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Continuing Studies

Spanish for Reading and Translation: Comprehensive

continuingstudies.wisc.edu/9067-C-LSA See upcoming dates


Gain the skills you need to translate Spanish texts from disciplines in the social sciences and humanities to English. This comprehensive course is more extensive than the basic course with additional instructor feedback, more advanced translations and a capstone project tailored to you.

Benefit from all the materials in our basic course with additional interactive exercises, 60 percent more instructor-graded translations and more advanced readings. You will work with your instructor to create a final capstone translation project relevant to your academic or professional field. You start with the basics and work your way through progressively more challenging grammatical concepts that appear in the scholarly texts you translate. Along the way, you learn key grammar structures and reading strategies and build your vocabulary. Digital textbook included.

While no prior knowledge of the language is required, it is highly recommended. Basic to high-intermediate Spanish speakers can use the course to review essential grammar, build vocabulary and increase accuracy in translation. The higher level of Spanish you have, the more you will gain from this course.

This course is open to all. You do not have to be a UW–Madison student to register. The graduate student fee is applicable to graduate students from any institution.

Note: You will not be able to view the course on your Canvas Dashboard or access the materials until the course start date.


Course components

There are no synchronous class meetings. This course uses a free open online textbook and builds on that material through more examples and explanations, as well as a variety of interactive activities and assessments that you access via the Canvas course site:

  • Comprehension checks (quick, non-graded self-checks).
  • 33 quizzes (in-depth, graded practice that can be repeated).
  • 7 self-practice activities (short texts that you translate and compare to sample translations for extra practice).
  • 11 written assignments (assignments that increase in complexity and are corrected by the instructor with personal feedback).
  • Capstone project (you choose a scholarly text to translate and turn in to the instructor for comments).

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify basic and advanced Spanish grammatical structures and syntax.
  • Demonstrate their understanding, with the help of a bilingual dictionary, of scholarly texts related to their field of research or general interests.
  • Produce natural-sounding English translations of Spanish texts that range in difficulty and culminate in a Capstone Project — the translation of approximately 2-3 pages of a self-chosen scholarly text.
  • Develop a personalized approach to translation, with the instructor's guidance and student self-reflection on the learning style that considers the meaning and tone of the original Spanish.
  • Students must complete all graded course assignments — Canvas quizzes and written assignments — and earn a total score of 80% or higher in order to receive the badge.

Required reading

Is this course right for you?

If the following statements accurately describe you, you are a good candidate for our online course:

  • I am a skilled reader who is at ease with written instructions and lessons.
  • I am a self-directed learner, with the initiative to visit a course site regularly.
  • I am comfortable participating in a course in writing.
  • I can continue learning independently while waiting for feedback on assignments.
  • I am organized and able to meet deadlines.
  • I enjoy working on a computer.
  • I have 6 to 10 hours weekly that I can devote to this online course.

If these statements do not accurately describe you, please consider taking a face-to-face class.

Course Outline

Course organization

This course consists of 17 modules or units. Here you can see the major topics covered in each module.

Modules 1-2

  • Alphabet, how to use a dictionary, punctuation and capitalization rules
  • Gender of nouns
  • Definite and indefinite articles

Modules 3-4

  • Adjective/noun agreement and placement
  • Introduction to present tense verbs
  • Irregular present tense verbs
  • More present-tense verbs

Modules 5-6

  • Prepositions por and para
  • Pronouns (Part 1)
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Imperfect tense

Module 7

  • Pronouns (Part 2)
  • Preterite tense (Part 1)
  • Negative, positive and indefinite words

Module 8

  • Irregular verbs in the preterite
  • Other verbs used to express "to be"
  • Present participle and progressive forms

Module 9

  • Pronouns (Part 3)
  • Pronoun summary

Module 10

  • Structures with hacer
  • Past participle and compound tenses

Module 11

  • Introduction to the subjunctive
  • Forms of the present subjunctive
  • Formal commands

Module 12

    Uses of se
  • Future tense
  • Conditional tense

Module 13

  • Past subjunctive
  • Contrary-to-fact sentences (If statements)

Module 14

  • More commands
  • Future and conditional compound tenses

Module 15

  • Past perfect subjunctive
  • Relative pronouns
  • Passive voice

Module 16 and Capstone Project

  • Common translation topics to consider
  • Begin searching for scholarly texts for Capstone Project

Module 17, Capstone Project, and Loose Ends

  • More translation topics to consider
  • Finalize text choice and begin the translation
  • Wrap up any loose ends

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 45
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units 4.5

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 instructor

Ana Vanesa Hidalgo Del Rosario

(MA, UW-Madison) is a PhD candidate in Spanish applied linguistics from the Canary Islands, Spain. Her research interests include bilingualism, second language acquisition and pedagogy. She has taught Spanish at different levels in the United States, France and Spain.

What Attendees Are Saying

"The professor was fantastic — she was responsive, supportive and consistently helpful. The course was well-organized, with a sound pedagogical approach and helpful materials."