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Continuing Studies


We have made this practical high-beginner's course (A1.2) better with a new curriculum. Explore the cultural richness of the Spanish-speaking world while taking your skills to the next level. Improve your ability to converse about a wider range of common topics in the present tense, take your first steps in conversing with past tenses, and grow your comprehension, reading and writing skills, all in the context of real-life situations. See Outline for more details.

Prerequisite: Spanish 1.

Find out if this is the right level for you with these placement tests: Spanish 1 self-placement test, Spanish 2 self-placement test.

Course format: Instructional videos and interactive online materials in the Canvas course platform introduce new grammar and vocabulary and teach pronunciation, listening and reading skills. Participants should budget 3-4 hours a week to work through the workbook and the online asynchronous materials in preparation for the live online conversation groups. Participants practice speaking live with the instructor in small groups of 3-6 students in 30-minute weekly sessions. Groups will vary weekly, so participants should be available for the entire one-hour time slot. Online course materials are available one week before the first live conversation class and remain accessible for one month after the course ends.

Want to know more about learning a language online? Read Dr. Julie Dahl's blog post about our online course format.

A printable workbook (PDF) is included in the price. All other materials are available through the course platform.

Sections anticipated for summer 2023 (See Upcoming Dates for open sections and more detail):

Tuesdays, June 13–Aug. 29, 5–6 p.m. CT (No virtual conversation on July 4)

Tuesdays, June 13–Aug. 29, 6:15–7:15 p.m. CT (No virtual conversation on July 4)

Wednesdays, July 5–Sept. 13, 8:30–9:30 a.m. CT

Wednesdays, July 5–Sept. 13, 5:30–6:30 p.m. CT

Sections anticipated for fall 2023 (See Upcoming Dates for open sections and more detail):

Thursdays, Aug. 10–Oct. 19, 8:30–9:30 a.m. CT

Wednesdays, Sept. 27–Dec. 13, 5:30–6:30 p.m. CT (No virtual conversation session on Nov. 22)

Course Outline

Course outline

Below are the themes and language outcomes for each unit. Each unit also contains 10-15 listening activities, an extended reading activity, review dialogues and cultural information related to the unit theme.

Unidad 1: ¿Quién soy?

  • Review common greetings
  • Contrast saber y conocer
  • Learn Z-verbs
  • Review gender of nouns
  • Reading: La diversidad del mundo hispanohablante
  • Pronunciation: vowels

Unidad 2: El tiempo libre

  • Vocabulary: sports, hobbies and pastimes
  • Irregular stem-changing verbs: e-ie, e-i, o-ue
  • Gustar and similar verbs
  • Agreeing and disagreeing
  • Reading: El fútbol: el deporte rey
  • Pronunciation: regional differences

Unidad 3: ¿Cómo estoy?

  • Vocabulary: feelings, emotions and states of being
  • G-verbs
  • Expressions with hacer
  • Expressions with tener
  • Adjectives used with ser and estar
  • Reading: Mis secretos para el éxito profesional y personal
  • Pronunciation: A

Unidad 4: Mi rutina diaria

  • Vocabulary: basic parts of the body and daily routines
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Review telling time
  • Discussing order of events
  • Expressions of frequency
  • Reading: Un día típico en el Camino de Santiago
  • Pronunciation: E

Unidad 5: ¿Qué recuerdas?

  • Vocabulary: talking about extended family
  • Review: dates and spelling
  • Ordinal numbers
  • Contrast muy, mucho and muchos/as
  • Talking about obligations with tener que
  • Review of Unidades 1-4


Unidad 6: De compras

  • Vocabulary: shopping for food items
  • Numbers 100-1,000
  • Present progressive tense
  • Describing people and actions in photos
  • Review written accent marks
  • Reading: Los tianguis en México
  • Pronunciation: I

Unidad 7: ¿Cómo soy?

  • Vocabulary: describing what people are like
  • Personal traits
  • Physical appearance
  • Clothes and colors
  • Demonstratives: this/these and that/those
  • Reading: El mejor trabajo del mundo
  • Pronunciation: O

Unidad 8: ¿Qué hacemos?

  • Vocabulary: weather
  • Making plans
  • Going-to future
  • Making comparisons
  • More on written accent marks
  • Reading: Latitud Cero en Ecuador
  • Pronunciation: U

Unidad 9: ¿Cómo fue?

  • Vocabulary: public transportation
  • Simple past tense: el pretérito
  • Ser and ir in the past
  • Describing houses and apartments
  • Reading: La fiesta de los patios en Córdoba, España

Unidad 10: ¿Qué aprendimos?

  • Vocabulary: numbers in the thousands
  • Talking about years with the past tense
  • Complex sentences
  • Review Unidades 6-9

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 35
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 3.5

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates

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Program Questions?

Contact Christopher Moore at christopher.moore@wisc.edu or 608-262-7389

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

Continuing Studies FAQs

Meet your instructors

Estefania Galindo

(MA candidate, UW-Madison) is from Colombia and studies Spanish Linguistics at UW-Madison. She has taught French, English, and Spanish in many different contexts. She is an enthusiastic and passionate teacher who likes to motivate students to keep learning. She loves teaching adults about Hispanic language and culture.

Ana Pérez Alfajarrin

(MA, University of Western Ontario) has been teaching Spanish since 2013 to adult learners of all ages. She specializes in Hispanics linguistics and was first trained as a translator/interpreter in Cuba. She brings enthusiasm to her teaching and loves creating engaging courses that make learning meaningful and fun.

Martiniano Etchart

(He/Him/Él)(Ph.D. Student, UW-Madison) has been teaching Spanish in the U.S. since 2018 in different contexts and institutions such as University of Arkansas at Monticello, Michigan State University, Concordia Language Villages, and UW-Madison. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Martiniano enjoys sharing his Argentinian identity and Hispanic culture in all his classes. He  aimsto create an inclusive space with and for students to build meaningful relationships through effective communication.

Erin Paul

(PhD, UW-Madison) is the assistant director of the DCS language program. She has taught beginning through advanced Spanish language courses for adults for more a decade. She is dedicated to creating a welcoming learning environment in her courses and enjoys the diversity of thought and experiences that lifelong learners bring to a class.

What Attendees Are Saying

I absolutely loved this course! This course was not only a wonderful opportunity to improve my speaking skills, but also a great chance to review and fine-tune my vocabulary and grammar. The best part was the emphasis that it's okay to make mistakes; making mistakes can be scary, especially as an adult learner. I loved how the lessons were structured and presented. Many, many thanks to everyone else who contributed to this course.
Family members and colleagues noticed it was fun. They saw I made progress. I can translate some things for them now. Speaking enhanced my learning, and I learned how to learn the language. Hearing the many variations in pronunciation was valuable. – Linda Karr
This was my second Spanish course, and I have absolutely loved it! The instructor was wonderful. It was a great value.
Jenna Cirillo
I loved the virtual conversation component of the class. I think it is so valuable, as we can get feedback on our pronunciation and practice speaking with others who are at the same speaking level.
Paige Witek