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Spanish Beginners (Year 1) Short Course

Key information

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Covid-19 update: The learning doesn’t have to stop, join our online community. We are aiming to deliver courses remotely until further notice. Live tutor support and virtual lessons will take place during advertised teaching hours. The classes are taught in small groups, so you’ll get lots of support from your tutor.

Learn at a moderate pace with our Spanish Beginners short course. Starting in October, you will progress through three modules over a one-year period.

Why choose this course?

Whether you're learning Spanish for travelling, working abroad or with foreign companies, the Spanish Beginners course will enable you to communicate confidently on a basic level in everyday situations, socialise and not feel out of place in the country you are visiting.

This short course is an introduction to the Spanish language and way of life for the purpose of practical communication. Challenging but rewarding, the course is perfectly suited to those looking to develop a basic command of Spanish.

The course consists of one evening class a week, for a total of 30 weeks; spread across three modules, which is ideal for those with various commitments or working full-time.

All of our language short courses are taught by qualified native speakers and delivered at City, University of London’s main campus, in the heart of the capital.

Course overview

The course covers the key vocabulary and basic grammar needed to hold conversations with native speakers, such as greetings, talking about yourself and others and also essential phrases to use when visiting a Spanish speaking country.

You will learn how to introduce yourself, your profession and family members, how to describe one’s house, office and items contained therein, how to speak about food and clothes including their colours. You will also learn how to explain modes of transport and itineraries and how to speak about hobbies and interests.

As well as learning to make statements about daily life in Spanish, you also learn how to abstract the relevant information by asking questions and practising these questions and responses in class. In order to build confidence and understand the structure of the language, you will learn articles, verb conjugation, pronunciation, comparatives and superlatives as well as adjectives. Past and future tense are introduced in Modules Two and Three.

Is it the right level for me?

If you have no prior knowledge of Spanish you must start with Module One, which takes place in October term.

If you have some basic knowledge of Spanish and you are already familiar with the content of Module One you may choose to enrol on Module Two or Module Three. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

If you are a complete beginner but you have missed October enrolment for the Spanish Beginners course you can join our Spanish Beginners Fast Track course in January or the Spanish Beginners Summer Intensive course in April/May.

Please make sure you have the correct level by using our online guidelines.

  • “ Ana was lovely and helpful. Really enjoyed the course ”


    Former student

What will I learn?

What will I learn?

Module 1

Topics covered

  • Greetings;
  • the alphabet;
  • numbers 0 to 100;
  • countries and nationalities;
  • professions;
  • Personal information;
  • Formal and informal situations;
  • Order a drink in a bar;
  • Physical description and personality.
  • the family.

Grammatical structures

  • Pronunciation, verbs in the present tense;
  • Personal pronouns;
  • Definite and indefinite articles;
  • Adjectives and nouns: gender and number;
  • Interrogative pronouns.

Learning objectives

  • Introducing yourself and others;
  • Greeting Talking about yourself;
  • Asking and answering personal questions;
  • Talking about your family;
  • Describing oneself and somebody else;
  • How to order a drink and a snack in a bar.

Module 2

Topics covered

  • Shopping;
  • The city, the house: parts of the house and furniture;
  • Likes and dislikes;
  • The time, days of the week, the months, the weather.

Grammatical structures

  • Demonstrative adjectives and pronoun;
  • "ser" vs. "estar", prepositions of place;
  • Verb "gustar" and "encantar".

Learning objectives

  • Buying objects;
  • Asking and giving price;
  • Describing your house;
  • Expressing likes and dislikes;
  • Tell the time.

Module 3

Topics covered

  • The daily routine;
  • Spare time/ weekends;
  • Work;
  • Past events.

Grammatical structures

  • Present tense: regular, irregular and reflexive verbs;
  • Adverbs of frequency;
  • "saber" vs. "conocer";
  • Introduction to the past tense (pretérito indefinido).

Learning objectives

  • Talking about your daily routine;
  • Talking about the weekend;
  • Expressing positive and negative aspects;
  • Expressing the knowledge of how to do something;
  • Expressing opinions;
  • Describing past events.



Prerequisite knowledge

Modules are taught at progressive levels, if you have no prior knowledge you must start at Module One in the autumn (October).

If you wish to join Module Two of the Spanish short course (in January), you must have completed Module One or be familiar with the content taught in Module One, specified in the What will I learn? section.

If you wish to enrol on Module Three of the short course (in April/May), you must have completed both Module One and Module Two or be familiar with the content taught in these two modules, found in the What will I learn? section.

Please check your level by using our online guidelines before enrolling.

Teaching & assessment

Teaching & assessment

The emphasis in this course is on listening and speaking. The lessons focus on language that is required in authentic situations.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Role-playing
  • classroom discussion
  • pair and group work
  • work on pronunciation and intonation
  • grammar in context.

Listening to audio clips and watching videos are an important element in our lessons.

More comprehensive grammar exercises and reading texts are generally set as homework.

Your progress will be assessed on an on-going basis through homework and performance in class. You will receive verbal feedback from your lecturer when appropriate and written feedback with your homework.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Ele Actual A1

by Virgilio Boribio

  • Publisher: Editorial SM;
  • ISBN: 978-84-675-4741-2.

Units 1-15 from the textbook are covered in the evening class.

You are advised to purchase a copy of the book, available from most major bookshops.

Tutor information

  • Ana Belen Rivas Vilar

    Ana Belen Rivas Vilar has a BA in English Philology (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and trained at the International House London to teach Spanish to adults (September 2001).

    Ana has been working as a Spanish tutor for City University since September 2002 and has taught in various institutions such as the North Hillingdon Adult Education, the International House, The City Lit Institute and Instituto Cervantes since 2004.

Next steps

This Spanish Lower Intermediate evening Short Course empowers students with a sound beginner knowledge of Spanish to develop their languages skills further.…