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Continuing Studies


Watch this short video about why our online Language program is one of the best in the country!

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:

For the first five weeks of the class, you will practice speaking in weekly 30-minute online sessions led by an experienced instructor, with a maximum of 3-6 other participants. To get to know all of your classmates, your conversation time will vary between the first or second 30-minute time slot of the hour you registered for. You should be available for either.

For the second half of the course, weeks six through ten, you will meet with the entire group for the full hour. Your instructor will use breakout rooms to facilitate small group work.

The live online sessions begin one week after the scheduled course start date to allow time to work through the first unit of learning material in preparation for the live conversation practice.

Online course materials introduce new grammar and vocabulary and teach pronunciation, listening, and reading skills through videos, audio and interactive exercises. Budget 3-4 hours a week to work through the online asynchronous content.

Course materials become available online on the scheduled course start date 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 2024 (See Upcoming Dates for open sections and more detail):

Tuesdays, June 18–Aug. 27, 5–6 p.m. CT

Tuesdays, June 18–Aug. 27, 6:15–7:15 p.m. CT

Sections anticipated for fall 2024 (See Upcoming Dates for open sections and more detail):

Wednesdays, Sept. 11–Nov. 20, 5:30–6:30 p.m. CT

Wednesdays, Sept. 11–Nov. 20, 6:45–7:45 p.m. CT

Mondays, Sept. 23–Dec. 9, 5–6 p.m. CT (No virtual conversation on Nov. 25)

Tuesdays, Sept. 24–Dec. 10, 5:30–6:30 p.m. CT (No virtual conversation on Nov. 26)

Thursdays, Sept. 26–Dec. 12, 8–9 a.m. CT (No virtual conversation on Nov. 28)

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 Chris 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

Silvana Caterina Benzoni

(MA, Loyola University Chicago) has taught Spanish language, culture, and literature courses to traditional and non-traditional adult students for over 15 years. Born in Brazil and raised in Argentina, she enjoys sharing her first language with students and helping them grow their speaking skills with practical and fun learning activities.

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.

Emily Laflash

Emily LaFlash: (MA, University of Iowa) has taught Spanish language courses to adult learners and at the K-12 level for over a decade. Her goal is to empower students to broaden their horizons by learning to communicate in another language.

Rocio Cortes

Biography forthcoming.

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