal Expressions


Day 2: The Subjunctive With Verbs of Wishing and Desiring; Practice; the Subjunctive With Verbs of Emotion; Exercises; the Subjunctive In Order To Express Doubt, Incredibility, and Negation; Practice; the Subjunctive In Order to Express the Undefined and the Nonexistent; Lecture: "Oración de un padre"; Expressions That Require the Subjunctive; Expressions That Require the Subjunctive or the Indicative; Practice


Day 3: Using Words That Express "Maybe;" Sayings; Expressing Purpose; General Review of the Subjunctive; Vocabulary for Doubt; Lecture: "Carta a papá"; Commands and Exercises; Lecture: "Dios padre..."; Lecture: "De lo que aconteció a un mancebo que se casó con una mujer muy fuerte y muy brava"


Day 4: The Future Tense; The Conditional Tense; The Imperfect Subjunctive Mood; The Imperfect Subjunctive and the Conditional in Requests and Expressions of Courtesy; Lecture: "No nos digamos adiós..."; Exercises; Lecture: "Instantes"; Courtesy; Invitation and Linguistic Note; the Present Perfect Tense


Day 5: Form: Exchange Program; Lecture: "Solicitud de Ayuda Federal Estudiantil y Comprensión"; the Past Perfect Tense and Practice; Form: Employment Application; Letters; Review: High-Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students with at least 3 years of college-level Spanish or the equivalent. Vocabulary enrichment will be highlighted through idioms, proverbs, synonyms and antonyms. Topics include: review of the past subjunctive mood, the conditional tense, the pronoun "se," "if" clauses, modern idioms, the perfect subjunctive mood, complex sentences, recognition of the different accents of the Spanish-speaking world, and improving your Spanish accent. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish.
Optional: Pronounce It Perfectly in Spanish (book and tape available in college bookstore upon arrival)


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Review of the Conditional Tense and Practice; Past Subjunctive Mood; Review of Past Subjunctive Mood and Conditional Tense


Day 2: Idioms and Proverbs; Review of "Se" (Reflexives and Double Object Pronouns); Review of Se (Impersonal and Passive Voice Constructions); Discussing Accidents and Unexpected Events


Day 3: Review of "Se" (Reciprocal and Infinitive); Literature: "Cien Años de soledad"; Perfect Subjunctive Mood; Practice


Day 4: Literature: "La Celestina"; Complex Sentences; Tongue Twisters and Riddles; Differences in Accents in the Spanish-speaking World


Day 5: Differences in Accents in the Spanish-speaking World Continued; Synonyms and Antonyms; Review: Low Superior Grammar and Vocabulary

Transfers to CSU

For students ready to challenge their oral and listening skills. Using periodical articles and literary selections, students will debate, question, explain, and describe in Spanish. Crucial grammatical structures related to course materials will be reviewed. Course is conducted entirely in Spanish.


Day 1: Introductions and Orientation; Teacher Introduction; Class Philosophy and Materials; Student Introductions; Poetry


Day 2: The Border


Day 3: Education


Day 4: Stories


Day 5: Literary Terms; "La Camisa de Margarita;" and Tradition

This course will explore and develop the Spanish language at the high superior level through the art and artists of Spain from the 16th century, focusing on works depicting the Americas. the emphasis will be on the great stages of colonial and post-colonial works and the manner in which artists participated in and contributed to the political debate regarding the complex relations between Spain and the New World. The course will focus on the Spanish language through graphic works, architecture, sculpture, music and Spanish literature. This course will be presented in Spanish.